Do You Make Swatch?

Like blocking, I have heard about making swatch since ages ago, but haven’t been really good at doing it. I think making swatch is boring, and I was usually so excited about going on a project — probably the reasons why I never got into making swatch at all.

I know that like blocking, it is very important to make your knitting project easier, and better. But since I am lazy, and am only interested in the knitting and making up pretty stuff, I usually skip this part and only refer to the gauge information in the yarn label.

But what if the yarn doesn’t have gauge information in its label? Like this one, for example… The yarn looks pretty, and is incredibly soft and would definitely make lovely project, but without knowing the gauge, it would be impossible to use it on a project.

So, I make a swatch. Counting the stitches is always the worst part… I don’t know how many people actually make swatch and count gauge before starting a project. I think those who are faithful, and not skipping this step deserve so much respect. I don’t know how you fight boredom while doing it…

Do you make swatch?


7 thoughts on “Do You Make Swatch?

  1. I don’t make swatches near as often as I should. But then again, I don’t make too many things where gauge is important either. If you are making a garment to wear, then a swatch is definitely a must as you don’t want to go through all of that work for nothing.


    • That makes so much sense, Ginny. Thank you very much. I was thinking of making something wearable, so I think it is important for this project. I just haven’t found the pattern yet 😀


  2. tonymarkp says:

    I’ve been knitting for 20 years so I only swatch if I’m unfamiliar with the yarn I’m using and I sort of do it casually. Like, you know, I start a sleeve and see how that goes. You’re probably like me in that your knitting pretty much matches the gauge indicated on most yarn labels. Some people knit differently and it doesn’t work out like that for them so they need to swatch. Also, some of the nicer wools out there get really huge after washing them so sometimes it’s necessary to swatch and block the sample to see if the piece expands.


      • tonymarkp says:

        This tutorial might be helpful. Generally speaking, to count your stitches and rows just count the Vs. Or, let’s say you cast on twenty-four stitches, knit the first two rows in garter stitch, then knit 20 rows of stocking stitch with a border two stitches wide of garter stitch. Knit two rows of garter stitch, bind off, and measure your square of stocking stitch without including the garter stitch areas. How many cm or inches do you get? That’s your gauge per 20 stitches. Most patterns call for a gauge in terms of a 10 cm swatch. How many Vs fit within 10 cm? That would be your gauge. Row gauge would be the number Vs in 10 cm measured vertically.


  3. claire93 says:

    I’m new to knitting (about to start my first sweater) and the first thing I did was knit a gauge swatch ^^ It doesn’t really take long, and I’d rather spend an hour doing a swatch than spend weeks knitting a sweater, only to find out it doesn’t fit.


    • Actually… that is very sensible of you. Thing is I usually just follow the gauge info on the label, and usually it is not too far off. But yeah, I’ve made the gauge and I think I am ready for a new project…


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