Testing or swatch testing yarn is the best way to know how a yarn will behave.
No one wants surprises after spending money on yarn for a large project and then finding it doesn’t perform as envisioned.
A swatch is not only for gauge, but also for how it feels and maintains its’ shape.
I wash my swatches as they will be handled in real life.
You may notice that the yarn has a bit of thick and thin in the strand and how it shows up in the fabric. This may be need to be considered in a larger item. The yarn is a Wool 40%/Mohair15%/ remainingAcrylic/Poly mix.
It appears that one of the fibres in the mix, either was dyed separately, or absorbs the dye differently and appears darker in colour. A dye expert will know the how and why.
To my eye, the fuzz from the mohair obscures the patterning.
Usually, I don’t knit a scarf as a swatch, but did so, only because I had a very large quantity of yarn. Overall, I think it will make a very nice sweater. Perhaps, by using it 2 stranded.
I have found that testing a yarn for its special properties is important. If, I have enough yarn, I make a scarf. It is a useful item and brings its attributes to the forefront. In the centre photo, you can see that it is slightly thick and thin. You may also note that this thickness shows up in the pictures of the fabric.
The thicker part of the strand also appears to be a darker colour. Will this matter? Or can this be a feature in a design?
The patterning seems to be lost. Perhaps, a change of patterning will enhance the yarn.
The above scarf was knit with a wool 40%, mohair 15%, acrylic 25%, poly 20%.
It washed beautifully and feels very nice to the hand.
Next, what shall I make with the yarn on the large cone?
To KICK START your machine knitting skills, it is very prudent to use your Knitting Machine, EVERY single day!
Practise a small skill. i.e hanging up a mock rib hem, short rowing a shoulder decrease, full fashioned decreases, seaming edges of various stitch patterning. Lots of small skills that add up quickly.
Those of us who took formal classes, we were assigned homework and needed to produce it for the next class.
Machine knitting requires experimentation. The yarn, the shape, the sizing, the type of stitches, which machine works best for the yarn etc. There is no one size fits all. If your goal is production type knitting, once these questions are answered, then go ahead and knit 100 sweaters, all the same. Keep in mind, changing the yarn type or colour of yarn, the garment will also change.
I can’t stress enough, the value of the info in the Manuals that are supplied with your knitting machine. Learn to make your machine go and then learn how to make things on it. They are TWO different skill sets.
Here is a cast-on that I find most useful, and a suggestion of a book for those who knit garments for ourselves or customers.