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December 09, 2017



I swatch for sweaters and for projects were gauge and amount of yarn is critical. Otherwise I just knit!


I swatch for sweaters, but nothing else. Shawls or accessories I can usually start and rip back if the gauge is off. I think after years of knitting, though, you get an idea of where a project should start.


I don't swatch either. Since I make mostly shawls and socks, it doesn't really matter. However, I have just bought yarn to make myself a cardigan. Will have to think about swatching.


I never swatch. I've paid the price but I'd rather just get on with it!


I do not like to swatch and rarely do it- only for sweaters.

Alecia Helton

I don’t swatch for socks and shawls (most of what I knit). I do swatch for garments that must fit, but would rather not.


I swatch for everything that needs to fit well-pretty much everything except shawls.

Robin V

I swatch when I'm using a different weight of yarn than suggested, so I can figure out the necessary changes. I swatch when a pattern (such as a lace repeat) seems confusing, so I can get it right before tackling the project. The Twinset Knitter's say that "a hat is a swatch," so I don't usually swatch for a hat - but after I've gotten it started, I often but it on waste yarn so I can see if it's going to be a good size.

Teresa McP

I mostly knit socks, so I never swatch!


I'm not a swatcher except, occasionally, when I'm designing a pattern and I want to see how the stitch pattern will work.

JoAnne B

I always swatch for sweaters. Never for socks and shawls. I have ripped out baby afghans when I didn't like the feel and it's worth it. Often the feel is most important.

Kimberly Townsend

I swatch for garments that need a good fit and I'll swatch if I'm using a different yarn than called for but not for socks or mittens ( which I make a lot of).


I do not swatch. I mostly knit hats, socks and blankets. I guess if/when I try a sweater, then I might swatch!


I have swatched, but I have hard time not feeling like it is a waste of time. This is mostly my own fault. It took a few swatch failures to realize this (for example swatching flat does not equal sweater in the round). One swatch idea I have tried that I really liked is knitting sleeves first as your swatch. Another is to knit a baby or child size in the pattern before casting on for a larger size. It helps make me feel like the effort is worth my limited amount of knitting time. With that being said, I do have 2-3 projects that I need to frog because of guage issues. Live (Knit) and learn!

Rebecca Snyder

I never swatch as I mostly knit socks. When I knit other things, I'll try make an educated guess about what gauge I'll get. I'm ok re-starting a project a few times to get my preferred result. And besides, part of the beauty of knitting is the ability to fix those kind of mistakes!


I don't swatch for socks, I'm familiar enough with yarns to know the needles required.. if it starts to look like it won't fit the gauge after about 6 cm, then I will just start again. If I'm making garments though, I will swatch.

Molly McGinnis

When I first learned to knit I was told I HAD to swatch everything. I always thought it was really bad that I never did- if you were to ask me, I probably wouldn't own up to it :) After reading the past few comments I feel like I can finally come clean- I've hardly ever make a swatch!

Stephanie Schenker

I never swatch on socks but I always swatch for sweaters! I always knit my socks on a size 1 needle. Even if the pattern calls for something else. I like how tight the stitches are on size 1. I find you just can’t do that with a sweater! This is probably why I knit so many socks!


I very rarely swatch as I mostly knit shawls, cowls, hats and socks. The only time I will swatch is if I am going to knit a sweater.

Heather Anderson

Ive never swatched... does that make me a bad person!? Merry Christmas everyone!


I am a swatch hater! 😡 I always want to start the new project. Who wants to waste time swatching? But I know there are some things that you need to do it for (sweaters, some hats,etc.). So I swatch when I think it needs it and I hate every minute of it.

Marianne Griffith

I swatch for sweaters ☺️

Bonnie Wright

I never swatch although I know that I should. So far this has not created a problem

Barbara W

I don't swatch, but I haven't made anything (so far) that I would be concerned with it "fitting". When I make the commitment to a sweater, I'll definitely swatch!


I only swatch for swaeters. I don't make that many, so don't need to do it alot.

Mary A

Shawls and sock so no swatching, but like toe up socks so I know they fit.


I swatch for sweaters, hats, and mittens except when I've done the pattern before and know what to expect. I don't swatch for socks, scarves and blankets.


For a sweater-yes. For a shawl only, only if I'm not sure I'll like the fabric.

Leigh Anne Staton

I am known to my knit group as the one who makes things twice. I usually assume I have gauge and then have to rip it all out and start over. I think I’ve leaned my lesson. Finally. Lol

Alex wang

I am guilty of not swatching. I know I should, but.....

June Costello

I may be sorry someday, but I'm not a swatcher. I primarily knit items that gauge does not matter.

Debbie Hallamek

I only swatch for sweaters. For accessories I don't bother.


Nope, not a swatch in sight here. Pretty much for the same reasons you listed.


I search for bigger projects like sweaters. Though I apparently still don't understand my body well enough to pick the right size. But small stuff, no. No sock, hat, it shawl swatches.

Toni Clark

I only swatch when I make big projects like sweaters. No need for socks swatch!


Generally no swatching for me either. With socks and shawls and blankets it's just not an issue.

Ann Knepper

I haven't ever swatches but maybe I should?

Karen Caron

Foe me it depends what the project is. I would definitely swatch for a sweater but don't bother for socks, mittens or other small projects.

Neecy Rohrs

I do not swatch tried and true patterns when I use comparable yarn ie socks, blankets, shawls. I do a swatch when making sweaters, jackets, dresses, skirts, etc. Before I took a class at Vogue Knitting Live, I was in the "I Hate Swatching" camp. He explained that we have a lot of time and money invested in these projects, we should want them to look and feel their best. You cannot do one of those little, dinky swatches either. You must get the true gauge and feel of the yarn for your project. How will it drape and behave in a larger setting? He is right!!!


