Knitting swatches to check your gauge may seem like a tedious task when you are inspired and ready to start a project, but it's extremely important to make sure that your finished piece is the right size once finished.
Here's what you need to know about knitting a gauge swatch:
What is a knitting gauge?
Your knitting gauge is the number of stitches and rows that it takes to create an inch. For accuracy, most knitters check their gauge by 4 inches at a time, so you can break it down to the .5th of a stitch.
For example, for our Moonflower Cardigan the gauge is 8 sts x 12 rows = 4x4”
Why are people's gauges different?
Every knitter has a different amount of tension that their hands naturally bring to the needles - people are "loose knitters" or a "tight knitters." In addition to your tension, the type of yarn that you use, and your blocking method are factors that will affect your gauge.
How do I knit a swatch?
To knit a swatch simply look at the label of the yarn to see their recommended gauge per inch and times it by four. For example, our Ushya yarn label has an estimated gauge of 2.25 sts = 1" for an accurate swatch cast on 9 stitches and knit 9 rows.
Make sure to block your swatch before you measure your gauge. If you steam block it may be a different finished gauge than if you wet block. If you find that the finished swatch is too small or large, adjust your needle size and repeat the process until it matches the suggested gauge in the pattern.
Why should I knit a swatch?
Whether you are following a pattern or hoping for a specific fit, knitting a swatch will ensure that your project looks the way you want it to once complete. A knitter's tension, yarn used, and blocking method can all make drastic alterations to a project. If you are set on a specific look once complete, we recommend this one extra step!