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  • cathy

That gauge thing.

I'm having trouble coming up with a catchy title for a post on swatching. How about "To swatch, or not to swatch?" Is that even a question? Or "How to gauge, let me count the ways". A title like that might lead you to believe I actually like making swatches. "Confessions of a lazy swatcher" is more like it. But, since I've got this software I'm using it, and that means making swatches.

How do you make your swatches? I always made a nice big* square-ish swatch and, after washing and laying flat to dry (aka blocking), I counted the stitches in 4 inches. That's the way I always did it and so that's what I originally made the software do as well. But then I realized when swatching for my latest sweater that there is a better way. My confession is that even though I made a swatch for the ribbing, because the yarn is very stretchy (superwash) my ribbing ended up way too big & I had to frog two inches of work. To get a better feel for the yarn's drape and stretch, I then swatched a piece of ribbing around 10" x 2".

Unfortunately, the software just couldn't deal with anything but 4x4, so I changed it. And really, I think it's more accurate to place pins between two stitches and measure precisely, rather than guess at a fraction of a stitch:

Swatch in bamboo stitch

What do you think?

Happy knitting, fellow KnitWizards!


*not the total truth.

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