January 27th, 2018

Ready, Set, Knit! Show 516: Kathy Talks With Marly Bird

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This week, Kathy is talking with Marly Bird! Marly is a knitting and crochet teacher, YouTuber and hosts her own podcast, YarnThing! Listen to hear more about Marly, her collaboration with Red Heart, and don’t forget to sign up for her classes at Stitches West!

For a list of Marly Bird classes at Stitches West, click here!

 

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Welcome!
We’re excited to welcome Julie Turjoman as our new Design Manager. We’re thrilled to have her on the team and can’t wait to share new designs with you!

Upcoming Events

Come and join us for the annual Big Game Day Escape at WEBS on Sunday, February 4th from 12-4! Bring your knitting, crocheting, spinning wheel, or even your rigid heddle loom! We’ll have plenty of snacks and prizes, as well as a yarn tasting from Lana Grossa – and it’s totally free! Just sign up here to let us know you’re coming!

WEBs will be at Stitches West in San Jose, California from February 22nd through 25th! Click here to find out which booths we’ll be at!

Reminders

Do you have a crafting resolution for 2018? We sure do! Tag your posts #WEBSfiberfollowthrough for a chance to be featured!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

January 26th, 2018

#WEBSFiberFollowThrough: January Wrap-Up

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Can you believe that the first month of 2018 is almost over? We sure can’t!

Last month,  we decided to make a few crafting resolutions, and now, one month later, we’re here with a couple of updates!

Liz L., our Social Media Coordinator  is finishing January with a newly finished sweater she started this fall. She says, “this month I finally finished a gray raglan sweater I started making as part of WEBS’s Top Down Raglan Sweater class back in October. I had to rip out the sleeves and body a couple of times to get the fit just right, so it feels extra good that it’s finally done (and I’m wearing it as I write this!). I knit it in Valley Yarns Northampton and I’m looking forward to making more sweaters like this one but swapping out the stitch pattern on the yoke!”

Andrea, our Email Marketing Coordinator has been hard at work knitting Rowan’s Earth Stripe Wrap. It’s a free pattern, and you can pick it up here!

And as for me, I’m slowly picking at a sweater that I began in October during a Design Your Own Aran Sweater class knit in Cascade Ecological Wool. I definitely wanted a traditional sweater, and have been using patterns out of Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook – an invaluable resource if you’re like me and love charted and written patterns. I had put it down for almost a month, but I am totally compelled to finish it! This sweater has been a labor of love, and I can’t wait to wear it!

Are you working along with us? Let’s keep each other accountable and inspired! Use the hashtag #WEBSFiberFollowThrough on Instagram to show us your projects and for a chance to be featured in our feed!

January 20th, 2018

Ready, Set, Knit! Show 515: Kathy Talks With Adventure du Jour Designs

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This week, Kathy is chatting with Debbi Stone and Marcy Vandale of Adventure du Jour Designs! Debbi and Marcy have just released their latest collection of designs: Knits in THE City 3! This year, they designed a special sweater inspired by Hoda Kotb’s daughter, Haley Joy! Listen to hear more about Debbi and Marcy, their design inspirations, and to find out more about Knits in THE City 3!

Steve’s Yarn Picks:

Welcome!
We’re excited to welcome Julie Turjoman as our new Design Manager. We’re thrilled to have her on the team and can’t wait to share new designs with you!

Upcoming Events

Come and join us for the annual Big Game Day Escape at WEBS on Sunday, February 4th from 12-4! Bring your knitting, crocheting, spinning wheel, or even your rigid heddle loom! We’ll have plenty of snacks and prizes, as well as a yarn tasting from Lana Grossa – and it’s totally free! Just sign up here to let us know you’re coming!

WEBs will be at Stitches West in San Jose, California from February 22nd through 25th! Click here to find out which booths we’ll be at!

Reminders

Do you have a crafting resolution for 2018? We sure do! Tag your posts #WEBSfiberfollowthrough for a chance to be featured!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

January 19th, 2018

5 New Colors of Valley Yarns Peru!

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New year, new yarn colors!

Peru, one of our absolute favorites in the Valley Yarns line has gotten 5 new additions for 2018! This soft and luxurious chainette constructed blend of baby alpaca, Merino wool, and nylon has quickly become a go-to worsted weight pick for many of us here at WEBS. Whether you knit or crochet, Peru is a warm and squishy option for cold-weather garments and accessories.

