In this post of 2/19 [tag]Marnie Maclean [/tag]writes about gauge. Not important you say? Well, would you build a house that needs to be 20 blocks wide, but not determine the width of the block? Do you buy shoes without trying them on first? If you donâ€™t knit a gauge swatch, you have no idea how your yarn works with your needles or how big or small the needles make the stitches. [tag]Knitting[/tag] is a time consuming hobby and you would like to have a project that turns out like your pattern shows. If you donâ€™t â€œplayâ€ with your yarn and needles first, you will be disappointed in the outcome.
Another article by [tag]Mary Smith[/tag] explains even more the reasons that gauge is important. Mary also explains why needle size is not as important as gauge. Knitting is about gauge and tension. Different people knit with different tension and this can also affect your [tag]gauge[/tag]. You may need to go up or down in needle size to obtain the necessary gauge for your pattern.
The next article about gauge written by [tag]Jenna Wilson[/tag] explains in depth about the tension of your gauge and how gravity affects your knit stitches. This article explains that your knit swatch is not square because knit stitches are not square. The article also address the fact that because gauge isn’t permanent and can even change with wear, simply whipping up a gauge swatch and measuring it straight off the needles won’t prevent unwelcome surprises. Even steam- or wet-blocking your[tag] swatch[/tag] on a flat surface will not guarantee that the finished fabric will keep your measured dimensions.
All these articles agree that swatch knitting is extremely important, not only to the sizing of the finished product, but also to the care and wearing of the product.
Isn’t your knitted project worth the little extra time swatching takes?
By Laura Nixon