So, a few days ago, I was reading one of my favorite fashion blogs (Catwalk Queen) and they posted about some French store that had these really cute cashmere bangles:
Guess how much they are? 135 Euros!!! That's $180 for you folks at home.
Now, good for you if you have that kind of money to burn, but my dears, what is a girl to do when she has no money and lots of leftover yarn?
Why, you get your needles out and make yourself a (couple of) Swatch Bangles!
Named so because it's literally made of a knit swatch and a bangle. Oh and the good sense you were born with.
I'm so pleased with the results that I went beyond the call of duty and put together a pictorial so that you can save yourself $180 too.
Yarn - doesn't matter what kind as long as it's not too bulky (can't fit your hand in the bangle otherwise) My gray bangle is Knit Picks merino style which is a DK weight.
Needles - whatever your yarn of choice recommends for gauge.
Bangles - I got mine years ago from Forever 21
1. Measure your bangle this way:
This will be the width of your swatch.
2. Pick a stitch, any stitch and start swatching! My gray bangle is a Moss stitch and my white one is something called Crocus Bud. I got my projected width usually by my second try. It doesn't have to be perfectly exact, since luckily yarn is usually stretchy when knitted up.
3. Knit until the length fits around the bangle and the two ends meet comfortably:
4. Bind off. Cut the end but leave yourself PLENTY of extra yarn. You will be using this to seam. I left about 24" and that was plenty.
5. Seam the cast on end to the bound off end.
6. Fit this bracelet looking thing around the bangle and start seaming the sides like so:
7. Continue seaming the two sides together all around the bangle:
8. Weave in the yarn a bit and then cut it off. Rearrange the swatch so that the long seam is on the inside of the bangle.
I am not the best with seaming so I couldn't make the end seams invisible, but I'm sure those who take more care than I do can pull it off. I bet some sort of involvement of DPNs would do the trick, but frankly the seam is just not noticeable enough for me to care. ;)
I love that it used up leftover yarn, it was a quick knit, and I didn't have to worry about being too neat or precise. I like both the textured stitch as well as the lacy one, which allows the red of the bangle to show through. A plain stitch with variegated yarn would be great too I think. I first started out with some Manos but it was pooling so I just switched to a single color yarn. Sock yarn's an interesting possibility, but that might go against the whole "Make two in two days" lure of the project.
I think a cable stitch or a rib stitch like the one that's for sale would also be cute, but I ran out of bangles. Which brings me to the best bit: If I get tired of these I can just cut the swatch off and make a new one!