Keep reading to learn more about each new colorway and to see our picks for new color combinations!

Fawn
Fawn is a rich neutral tan. It would pair wonderfully with any color of Peru!

Blue Tourmaline
Blue Tourmaline is a truly unique color – it’s a bright teal with a hint of red blended into the fibers, muting it ever so slightly.

Lichen
Lichen is a gorgeous heathered sage green colorway. It’s a fantastic color for spring garments!

Berry Compote
A bright, warm purple with a hint of pink, Berry Compote is perfect for a feminine sweater or top.

Charcoal
The darkest color of Peru, Charcoal is a rich, dark gray. Pick this color as a background for brights or neutrals.

What are your favorite color combos? Were there any that we missed? Let us know!

And if you have any Peru in your stash that you’re dying to use in 2018, why don’t you join us on Instagram? In 2018 we’re doing a WEBs Fiber Follow Through where we craft through our New Year’s resolutions! It’s not too late to play along – tag #WEBSFiberFollowThrough for a chance to be featured in our feed!

January 12th, 2018

5 Twist Collective Patterns To Knit In 2018

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The Winter 2018 issue of Twist Collective is finally here and full of gorgeous knitting patterns for sweaters, hats, scarves, and mittens! But how do you choose what to knit first? I pulled five of my favorite patterns from the new issue to help give you some inspiration and get started on some new projects in 2018! Do you need some creative accountability? Check out Marykate’s post on the #WEBSFiberFollowThrough and join us on social media for a year of fiber fun!

Beringer Pullover Sweater Kit

Twist Collective Beringer Knit Pullover Sweater Pattern

Designed by Quenna Lee

Who doesn’t love a gorgeous sweater in a fun, tweedy yarn? This sweater immediately stood out to me as a classic when I first flipped through the new Twist issue. I love the simple cables up the front and the pretty details at the cuff and hemline. Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Tweed Superwash also comes in the cutest color palette! It reminds me of the fun speckled yarns that are all the rage right now, but in a more subtle aesthetic.

Thunderbolt Bottom Up Sweater Pattern

Twist Collective Thunderbolt Knit Pullover Sweater Pattern

Designed by Cheryl Burke

I am absolutely smitten with the colorwork on the yoke of the Thunderbolt sweater! This is for all you color lovers out there. It’s another pullover knit from the bottom up with some short row shaping at the back of the neck to give the collar some additional shaping. The fun pattern is achieved with rows of mirrored left and right leaning ribbing, which should also make for some fun knitting after working the stockinette body and sleeves. Knit up in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool this sweater is also guaranteed to be super soft! (And since I’m the model in this picture, I can vouch for that!)

Cabrillo Knit Hat, Mittens, & Cowl Set

Twist Collective Cabrillo Knit Hat Mittens Cowl Pattern

Designed by Juliana Lustenader

The adorable Cabrillo set is so soft and will knit up in a flash in the gorgeously bulky Fibre Co.’s Tundra! The kit comes with the colors pictured in the finished set, but there are several beautiful combinations you can put together with Tundra! If I were going to knit this set, I would choose the three playful colors on the left: Sockeye Salmon, Snowdrift, and Blue Lagoon.

Yojimbo Knit Shawl

Twist Collective Yojimbo Knit Shawl Pattern

Designed by Nancy Vandivert

The Yojimbo shawl may be knit in Valley Yarns Charlemont, but either way it would be one of my favorite pieces in this issue. I love anything with a bold geometric motif and a fun to knit stitch pattern and Yojimbo has both! This gorgeous shawl is achieved with a slipped stitch mosaic color work pattern and finished off with a bold intarsia edge. The kit comes with the colors pictured in the finished garment, but I pulled a few more options so you could get creative and change up the blue to be whatever color would fit your wardrobe best!

Mill Creek Hat & Cowl Knitting Kit

Twist Collective Mill Creek Knit Hat Cowl Pattern

Designed by Sierra Morningstar

How cute is the playful reindeer motif on this set?! I’m definitely going to knit up a few of these for Christmas gifts next year. They’re the perfect mix of playful, cozy, and cool! It’s the perfect style for someone who loves a little bit of cutesy mixed in with their bold patterns!

What are your favorite patterns from the Twist Collective Winter 2018 issue?

January 6th, 2018

Ready, Set, Knit! Show 514: Kathy Talks With Kate Gilbert

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This week, Kathy chats with Kate Gilbert about the new issue of Twist Collective and the Framework Video KAL. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you take a look at the latest issue of Twist Collective here.

