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How to Knit & Measure a Gauge Swatch

Updated: Apr 19, 2019

Do you hate knitting a gauge swatch? Do you feel like it's not worth it"? Takes too much time? Isn't necessary? That was me awhile ago. Honestly, when I'm making beanies, t's not such a big deal but when you're making garments and you want it to fit, a gauge swatch is crucial.

Even if you're off by 1 stitch with the gauge for a pattern... It's going to make a huge difference over the whole garment.

I am working on a new project with Lion Brand's new Color Made Easy (100% Bulky Acrylic) Yarn. I'm thinking of some sweater or something (not sure yet!) but before I start designing, I needed to make a gauge swatch.

Typically, you will make a 4x4 gauge swatch. It doesn't have to be perfectly 4x4. How do you figure out how many stitches to cast on for 4"? This was a shock for me haha when I first learned that right on the yarn label, they give you a gauge for a specific needles size. Yeah? Mind-blowing how much info is on the yarn label huh? So, to be safe you should cast on 10+ more stitches than what it indicates for a 4x4.

For this yarn, it recommended 6.5mm knitting needles. For my project, I planned to use a 8mm so that's what I'll use to knit my gauge. The label indicates that there's 13 stitches and 20 rows. So I cast on 23 (13 + 10 additional stitches).

I also decided to include garter stitch borders to help with curling but it's pretty! Watch video for more info on that!


Cast on the number of its indicated on yarn label + 10 or more

Row 1-4 Knit every stitch

Row 5 and all right side rows: Knit all stitches

Row 6 and all wrong side rows: k3, purl all stitches until last 3, k3.

Repeat Rows 5 & 6 until your swatch measures slightly over 4"

REPEAT ROWS 1-4 for the garter stitch rows. Cast off/Bind off.

After you finish knitting your gauge swatch, wash it the way you would with whtever it is that you're making. I plan to hand wash my piece and lay it flat to dry so that's what I did for my swatch. Check out my post on trying the Eucalan Gentle wash here!

After it dried, it was time to measure it! I have a nifty ruler that I purchased rom Etsy made specifically for this purpose! The inside of the ruler is a 4x4 inch block. You can use a ruler or tape measure.

You can place a pin on the stitches measuring 4" and then count how many stitches are within the 4". Then measure it up for the rows.

My measurement was 12 stitches and 17 rows for 4".

Please visit any of my shops if you would like to purchase any of my patterns in a convenient tri-fold format for on-the-go crocheting/knitting. I also have a variety of free patterns available!


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