Technique: Gauge Swatch


A gauge swatch is a sample that is knit using the yarn and needles of the intended project in order to (a) determine your satisfaction with the fabric and (b) predict the outcome of your project with respect to size. Most patterns provide gauge measurements so that, after knitting your swatch, you can determine whether you knit with a tension similar to the pattern designer or whether you need to increase or decrease your needle size to compensate for tighter or looser knitting. Both aspects of assessment above (fabric satisfaction and size) are important as it can happen that by making the necessary adjustments in needle size to match the gauge specifications you no longer are satisfied with the density of the fabric created by this yarn choice. Thus, sometimes, instead of adjusting needle size to “get gauge,” one actually just needs to select a different yarn.

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