Knitting a Swatch - Is it necessary?
This is why I think it is so important to take the time to make a swatch:
- Ensuring you have the proper gauge (# of stitches and rows to match your pattern) will assure you that your project is the right size, has the right drape.
- The final dimensions will be as expected.
- If the sample is requested in a stitch other than the jersey, you will be able to master it before starting your project. This makes it easier to start your project and you will have less to undo.
- This ensures that you will have enough yarn to complete your project.
- Also allows you to see if your chosen colours are harmonious.
Here are my tips for making the perfect swatch:
- Make more stitches than the swatch requires. If your swatch requires 20 stitches, knit 26 stitches, so you will have 3 stitches of garter stitch (all right-side up) on each side, which will prevent the piece from rolling and make measuring easier.
- Wet your swatch, let it dry flat and measure afterwards. Do not stretch it! Do not dry it with a dryer. Remember that when you go to wash your shirt, you don't want to "stretch" it every time.
- We recommend you knit a swatch with the recommended needles and measure with a swatch gauge. It is preferable for you to wash & block your swatch before measuring.
- If you don't get gauge, use a smaller or larger needle and knit another swatch.
I always make sure to knit the swatch for my new project before I finish my current pattern. So I have time to finish my project while waiting for my new swatch to dry!
Yes, it may takes a long time but it assures a perfect knitting!