Knitting & Crochet By-Products: Swatch Boards & How To Make Them



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Swatching is key to good knitting or crocheting results. The more projects you do, the more swatches you prepare. Suddenly you have a multitude of swatches.

When the swatch container begins to overflow, it may be time to create a swatch board. These are fun to do. The process provides a lot of reflection time; project memories return as swatches are recognized. Completed boards make for great inspiration. To boot, they make for great artwork worthy of prominent display.

How to Make Susan’s Swatch Board

Supplies:  For each swatch board you will need 2 sheets of white 20 x 30 x 3/8” foam core board, straight pins (hundreds of them), thimble, and your bin of swatches.
Optional: background fabric material and duct tape.
1. Weave in all tails of all swatches
2. Block swatches
3. Tape the two boards together at four corners

4. If desired, cover board with a background fabric if you don’t plan to make white space part of your layout design. Cut the fabric large enough to fold over each side, square the corners of the fabric and tape securely.

5. Decide how you want to create your design – move your swatches around the board and have fun with it. (Don’t use pins yet.) Do you want everything tight with no space between? Do you want to layer and overlap? Some of both? Special themes? Keep going and when you think you are about ‘there’, go to the next step.

6. Pinning – pin swatches securely to board; use pins liberally. Don’t let pins go through the bottom. Here’s how I perfected my pinning process: with thimble and holding the pin straight, push the pin just enough to pierce the first layer of the board, then lay the pin down and push sideways toward the bottom until secure. Periodically check the bottom for pins sticking out.

7.  When finished pinning, pick it up, turning it in different directions and make sure everything is secure.

8.  Decide where you will display your masterpiece!  You could even frame it!  See below multiple boards I have created/collected … it is a mural in my studio and students absolutely go wild over them.


studio swatch wall1studioswatch wall2


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