You can purchase kits with the yarn and pattern at yarn.com!
Steve’s Yarn Picks
Twist Collective Yojimbo Kit
Baah Yarn Savannah
Great Adirondack Chinchilla
Katia Air Lux

Welcome!
We’re excited to welcome Julie Turjoman as our new Design Manager. We’re thrilled to have her on the team and can’t wait to share new designs with you!

Upcoming Events
Do you have a crafting resolution for 2018? We sure do! Tag your posts #WEBSfiberfollowthrough for a chance to be featured!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

January 5th, 2018

5 Patterns To Knit & Crochet Right Now!

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If you’re like us, you may have gone overboard during our Year End Sale. Or maybe you received a WEBS gift card and bought a ton of new yarns at a fantastic price with no pattern in mind. If you’re in need of a refresh, we have plenty of inspo to help you start off 2018. Here are some of our picks!

1. If you treated yourself to a worsted weight superwash, like Madelinetosh Vintage, Lyrical Knit’s I Am Groot sweater is the perfect pattern to compliment a rich, hand dyed yarn. Oversized, seamless, and accented with a panel of delicate cables, I Am Groot is a great option for winter knitting.

2. One of our favorite yarns for kid’s projects and accessories, Conway + Bliss Lolli, comes in a wide range of bright colors, with a neon burst throughout the strand, which kicks classic pieces up a notch. Try knitting the Colour Block Sweater for your favorite tween.

3. The soft, painterly colors of Juniper Moon Farm Findley DK Dappled would look extraordinary knit up in a lace shawl like Tin Can Knits’ Sunflower Shawl. One of the best things about this pattern is that it includes instructions for lighter weight shawls as well – perfect for using up additional yarns!

 

4. We’re loving Vickie Howell’s Super Bulky Baby Blanket crocheted in Valley Superwash Super Bulky. With so many vivid and neutral colors to choose from, this is the perfect statement piece to work on this winter – and a quick crochet project to boot! Add a few more colors, and you’ll have an adorable throw to accent your sofa! 

 

5. For all of you crocheters out there who love gradient projects as much as we do, we have the Transition Shawl from Kira K. Designs. If you’re looking for something beautiful to create with that cake of Scheepjes Whirl you’ve been eyeing, then this is the project for you! Look at that lace edging!

 

What are you working on right now? Be sure to tag @WEBSFiberFollowThrough to show us your WIPs and FOs – you may even be featured!

December 30th, 2017

Ready, Set, Knit! Show 513: Kathy Talks With Carol Sulcoski

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This week, Kathy is sitting down for her annual chat with Carol Sulcoski! Carol is an author, teacher, and knitwear designer, and every year, she and Kathy get together to reflect on their favorite knitting trends of the past year. In 2017, it was all about gradient yarns and ombres, as well as more traditional Lopi and Icelandic knits. Listen to find out what their 2018 knitting predictions are!

Steve’s Yarn Picks of the Week:

Reminders: 

We’ve teamed up with Northampton Brewery for Knit and Crochet Nites every Tuesday from 5:30 until 8! Come grab a beer or a refreshing drink, a snack, and spend some time with like minded crafters! We’ll have prizes and goodies, so don’t miss out! We’ll be back on January 9th!

The 2017 Holiday Catalog is LIVE! Click here to view our gorgeous collection of yarns and patterns for this holiday season!

Upcoming Events

Do you have a crafting resolution for 2018? We sure do! Tag your posts #WEBSfiberfollowthrough for a chance to be featured!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for lots of great new products, contests and fun!

Check out all of our upcoming Events here.

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

December 29th, 2017

WEBS Fiber Follow Through: 2018 Crafting Resolutions

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New year, who dis? #WEBSFiberFollowThrough, that’s who! 

2018 is coming, and at WEBS we are all about making new resolutions – especially those that have to do with yarn. Whether we want to knit more, work through our stashes, or learn a new technique, a new year is the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf, and pick up your needles, hook, drop spindle . . . you get the idea.

Back in 2013, Dena, our e-Commerce Marketing Manager, wrote a blog series that took us through each day in January with a different tip or trick to keep us organized and on track. The 31 Days to Get Organized series is an invaluable resource when it comes to considering all the ways to streamline your fiber artistry. Now, five years later, we’re taking it up a notch and setting realistic goals for ourselves. I asked a few of my coworkers if they have any crafty resolutions for 2018.

