Do you knit gauge swatches? Gauge Swatches are those 4 inch by 4 inch squares that you knit before starting a new pattern. Before you begin a new pattern you’re supposed to take the yarn and the suggested needles and cast on a certain number of stitches and knit a certain number of rows. Then measure the swatch. It should be 4 inches by 4 inches.
Never heard of this? Grab a pattern and start reading it at the very beginning. It says something like “check gauge,” “save time, check your gauge.” The latest pattern that I plan on knitting suggests that I check my GAUGE! Yes, I think the pattern is yelling at me.
I bought yarn that I’ve never worked with before and it’s a new pattern. So for the first time in a long time I decided to check my gauge. Now I have a 4 inch by 4 inch square that curls up terribly. What I’ve learned by doing this is that this yarn knit in stockinette stitch will CURL UP! I’ve also learned that I did pick the correct needle size for this yarn and this pattern. If I’d skipped knitting the gauge swatch I’d be halfway done with my project! Which is why so many knitters are tempted to skip this step.
Now I’m left with a 4 inch by 4 inch square. I’ve heard a rumor that some people save these. Maybe they make blankets out of them? The few times I’ve done a gauge swatch I’ve simply unraveled it after measuring it. That way I have enough yarn for my pattern and am not wasting any of it.