Almost every knitting expert will tell you that gauge swatches are essential to knitting. Yet, almost every knitter will tell you that they hate making gauge swatches. Over the years, I have been gathering tips to make the swatching process less painful. I thought I might share some of them with you over the next few weeks.
Gauge Tip #1 – Remember your needle size
Here are some easy ways to remember your needle size in swatches that have been bound off.
- Tie a series of knots in the yarn tail that corresponds to the needle size that you used. If you used a size 5 needle for a particular swatch, tie 5 knots in the yarn tail.
- Make a series of eyelets (yo, k2tog) corresponding to the needle size. Six eyelets means size 6, seven eyelets means size 7, and so on.
- Make a series of purl bumps to correspond to your needle size. Depending on the size of your yarn, you might work (k1, p1) 5 times or (k2, p2) 5 times to indicate a size 5 needle.
- Attach notes to your swatch with an inventory tag. Write needle size and any other notes you want to remember and pin the string of the inventory tag to your knitting. Or easier still, knit the string of the tag into your knitting by sliding the tag string over a stitch just before you knit it.
Do you have any handy hints for how to keep up with what needle size you used for your gauge swatch? I would love for you to share them.