It was a slow week which worked out fine since I was out of town. Again, I blame the weather! Who wants to work on swatches when the weather is so lovely?
TIP OF THE WEEK--MAKING A GAUGE SWATCH
The tip this week may not be of interest to knitters not taking the Basics course or doing the Masters program. However, this information would benefit any knitter. The importance of gauge cannot be overstated (if you want something to fit!) but most knitters give it very scant attention. I think the reason why is that we are so anxious to begin a project we skip this important step.
The way NOT to measure gauge is to cast on 20 or so stitches, knit a few rows, and then grab a measuring tape, mark off an inch and count the stitches. This simply is not accurate and does not work.
- The first step is to work the gauge swatch a few days before beginning the project. The ideal time to work a gauge swatch is BEFORE you finish your current project. You will be less likely to skip steps.
- Look at the gauge statement for the project. It will specify the number of stitches and rows measured over 4 inches. It should also indicate the stitch pattern.
- Cast on more than the number of stitches specified. Work more than the number of rows specified. If the pattern is cable or lace, you might want to add a few stitches for a border. It will make measuring the gauge easier.
- BLOCK THE SWATCH!!!!!!! Most skip this step. The gauge swatch should replicate how the stitch pattern will look on the finished project. This is particularly important for cables and lace.
- Mark the swatch for measurement.
- Keep the swatch. Don't rip it out. You might find it useful later!
|Garter Stitch with ribbing|
The video shows how the markers were placed for these swatches: Placing Markers for Gauge video. Next week's tip will cover counting stitches and rows and measuring the swatches.
I'm still working on the Decoration Day sweater. I've finished and blocked the sweater body and am now working on Sleeve 1. I went ahead and sewed the shoulder seams.
The sleeves have the same border design as the sweater body, minus the fish. I hope to finish up Sleeve 1 and most of Sleeve 2 next week.