View Full Version : Do you swatch?

02-19-2009, 07:34 PM
Do you swatch and when? (You can pick more than one option.)

02-19-2009, 07:43 PM
After my first project, I realized I was a tight knitter, so now I swatch everything. There have only been 2 projects since, but I expect I will always swatch.

02-19-2009, 07:48 PM
I swatch for nearly every project, unless gauge doesn't matter. For instance, I'm currently knitting some socks for my second-cousin who is not yet born. I figure that it's HIGHLY unlikely that I would make them too small, and if they're too big... well, babies grow :)

02-19-2009, 08:11 PM
I make and measure with the knowledge that I may be ripping out.

Very rarely do I swatch, that's for yarn that is very different than my usual or designs that are too complicated to frog.

02-19-2009, 11:18 PM
I only swatch when I make something that's strict about gauge.

02-19-2009, 11:34 PM
Every stitch pattern has a different gauge so if I did a swatch for every singe project I would have no room in my closet for clothes.

I have a notebook that I write everything down on. I list the Stitch pattern, the CO, the needle size, the width (which is the most important) I actually havn't ventured into clothing so my opinion may change.

02-20-2009, 12:13 AM
Didn't used to until I started knitting in the round and realized my gauge is quite different when I knit that way.

By the way, loved the last option...:roflhard:

02-20-2009, 01:06 AM
Didn't used to until I started knitting in the round and realized my gauge is quite different when I knit that way.

By the way, loved the last option...:roflhard:

Well, I totally dated myself--but I couldn't help it. :teehee:

02-20-2009, 01:18 AM
I swatch for anything where size is important to me. But... that said I often find that my project becomes my swatch anyhow because my swatches lie. LOL My tension changes when I am really knitting the item and the gauge swatch didn't necessarily mean anything. I wish I was a really consistent knitter. I think I wish that anyway. LOL

02-20-2009, 07:01 AM
I only swatch for complex items and garmets... for simple items and things that I'm just playing around with - I don't swatch. I usually don't even do a complete swatch - I've found in the past that when I'm following a pattern and swatch first - I've always had to use needles 2 sizes smaller than what is called for to get gauge. It was so consistant that I don't swatch - I will check guage from time to time so that I can make adjustments if needed.

02-20-2009, 07:12 AM
Only when it matters with garmets, and I don't make many adult clothes. I figure it doesn't matter with baby clothes. Or socks. I figure making a sock is the swatch.

02-20-2009, 08:01 AM
Me, too. I can usually adjust my grip to what I'm knitting, and I don't mind ripping out, if I have to.

BTW love your tag line about Chicago!

02-20-2009, 11:11 AM
I do swatch for garments that need to fit. I did 3 swatches for a hat I'm making and ended up with 2 needle sizes down from the recommended size. I didn't want the hat to fall down over the eyes. I also swatched for sweaters.

I never swatch for scarves or blankies.


02-20-2009, 11:23 AM
Like some others I generally have to go down several needle sizes to get gauge and my gauge changes a bit on a bigger piece than a swatch. I will swatch with a new yarn and get an idea of drape and make adjustments accordingly.

02-20-2009, 12:04 PM
I swatch if the fit is going to matter - such as with fitted sweaters I plan to wear or which someone else might wear. I usually knit pretty close to gauge, which makes guessing for other things (scarves, shawls, etc.) pretty easy.

02-20-2009, 12:12 PM
I swatch for EVERYTHING, except perhaps a felted bag pattern. I had a teacher who instilled the habit of swatching in me early.

02-20-2009, 08:26 PM
Thanks for all your responses! I think it's an interesting topic. I swatch for things that are complex or fitted (except socks, because I've never had a gauge problem there. Although now that I have said that...)

I am mostly self-taught and I didn't truly understand the importance of swatching until I made the Giant Oversized Pullover of Doom. I ended up using almost 6 skeins of LB Fisherman's Wool (that stuff has 465 yards a skein). Then I started swatching everything. Now I have gotten to the point where I know I am usually going to have to go down a needle size. I usually don't swatch for non-fitted things, unless I am worried about running out of yarn.

02-21-2009, 01:07 AM
I did not vote as you did not have my version of swatching. I am a pretty consistent knitter. I usually tend to get gauge pretty easily if I have made the right yarn subsitution (than you book of yarn, you have taught me so much) I will knit the sleeves first on a garment and that will be my swatch. I will rip that out if the sleeve is not working out.

If the project isn't gauge critical then no I do not swatch at all. purses, scarves and such do not need swatches.

02-21-2009, 07:32 PM
Can I count a sleeve as a swatch?


ETA- I hadn't even read scout's response. I guess I am not the only one!

Come to think of it- I knit the Evangeline fingerless gloves without swatching at all- because they technically were sleeves. Since they were in the round I slipped them up to the daughter's elbow & knew they would fit.

02-21-2009, 07:33 PM
Can I count a sleeve as a swatch?


Why not? A lot of people do. :)