The seed stitch swatch must have no holes in it when held up to the light. The middle swatch was my first. Not only is it full of holes, but it is also not a square. The bottom swatch was my second attempt. I pulled each stitch so tight that knitting it was not natural for me. Also, there were holes--not as many, but still. The top swatch was my third and best, but still, there were holes in it. I was feeling frustrated, but figured I'd send it the best one and perhaps the reviewing committee would have suggestions for me.
Then, this week Ravelry added a groups feature and, guess what, there is a group for people working on the KGA's Master Knitter program! I joined. Many of the posters had the starter package, but hadn't really done much of the knitting and the moderator suggested that knitters start out with the seed stitch swatch because
"if you start with the seed stitch you can keep going down in needles size ... until you reach a swatch you are happy with. Then you can use that needle size for the rest of the swatches that need to match. No re-knitting of the earlier swatches needed."I had a major aha! moment. My problem was that I was knitting the seed stitch at a gauge that was just too big. Since the swatches must all be knitted with the same needles and in the same gauge, I decided to do something drastic. Here are all the swatches I'd knitted as of last night:
The offending seed stitch swatches are not pictured, and most of the swatches are beautiful. Here is what it looked like when I was done (frogging them all):
Oh my gosh, it looks just like Ramen noodles! Anyway, today I will soak the yarn in hot water to get the kinks out, then I will begin again. This time I'll start out with the seed stitch swatch, on a smaller needle. Maybe a US 6?