For her New Year’s resolution, Dena says, “I want to pick up my needles every day in 2018. When life gets busy, taking the time to knit drops off. Knitting is good for my brain and makes me happy. So I want to commit to just 15 minutes of knitting every day. Knitting baby steps will turn into forward progress on my WIPs. #kniteveryday.” So much can be accomplished in just 15 minutes a day – in a week, that’s almost almost two hours of knitting, which really adds up!

Mittens knit by Abby in Spincycle Yarns Knit Fast Dye Young

Jess, one of our customer service representatives says, “I have a boring typical resolution to use my stash and not add to it.  Only buy yarn with projects to make it with. I also resolve to finish one of my projects that has been in time out for quite some time now!” 

Andrea, our Email Marketing Coordinator also wants to finish all of her works in progress. She told me, “I have 12 or so, some of which are 10 years old. I’m hoping that by doing this, I’ll finally rid myself of ‘start-itis guilt’.” We all know that guilty feeling of starting a new project while there are  still a few (or more) sitting on our needles. Even though most of us knit for our own enjoyment, it’s a tough feeling to shake – I have multiple projects myself that I should probably frog, wash the yarn, and then reskein. 

And as for me, I am always hoping to finish a set number of items in a year, like three sweaters, two shawls, and 4 pairs of socks. It rarely happens, but a girl can dream. In 2017, most of my knitting was for WEBS – a shawl, a blanket, a cowl, and many, many swatches. I did manage to complete several weaving projects, a Find Your Fade shawl by Andrea Mowry, as well as a few hats and most of a sweater. This coming year, though, I’d like to consciously work through my stash.

Marykate’s Find Your Fade Shawl by Andrea Mowry knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

Working at WEBS is definitely dangerous if you’re a fiber junkie like me.  With all of the new and exciting yarns, patterns, and accessories coming through on a daily basis, I can hardly go two weeks without coming home with something. For the most part, I try to keep my stash organized. Since working here, I rarely buy without a project in mind, but of course things wind up at my desk that I absolutely NEED! Wildwood Yarns Superwash DK Hand Dyed by Madelinetosh and the Ziggy Stardust Cowl Kit from Freia and Tanis Grey are two items that recently followed me home. Still, like a lot of us,  I feel kinda guilty buying more yarn when I have SO MUCH at home.

This fall, I got rid of a TON of yarn. Scraps I didn’t know what to do with, colors that didn’t excite me, pilled/felted/cat-chewed bits and hunks of unidentified yarns and projects went straight into a garbage bag. Full or nearly full skeins of nicer yarns went to work friends. All of my yarn (with a few exceptions) fits neatly into a set of shelves. With everything on display, sitting pretty and looking organized, I really don’t have an excuse to not use my stash!

What I’ve come up with is a new system, borrowing from Dena’s January 10th, 2013 blog post, “Tracking Your Yarn Stash”. Dena talks about using Ravelry, Excel, and other programs to keep an inventory of what’s in your stash at home. Personally, I think a Google doc or an Excel spreadsheet work best for my needs. I can organize what I have in any way that I choose, and it’s easy to update and switch around.

To start, I’ve been tracking the brand name, yarn name, weight, color, and color family – just like Ravelry. I can also easily rearrange the order in which yarns appear, but I have them organized by planned project. Another rule of thumb I have is to store yarn with the pattern, or in a box with the name of the intended pattern written somewhere on it. It’s been helping me to be less disorganized, and I feel like there will be less of a chance that I’ll see a single skein and ask myself, “Why did I buy this?”

I’ve also listed the quantity I have on hand of each color, the date of purchase if I know it, where it came from, as well as the intended pattern. I also would like to put a link to the finished project on Ravelry.

I also added a couple of extra tabs at the bottom to organize fiber and any patterns or books that I don’t currently have yarns for, but would like to knit. I’m hoping that this will help me weed my ever-growing book and pattern collection, but we can get into that later . . .

What are your new year’s resolutions? Let’s all keep each other accountable in 2018! Tag your posts on Instagram as #WEBSfiberfollowthrough for a chance to be featured! 

And don’t forget – if you’re looking to add some stash to knit up in 2018, our Year End Sale is going on now through January 4th in store and online!

An Amethyst Brook afghan in the works.

