Gauge swatch

I accepted a knitting commission on Friday.  I can’t start it yet because there are projects ahead of it in my work queue.  But I did have a few minutes to make my gauge swatch.

Gauge swatch
Gauge swatch

I haven’t used this yarn before so I need to know how to match the gauge of the pattern I’m to knit. The pattern calls for a gauge of 4 sts and 5.5 rows per inch on size 10 needles. The yarn is a worsted weight merino. I am a loose knitter and know that I usually have to go down 1-2 needles to match the gauge specified by a pattern. But I knit something else from this designer recently and matched the called for needle size so I took a chance and swatched just two needle sizes, 9 & 10.  When I’m knitting a long swatch with more than one needle I like to mark each section with the needle size for future reference.  I forgot to do this when I started the size 9 (on the bottom), but you can see I have a  garter dividing line between 9 & 10 and the row of eyelets (numbering 10) reminds me that the top part was done on size 10 needles.

My swatch has been washed and is dry so now I can measure my gauge.  On the size 9 needles I got 15 stitches in 4 inches, which is 3.75 stitches/inch and not quite tight enough for this project.  The size 10 needles yielded 14 stitches in 4 inches (3.5 stitches/inch).

As I suspected, but hoped otherwise, I will need to go down two needle sizes for this project.  So, one more swatch to knit, on size 8’s, and then I should be ready to jump on this project when it gets to the top of the queue.

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Author: Jennifer Kortfelt

Owner, Heron Pond Designs, a fiber and textile exploration.

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