Why didn't I think of that?

There's been lots of conversation on the forums and in recent books about the importance of swatching. I confess, right here and now, that I don't mind it. In fact, I look forward to trying out any multi-color or novelty yarn I buy. I almost always swatch sock yarns I acquire on the very same day. But, I admit it bothers me not having imagineered a good use for those little squares of knit-up yarn. I've tried numerous times to develop a clever assemblage of the dang little things, and you know what? The result is invariably cheesey and ugly. I wouldn't foist the end-product on my cats to sleep on, much less use it somewhere I'd actually have to look at it. So when Knitting Daily suggested not only swatching in the round for proper gauge, but just making a swatch-in-the-round sampler, I had a V-8 moment. Of course, a long, striped tube! Finally, a potentially creative solution. I could stuff it and use it as a draft-stopper. Or coil it and make a kitty basket. Based on this recent experiment swatching several yarns discovered in my neverending stash, well, you can see the possibilities just from a design standpoint. It's nice having all those yarns knit up side by side. These are all sock yarns, and I'll knit needle sizes 0-3 on this tube. I'll start another for size 4 needles and up for DKs and worsteds. I'm thinking a few thicker tubes might eventually be pressed into service as very artsy-fartsy arm warmers. Yes, arm warmers for my teen nieces who insist on wearing sleeveless t-shirts in the dead of winter. Magnificently brilliant idea any way you look at it. It's rather handsome so far, don't you think?
What yarns are there? From right to left: Cranberry Dragon yarn, custom-dyed blue Opal from Angel Yarns, gray KnitPicks Essential, old KnitPicks Sock Garden, brown KnitPicks Essential, and the long remaining section is off the ball of Opal Hundertwasser.

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