 

December 27th, 2017

How To Swatch Series: Advanced Swatch Knitting Techniques

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We’ve covered a lot of ground so far in our how to swatch your knitting series. We’ve gone over the basics of why swatching is so important for a polished and professional-quality finished object. Then we showed you, step-by-step, how to create accurate swatches you can trust each time you start a project. For the final installment of our how to swatch series, we wanted to share a few advanced techniques that will really help you take your knitting to the next level.

Generally speaking, swatches are made using the stockinette stitch in order to find your stitch and row gauge. You need to know these numbers so you can be sure that your finished work will be the appropriate size. This is especially important when you’re making a garment because it will directly affect how well a piece fits you or the intended wearer.

So what happens when you’re working with a stitch pattern that could drastically alter the gauge of your project? If you’ve ever knit anything with cables or worked a fair isle pattern, you might have noticed that your final piece was a different size than you expected or that your gauge felt very different when you were working those particular sections.

If you’re following a pattern a lot of times this work has been done for you and the pattern might simply ask you to make a stockinette swatch because the author has already done some of the work for you within the pattern. She has determined that if you knit a stockinette swatch to the gauge she has referenced, your final project, even with the cables or the colorwork she has incorporated into the design, should work. However, sometimes patterns do instruct you to create gauge swatches in pattern so that you can be sure you’re going to knit the garment as accurately as possible. And if you’re interested in designing your own patterns, learning how to swatch in various ways will make designing easier. Your final patterns will be more successful because you will know for sure that all of your measurements are going to be accurate across all the sizes you’re supporting.

One important note before we start: All of these swatches should be blocked or washed as you plan to treat your finished garment. Whenever you find your gauge you should record the stitch and row gauge both before and after you block your swatches.

Swatching Knitted Colorwork

Your knitting tension can be affected by a variety of things including what you’re knitting. When you work with two or more yarns at a time in stockinette stitch, you might find that your tension is different from your regular stockinette knitting. This can be caused by how you’re holding the yarns as you change colors or even the different dyes in the yarns themselves. Regardless of why the change is happening, it’s good to be aware of it and make a swatch of one of the colorwork sections of your garment to be sure that your colorwork won’t throw off the fit of the final piece.

Check out this swatch of Madelinetosh DK:

advanced swatch knitting colorwork swatch

To find your gauge, you’d count your stitches the exact same way you would a regular stockinette gauge. Lay your ruler over the swatch and count how many stitches make up an inch both horizontally (stitch gauge) and vertically (row gauge). 

There are a couple of other reasons why swatching your colorwork knitting is important:

  • If you’re substituting colors, you can see how well they work together before committing to the entire piece
  • If you’re designing, you can see how the fabric feels when you work that particular colorwork pattern in the yarn you’ve chosen

Fair Isle is usually knit in the round because it makes the patterns easier to work when you’re only knitting the right side of the fabric. With that in mind, let’s talk about how to swatch in the round!

Swatching Knitting In the Round or the I-Cord Swatch

If you’re going to knit in the round it’s important to make your swatch in the round as well. When you knit stockinette stitches flat, you’re making knit stitches on the front of your work and purl stitches on the back. When you work stockinette in the round, however, you’re only making knit stitches on the right side. This affects your gauge because your tension when you’re purling can be different than your knitting tension.

When I knit a top-down raglan sweater, for example, anytime I need to knit flat—when I’m starting the back of the neck or working a short row bustline—I often need to use a different needle size to match the gauge of my circular knitting.

To make an i-cord swatch, cast on the same number of stitches you would use to make a regular flat swatch on circular needles or longer double pointed needles. Knit (or work your pattern or colorwork) to the end of the row. Then, keep the right side facing you and instead of turning, loosely carry your yarn all the way across the back of your work, slide your stitches all the way to the right, and begin working from the right side again. Repeat this for the entirety of your swatch. While you’re not making an i-cord, you can see that the technique is the same. The back of your swatch will look like this:

Valley Yarns Northamtpton Knit Swatch Round

Don’t worry about the first few stitches and the last few stitches. They’re going to be a bit loose and weird because you’re carrying the yarn around the back of the work instead of knitting a full circle. As long as you cast on plenty of stitches, they won’t affect your gauge.

When you carry the yarn, you need to use a little more than the length of the swatch to be able to knit across your swatch comfortably. If you don’t leave enough slack in this carried yarn, you’ll notice it will become difficult to knit across your swatch.

