Swatching My Handspun- Help Me Choose the Best Gauge For the Yarn

When trying to figure out the weight of my handspun yarn, I usually rely on visual comparisons to commercial yarns. Occasionally, I’ll bother with a grams/yds comparison.

I want to be extra careful and rigorous with my freshly spun batch of Texel. So I buckled down and knitted up a bunch of swatches with needles US7 to US10. Each swatch is knitted with the same number of stitches and rows.

What may be a little hard to see in the photo are the t-pins I inserted marking out 4-inch squares on each swatch.

Texel swatches numbered

Which one of these needle sizes wins?


  1. It depends what you’re going to knit. If you want something drapey, go with the larger needles. Something that needs to be more windproof, like a hat, go with the smaller needles.

    • Yeah, for me it’s between 8 and 9 too. 7 is a bit on the stuff side for a sweater. And 10 could work but isn’t better than 9.

  2. I’m really one who needs to *feel* a swatch and how drapey it is. For fibers with memory I like a tighter gauge than fibers with no memory, but it also really depends on what I’m making. Misty Morning had plenty of wool but I still went drapey. Unless one of the fabrics really speaks to you, I think you’d be better off getting a vague idea of what you want to make first.

  3. I am a new spinner. I think I am learning I need to buy a lot of ounces of fiber to have enough yarn to knit swatches and still have enough yarn for a wee something. How much fiber do you usually purchase? I recall you had a whole fleece.

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