Let’s get some yarn on the needles!
Choose your favorite worsted or DK weight yarn from Valley Yarns and swatch on different needles until you’ve got 5 sts per inch. I swatched 4 different Valley Yarns (Northfield, Sunderland, Colrain and Valley Superwash) and found that I got 5 sts per inch on a US size 7/4.5mm needle, so I would recommend that you start there.
Because this hat is worked in the round you’ll want to swatch in the same manner!
Cast 30 sts onto your circular needles, or one dpn.
*Slide your stitches to the right-hand side of the needle.
Gently bring your working yarn across the back of the work, making sure to leave plenty of slack, and knit the next row of stitches.
Repeat from *
Continue in this manner till the swatch measures 4” from the cast on edge.
Loosely cast off and block your swatch! Here’s a quick tutorial on swatching with this method.
Time to Block!
Not sure about blocking? Take a look at the care instructions on your ballband.
Machine Wash Regular? – Toss that swatch in the machine!
Hand Wash? – Give it a gentle soak and swish in Eucalan, then pin it to dry without too much tension on the stitches.
Dry Clean? – Steam is your friend, pin your swatch out and steam away.
The key with blocking and washing your swatch is to treat it the EXACT SAME way you plan to treat your finished knit.
Now to check your gauge!
Now that you’ve blocked you can measure for gauge.
DO NOT MEASURE FOR GAUGE UNTIL AFTER YOUR SWATCH HAS BEEN BLOCKED AND DRIED! Seriously, please.
Did you measure 5 sts per inch? Yes – then please proceed! (Make sure your swatch is no longer pinned in place when you measure!)
No – Then you’ll need to re-swatch
If you got more than 5 sts per inch you need a bigger needle. Try swatching on a US 8.
If you got less than 5 sts per inch you need a smaller needle. Try swatching on a US 6.
Keep swatching until you get to 5 sts per inch!
You may need to make several swatches to get the right gauge. It’s totally worth it because you’ll end up with a hat that FITS! And don’t worry about row gauge, you’ll be working the hat length to measurements.
This is a good time to mention that I like to swatch with 3 different needles. Start with the size smaller than you think you’ll need, the size you’re pretty sure you’ll get gauge with, and the next size bigger and purl a row of stitches between each section for a visual break. This way if your gauge is off by just a touch you’re only swatching and blocking once. I know it may seem silly to make a swatch that’s three times as big as you need but if you have to make a swatch anyway, and you really do (every time!), why not make one that works for you.
Next week we cast on our hats! Here’s a sneak peek of some of the CYOA Hats that our staff knit up!
Be sure to post your pics to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tag it with #chooseyourownadventure #WEBSKAL #Myhatadventure #CYOAKAL