Problem Solving the Gauge Swatch

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,883
    Knitting expert Toni Lipe demonstrates how to knit a gauge swatch, including some tips for problem solving.

    Toni Lipe: Hi! I am Toni Lipe with Toni's Design Studio. Right now, we are going to talk about problem solving of the gauge swatch. As I said earlier, gauging, swatching your project before you begin is so important to getting the size that you want. Once you have knit your gauge, let's say that your project is far too wide. It exceeds the four inches that you have cast on. So what you need to do is to knit another gauge with the next size needle down. Some knitters knit very loosely, some knit very, very tight and it just depends on who you are. You don't have to change the way you knit, you simply have to change the size of needle that you use. I knit my socks on a size two needle. I have a friend that knits very loosely. I think she gets very relaxed when she knit socks. She has to switch to a size one needle to knit her socks,Then other people that knit very, very tightly would have to move up to maybe a size three needle for her socks. So, this is just a way to find out what your knitting style is and adjust your needles to get the gauge that you need for your pattern. So, say, you knit your swatch in a size seven needle and you are getting five or six stitches per inch, you need to pullout that gauge, pullout that swatch, grab a size, say, a pair of six needle and knit another swatch. If it is still too large you might need to move down to a size five. It doesn't matter which size needle you use with your yarn, as long as you are getting the gauge that you need for your pattern. Now, if your gauge is too small, you need to move up a size. So say sevens were too small, you would move up to a size eight. If it still too small you would move up to a size nine. You want to get as close to the gauge that the pattern calls for. So when you are following your directions you have the correct number of stitches cast on. You are increasing and decreasing the correct number of stitches, so that your item fits you. So that's how we improve our gauge swatching. We gauge, we swatch before each project. We use larger or smaller needles to get the gauge desired for that project. Next, we are going to talk about knitting needles and the different types of knitting needles that are available on the market.