I usually don’t swatch. When I do, it’s never the 4×4 inch square I’m supposed to make. Mine are small. Calling them 2×2 inches is generous. Usually gauge doesn’t matter for a lot of the items I make.
Last week I made a swatch, not to check gauge, but to check the yarn label’s claim: machine washable and dryable. 100% virgin wool. Keyword that was missing: superwash. I put the swatch in with some linens on the warm setting. It didn’t felt that much, but a lot of the stitch definition has disappeared. I’m going to try another swatch washed in cold. After that, I’ll be stash diving for some cotton.
vintage yarn: I am in love with the color blue of this yarn. I read somewhere that a lot of wool used to contain recycled bits, so that’s why so many of the vintage yarns say 100% “virgin” wool. I can’t help but giggle when I read it. Apparently I have the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old.