You’ve heard the phrase “gauge swatches don’t lie”. But what happens when you forget what needle size you used for a swatch? You take the time to knit a swatch, trying multiple needle sizes; wash and dry it. Then as you unpin it from your blocking board and admire it, you look down and see a big pile of knitting needles of various sizes piled together. Wait, which size needles did I use again? All that work swatching and now you have to guess at the needle size used.
This has happened to me more than a few times. Sometimes the amount of time from when I swatch to when I’m ready to start knitting a project is too long, and I just can’t remember which needles I used. To deal with this issue, I’ve started knitting a row of eyelets into each section of my knitted swatch. Each set of eyelets represents the needle size I used.
swatch knit with US 6, 5, and 7 knitting needles
If you’ve never knit eyelets before, it’s an easy thing to incorporate into a stockinette swatch.
- On the knit side, knit across a row until you’re ready to add some eyelets.
- [YO, K2tog] repeat until you’ve created the same number of eyelets as your needle size.
- Continue knitting to the end of your row.
- On the purl side of your swatch, purl across as your normally would. You should have the same number of stitches as the previous rows.
Do you swatch before every project? Or are there only certain types of projects you will swatch for? Tell us about your swatching habits in the comments.