advertisement

advertisement

No Thanks
Let
Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Project

Making a Gauge Swatch

Introduction

The first step of any knitting project is to knit a gauge swatch to ensure that the dimensions of your finished project will be correct. A gauge is the number of stitches to be worked over 1 inch of knitting using a particular stitch, weight of yarn, and needle size. The gauge for our basic scarf project is 4 stitches to 1 inch, knitted in stockinette stitch (alternating knit and purl rows), with Aran-weight yarn on size-9 needles.

Follow our basic knitting instructions to knit a swatch at least 6 by 6 inches. To determine the number of stitches you need to cast on for 6 inches of knitting length, multiply the number of stitches in 1 inch of knitting (specified by your instructions) by 6. So, for our basic scarf project, which specifies 4 stitches per inch, you will need to cast on 24 stitches. Knit until your swatch is 6 inches square. Bind off loosely, and lay the swatch flat.

Check your gauge by measuring the swatch; since the stitches at the edges tend to curl inward, or become misshapen, measure just the inner 4 inches of the swatch. Place a tape measure parallel to a row of stitches, and count how many stitches (how many Vs) fall within these inner 4 inches, including half stitches. Divide this number by 4, and compare it with the specified gauge (4 stitches to 1 inch). If there are fewer than 4 stitches per inch, your knitting is too loose; use needles a size smaller. If there are more than 4 stitches per inch, you are knitting too tightly; use needles a size larger.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, November 1997

Reviews (2)

  • lmtpou812 7 Mar, 2009

    Great Idea ! SuchFun. thanks, Lmt

  • SuchFun 4 Jan, 2008

    What to do with all those gauge swatches you knit up.
    - Pin on a tag that tells the yarn and needle size used for the swatch for future projects that would use the same yarn.
    - Toss them in a wide open basket for a splash of color in your craft room or den.
    - Once you have a pretty good size collection, sew, weave, knit, or crochet a group together to make a fun crazy patchwork type throw.