I don’t do gauge swatches. Sometimes I check my gauge, but it’s more than that with a test swatch.
Difference Between a Test Swatch and a Gauge Swatch
If I’m following someone else’s pattern and the size of the garment is important, I will check my gauge. But usually, I do that with some part of the actual garment.
For me, the start of a sleeve is a swatch.
Usually, I’m not following someone else’s pattern. Or if I am, the gauge isn’t important (as for a scarf or shawl).
For me, I want to make sure of a few things.
- The drape of the fabric is appropriate to the garment
- Color pooling/striping is okay with hand-painted/self-striping/variegated yarn
- I enjoy working with the yarn and needles
- And yes…gauge is accurate (if it’s important)
For the all the knitting police out there who insist that a gauge swatch be made, I say no. Instead, stress the importance of a test-knit of the fabric. Make it a more all-encompassing use of trying out your yarn.
New Sweater Project
Interestingly, some of you may remember that yarn in the featured photo. It’s a bulky mulespun yarn that I tried using to make a shaker-rib cardigan that ended in disaster.
A project for which I DIDN’T do a gauge swatch.
Did I do one for the new version of the sweater? No, but I do consider the beginning of the sleeve to be a test-swatch. And I will use it to calculate gauge as I design this new cardigan on-the-needles.
I know…I’m living on the edge here.
In addition to just starting a new cardigan project, I also finished the last pair of Rose’s Fingerless Mitts using my handspun.
Five pairs of mitt from that ball of handspun yarn. I’ll now block them, match them up into five pairs where the colors match and package them for sale.
I also decided to start a new Crochet Thermal Stitch Beanie using a cotton/polyester blend yarn (87%/13%) from Lana Grossa called Meilenweit.
I wanted to see how cotton yarn would work with one of these hats. I’m not a fan of this colorway (1002 in case you care). But I am fascinated that this stitch looks very different on each side.
Shockingly, these photos show the front and back of the same fabric. Crochet thermal stitch is almost like double-knitting with it comes to having a very different look on a reversible fabric.