Save Time: Swatch a Gauge Square

by Cheryl Moreo

Gauge Square, Yes!

Gauge square is a must if you want your handcrafted item to fit. We all know we should knit a gauge square before we knit, but often we don’t take the time to knit the square. Remember: Achieving the correct gauge matters, and using whatever needle size you need to achieve the correct gauge is essential. You cannot rely on the recommended needle size to get the correct gauge for your pattern. FYI: The same rule about gauge applies to crochet, too. Gauge is essential, hook size is dependent on the gauge you want.

I found  “The Great Swatch Experiment by the Berroco Design Team very enlightening.

Creating the Square

knit a gauge swatch
Image by Berroco

Using a ball of  Berroco Ultra Wool and US Size 8 needles, nearly two dozen knitters knit squares that were 24 stitches by 25 rows, starting with five garter stitch rows, followed by 25 rows of stockinette, leaving three garter stitches on each side of the square and ending with five more garter rows.

The Results

Only six knitters achieved the exact yarn ball band gauge. There were 3 inches of difference in the size of some swatches. Can’t you imagine what that might do to the fit of your garment?

A crochet group also did a similar gauge square with the same results.

Let’s All Swatch

Let’s all do the dreaded gauge square and ensure we get the proper gauge before knitting our garments. If we take the time to swatch, we can all save time. This means—we can start more projects!

Link to the Great Experiment

If you still aren’t convinced, here is the link to the experiment.

Source: The Great Swatch Experiment – Knitting and Crochet techniques from the Berroco Design Team

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