Gauge swatch

On day 2 of Knit and Crochet Blog Week I introduced you to a pattern that I was planning to knit, and now I have started it! And I have pictures. Well, I haven’t exactly started it yet, but I have done a gauge swatch and have the needles I need. I’m not so big on gauge swatches, and therefore don’t have much experience in using them to adjust gauge, which is why I mainly knit toys and novelty stuff where the gauge isn’t all that essential. Mostly it’s an impatience thing, when I’m all ready to start a project and I’ve got the yarn and the needles I just want to knit already! Who has time for knitting some little square and then measuring and counting and possibly changing needle sizes and doing it all over again? And until a few years ago I didn’t really understand how to correctly use swatches to check my gauge and adjust it, and I have a better knowledge of the theory now, even though I don’t have much practice. But this piece needs to fit because the yarn was expensive and it’s going to be a lot of work and I want the end product to be usable, dang it! So I made myself do a gauge swatch.

Turns out my gauge on the suggested needles is a little off, but I have decided that rather than try bigger needles, because based on the number of rows I should use bigger needles but for number of stitches I need smaller, I think :-/, I am just going to stick with the needles I’m using. The gauge is off but extremely close (it’s off by like 1 stitch in 4 inches) so I’ve decided to actually make the medium size of the pattern rather than the large. The size decision was difficult in general because my measurements are just like half an inch larger than the measurements given for the medium size, which means they’re like 6 inches smaller than the large size, so I just wasn’t sure and decided to buy enough yarn for the bigger size. With the slightly large gauge I have decided to try the medium size because I’m thinking my piece will end up slightly wider than the pattern because of the slight gauge difference. And basically I’m hoping I’m not just making this up and it all turns out.

Now I just need to cast on and get knitting. I intended to cast on today and get started but I spent ridiculous amounts of time looking for a book I have that I just cannot find, which is frustrating me to no end. But I did get the needles for the project today which gave me the excuse to get my favorite Addi Turbo needles in two new sizes! Yay! Hopefully I will still have the energy and patience to cast on tomorrow after work.

I will, of course, keep you updated on my progress, and in the mean time, while I’m making that progress, I will try to post about a few things I already have finished, so you don’t get bored, including the written tutorial for needle felting a cat that you got a preview of in the “something a bit different” post last week (I’m thinking the all pictures post generally doesn’t work for me, I need to type, I’m far too verbose for just pictures).


5 responses to this post.

  1. I do understand where you are coming from with the guage bit but it is really important. You should wash and block it before counting out as this will let you see if there are any problems with washing. If you haven’t done this then your knitting will probably be too big if I am reading this post correctly. I am sorry to be a bit dramatic and I am sure you know what you are doing – I would just hate for you to get to the end and find that things are all wrong. xxx


    • You’re not being too dramatic, and I appreciate the concern. I do not plan to need to wash the end product, that is more than potentially the occasional spot clean or a quick hand rinse, but I didn’t think of blocking it first, that’s a good idea. Yes, I expect my knitting will be larger than the pattern, which is why I switched down to the smaller size of the pattern. I have some reservations as I’ve thought more about the pieces fitting together correctly, but I will be taking a closer look at that in a few days when I have more time, and won’t cast on until I’m more sure about that.


  2. what are the clips for on our swatch? is that where you changed sizes when knitting?


    • The stitch markers designate a 4″ square so that I can count the stitches and rows in 4 inches without trying to hold a ruler or other tool in the right place at the same time, it’s a trick I picked up in the class I took where I actually learned something about gauge.


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