The Importance of Swatching your Knits

Avoid unexpected surprises in your knitting by swatching your knits
Give a cheer if you love to knit gauge swatches. (Awkward silence.) Not a lot of joy comes from swatching before you start a knitting project, but if you don't want any unexpected surprises later, swatching is an essential part of the process.

Before You Begin

Swatching involves more than just knitting up a square of fabric with a certain size needles to get a specific gauge. Even if it doesn't say so, pattern gauge is almost always given for fabric that has been washed and blocked. GASP! You need to measure your gauge AFTER your swatch has been washed and dried or blocked in whatever way the finished item will be cared for because your fabric could, and likely will, stretch, shrink or felt the first time it gets wet.

And guess what. If you like the way your swatch fabric looks and feels, you can still use a pattern even if your gauge doesn't exactly match the pattern gauge. A word of caution though, you will need to do a little math to make adjustments to the pattern. That's a topic for another time.

Materials

Thanks to Skacel for providing the CoBaSi by HiKoo yarn shown in this demonstration. It's available locally at many yarn shops and online at Makers' Mercantile.

The Importance of Swatching

Recommended Pattern

Ready to try this technique in a pattern? The Wallflower Sweater Pattern shown in this lesson has videos to help you learn more about:
  • The Importance of Swatching
  • Tracking Progress in Complex Knitting Patterns
  • Open Bar Increase (a.k.a. Open Make 1 Increase)
  • Decrease Slant and Stitch Charts - 3 Helpful Tips
  • Smocked, or Tied, Stitches
  • Dividing the Body and Casting On Underarm Stitches for Top Down Sweaters
  • Picking Up Underarm Stitches for a Gap Free Sleeve
  • Suspended Bind Off (Purlwise)
Wallflower Sweater Knitting Pattern: Learn new skills like the importance of swatching

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The importance of swatching your knits to ensure success in your knitting

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The Chilly Dog: The Importance of Swatching your Knits
The Importance of Swatching your Knits
Swatching is an essential part of knitting to ensure that your projects turn out exactly the way you expect.
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