How to Knit a Swatchby Deborah V. Gardner
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Swatching is very important, as most knitters understand—even the knitters who do not swatch. They are plagued by sweaters that do not fit or blankets because the gauge was not correct. You can read more about the Importance of Gauge here: http://www.deborahsknitting.com/articles.html.
For this example, let us assume that the gauge is stated as 20 sts x 26 rows = 4" (10cm). (Often, it is not possible to obtain both stitch and row gauge and, generally, stitch gauge is the more important of the two.)
Measure between the garter stitch borders.
Many times, as we knit our swatches we know after just a few rows that the needle size has to be adjusted. So here are a couple of tips.
In our example, assume you start with a US 6 needle. On Row 5, k4, (k2tog, yo) 6 times, k to end of row. As you knit, you realize that the gauge will be too tight, so you decide to go up a needle size. On the next right side row, knit a few stitches, p7, knit to the end of the row. Continue with your swatch.
The six holes created by the yarn overs represent the size 6 needles you used. The seven purl stitches represent the size 7 needles you used.
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