Tuesday Tip: Gauge Swatches (knitting)

Now I know that every knitter reading this is thinking, ugh, gauge swatches again? I know, unlike in most crochet patterns and books the gauge (or tension) is heavily stressed in knitting. I do have a few bones to pick and a few tips to make though.

First of all, if you are making your own pattern (or seriously altering one.) You will make a swatch not to match someone else’s but to see what yours is. The good news is that you can’t be wrong, and the bad news is that you have to make this swatch ‘count.’

What I mean is that I strongly suggest that if you will be knitting lace, doing the lace pattern in the swatch, and if you’re knitting in the round, work the swatch in the round. In cases such as socks, I’ve found that my gauge is so different from straight knitting to the round, I just go ahead and start the sock, then double check my work after the fact. (I figure I’ve got a 50% chance of not having to rip anything)

Likewise, if you are knitting someone else’s pattern and the gauge is given in stockinette despite the fact that the pattern is in lace or cables or another complicated stitch, I would beware of the gauge, and stop periodically through the project to check that your gauge is correct.

Those are the main tips that I have learned about gauge swatches. (Keep an eye out, in about a week I will be posting a pattern for a swatch bag.

P.S. Last chance to vote


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