This is why you check gauge

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I’m terrible about checking gauge before beginning a project. I get so excited about casting on and sometimes I just can’t bear to wait until I’ve knitted, washed, and dried a few swatches.

“But that could take a whole day,” I whine to myself.

The feeling reminds me vividly of all those times on family road trips when we’d arrive at the motel after a long day of driving and I wanted to immediately hit the pool. But no. Mom and Dad insisted we all eat dinner first. Who wants dinner when the water is calling your name? And then, to add insult to injury, after eating I would be required to wait another hour ( sometimes haggled down to 30-45 min) before swimming. I know the intentions were good–so I wouldn’t get a cramp and drown–but, oh, the agony of waiting.

Last night I forced myself to knit gauge swatches for a new cardigan I’m about to cast on. I did two, one in the suggested needle size and one a size down. The difference between the two is striking, much more than I would have expected.

So it turns out the suggested needle size is spot on for me. But we all know how much variation there is among yarns of the same weight and between knitters. It could so easily have been different. really different.

Let that be a lessons to me.

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7 thoughts on “This is why you check gauge

  1. Yes, I also remember some tears from not swatching for a specific project. Best to work that extra bit and have a good size sweater. But as previously said, waiting for it to dry is a pain 😦

    BTW, I’m hosting a give away. The prize is a pattern of your choice from Ravelry. You just have to leave a comment on my last post.

  2. habeoNZ

    I was never a swatcher,I mean NEVER and somehow I got away with it and then, recently, I knit a project… the suggested needles and the suggested wool weight but not the ACTUAL wool – 1000s of hours went into a cabled rib, 1940s inspired pattern that I just HAD to have, even found the perfect vintage buttons and the finished project? FOUR sizes too small no amount of blocking & stretching can fix that. Lesson learnt.

  3. Ugh, swatching. Takes all the excitement out of the start of the project. But you’re right, it’s important. Not swatching takes all the fun out of the end of the project when you realize it’s three sizes too small.

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