Once your swatch if finished, you can cast off and measure your gauge like it was any other swatch! Just make sure to stay towards the center of your work so your measurements are not thrown off by the looser stitches at either end.

Knitting Your Swatches In Pattern

Sometimes a pattern may instruct you to figure out your gauge for a repeated stitch pattern. And if you’re at all interested in designing knitwear, knowing how to find your gauge in a pattern will be integral to figuring out all of the other technical details required in pattern writing.

Finding this gauge is just like finding a stockinette gauge, it’s just a little trickier and you need to really know how to read your stitches. Since reading your stitches is such a great skill to have anyway, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of finding your stitch gauge for repeated pattern sections so you’ll be better equipped to figure out mistakes and solve them more easily.

Check out this swatch of Tahki Yarns Skinny Jeans. Look at how much wider the stitch pattern is compared to the stockinette stitches above it:

Tahki Skinny Jeans stockinette and stitch pattern swatch

If you wanted to knit a cute beach cover up with that open, meshy stitch pattern, but you only found your stockinette gauge and not your gauge for the mesh as well, your final garment would most likely end up way too large!

So how do you find your pattern gauge? The first thing to do is figure out whether or not you should knit your swatch flat or in the round. Sometimes the answer is both! For the top down raglan sweater I mentioned above, I needed to figure out both my round and flat gauge for a pattern I decided to use around the yoke as well my round and flat gauge for the stockinette stitches I planned to use for the body and sleeves.

Next is the tricky part, counting your stitches. Let’s take a look at this swatch of cables knit up in Madelinetosh Tosh DK. Cables are another great example of a stitch pattern with a gauge that will be quite different from its stockinette companion due to its tendency to pull in the fabric with each cross:

Tosh DK Swatching Cable Knitting

There are two other things to keep in mind when figuring out your stitch gauge and your row gauge for any kind of stitch pattern. How many stitches make up one complete set of the stitch pattern as you knit across?

Swatch Knitting Cable Knitting stitch gauge

The number of stitches between the two vertical lines indicates each repeat of the cable pattern.

And how many rows make up one complete set of the stitch pattern vertically?

Swatching Knitting Repeating Stitch Patterns Cable Knitting

The number of stitches between the two horizontal lines indicates the number of rows in the cable pattern.

You’ll need to keep these in mind if you’re designing or altering a pattern to make sure that the stitch pattern falls in the appropriate places on your garment. Knowing these will also make it easier to figure out your gauge for stitch patterns that are more difficult to count because of the arrangement of stitches within the pattern.

Finding your gauge in pattern is the same as finding your stockinette gauge, you just have to be more aware of where your stitches are. To find your stitch gauge, count your stitches across horizontally. To find your row gauge, count your stitches vertically. 

This is where it’s helpful to know how many stitches make each pattern set, because then you can double check your numbers and orient yourself within your pattern. And trust me, it will only get easier the more you practice and more fluent you become in reading your knitting.

What If My Stockinette Gauge Is Different From My Pattern Gauge?

It’s very likely that your stockinette gauge will be different from your stitch pattern or colorwork gauge, but that’s OK! Often if you’re following a pattern, you’ll just need to match your stockinette gauge (especially if no stitch pattern gauge is provided). In this case, as long as you’re achieving the suggested stockinette gauge, you can proceed with your project!

If you’re designing your own item or you have significant portions of your item knit with stockinette with other portions knit in a stitch pattern you’ll need to make some adjustments.

If your colorwork or stitch pattern gauge is different from your stockinette gauge, it’s important that both gauges match to ensure that each portion of your garment fits properly. For instance, if you’re only going to work a Fair Isle design on the yoke of a sweater, those stitches need to match the stockinette stitches you’re using on the sleeves and torso to avoid any fit issues. In this case, simply swatch your colorwork pattern until you achieve a gauge that matches the stockinette gauge you decided was appropriate for the piece. When it’s time to work the Fair Isle design, simply switch to the needle size you need to match the gauge of your stockinette stitches.

Since everyone knits differently, there really isn’t a rule of thumb here. Some people will need to size up and others will need to size down. If you swatch consistently, you’ll start learning your knitting patterns, so you’ll have a better idea of which needles to start with when you’re working on matching gauges.

Congratulations, you’re a swatching pro now! If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can check them out here:

We’ll have a crochet swatching series available in 2018 along with plenty of other posts that will help you improve your knitting, crocheting, spinning, and weaving! Let us know any other tips and techniques you’d like to learn in the comments!