I don’t swatch. I usually check gauge on sweaters after I’ve knitted a few rows.

Dayna Lee

I don't swatch simply because I don't knit things that require it - socks, scarves, shawls. Perhaps if one day I get adventurous and try one of the many sweater patterns I have I might, but somehow I doubt it, lol


Mostly not since I knit mostly for charity--it will fit someone! but if I have a limited amount of yarn and a project in mind I may do one.


I love to knit sweaters, so I do swatch. Over time I’ve actually learned to enjoy the swatching process and no longer think of it as a chore.

Ann Walsh

I swatch when sizing matters (socks, hats, sweaters) and I'm knitting with a new yarn and needle combination, or a pattern that is going to have different gauge than stockinette. I rarely get gauge with with recommended needle sizes. And I almost always use a different yarn that the pattern suggests.
I hate wasting the yarn for swathing, though so I try to make something useful.
For in the round, I'll make a wristband or cup cozy. For flat, I'll make a doll blanket or washcloth.


the only time i swatch is for sweaters. i just want to dive right into the pattern!


I have never swatched,but I've only made socks/hats/shawls and gotten lucky. When I start my first sweater, hopefully after Xmas, I will definitely swatch.


I'm solidly in the 'it depends' category. For a yarn I haven't worked with when I'm making something fitted? Yeah, I've got to. For socks, a shawl, or a hat. Nope, never going to happen!

Suzanne Carpenter

I really don't swatch unless it has to fit properly like a sweater. Otherwise I just want to START!!!!

Adele D

Swatch for sweaters a definite. Not usually for socks or shawls - but sometimes.


I rarely knit anything that needs to fit well - mostly I do shawls, hats and scarves. On that rare occasion when I try a sweater or something, I do swatch. I just bought myself a new swatch gauge, so maybe that will encourage me to swatch more often!

Caitlin A

I only swatch for garments where the fit matters - sweaters, vests, etc. Everything else? Nah. I'll start the project and if it looks like it's going to be too small, I'll rip back and start over. After all, being able to rip it out and start over without wasting anything but time is one of the best things about knitting!


I have knit a swatch but never have washed and blocked a swatch,
It seems my gauge is different when I knit so I usually don't bother.


Swatching is super important. I do it almost every time I start a new project. I mostly knit sweaters and it's essential for a good fit. I'm a bit less thorough when it comes to scarves, shawls, socks, and cowl--especially if it's a yarn I've used before.


I usually do not swatch. It seems like a waste of good knitting time,which there's never enough of! However, I have been known to on occasion, and I hate to admit, but it is usually worth the extra effort for sweaters.


I tend to cheat. Swatch is very small, but so far, no major problems. I really should be better at swatching!

Katie Marsh

I usually only swatch for sweaters, and I don't always do it then, because I've been lied to many times by a gauge swatch. I have better luck just diving in and trying things on and making adjustments as I knit.

Andrea Mundt

My only swatching is checking the gauge on the wrapper against the gauge on the pattern. I like to live dangerously!

Jenn H

its totally yarn and project dependent for me... Ill swatch with a new yarn to see how it behaves but i do t swatch for everything. I tend to remember how different designers knit too so i modify as needed but this makes me very designer loyal. .. I will swatch for a new designer/very fitted project


I knit a lot of socks, and I don’t swatch for them. I don’t swatch for shawls, either. But when I knit sweaters I DO swatch. And I wash the swatch, too. After doing all the work of knitting a sweater, I want it to fit me. Sometimes the swatching information helps me choose needle size, and sometimes it determines the sweater size I will knit.


I swatch most of the time. The exception: If I'm using the same brand of yarn for the same pattern/gauge (ie. socks), I just pick up my needles and start knitting.


I don’t like swatching but I do it for sweaters. It takes a lot of time to knit a sweater so I put the effort in to help get a better fit. Shawsl, socks and hats I just start knitting!


I swatch for sweater and for sample/test knits. Otherwise I usually don't. I'm a loose knitter which means I usually end up looking for scrap yarn to finish my shawls.


I swatch for sweaters but not for socks or lace scarfs. There a guess is all that is going to happen (will look at yardage and different gauge on the label to see whether I have enough yarn).


I swatch every time for sweaters and vests and hats. For shawls and socks, if I've used the yarn before and gotten the same gauge as the pattern requires, I usually won't re-swatch because I want to get to the real knitting!


I don't swatch for socks because I've knit enough pairs to know what my gauge will be. I don't usually swatch for scarves or shawls either, since small differences in size don't matter. I may or may not swatch for hats or mitts; those are small enough that I can tell if the size will be way off before I get too far into it.

I always, ALWAYS swatch for sweaters, and wash and block the swatch after.

Deborah Pogue

I always swatch for sweaters but not much else.

Brenda B

Nope. Not. At. All! But I also only knit small stuff like socks, hats, cowls and single skein scarves. I'd swatch if i ever plucked up the courage to try a sweater though, but for the small stuff I don't think it's critical.


I swatched for my sweaters, but not for socks or shawlettes. Socks are almost swatches themselves, plus the knitting in the round vs a flat swatch doesn't translate well. So I have a yes and no answer.


What's a swatch? :D I do sometimes "swatch" for sweaters, but for most everything else I dive right in. Socks especially, as I've got a recipe that works.


I rarely if ever swatch cause I am usually to anxious to get started. If the project is not working, then I frog.

Trina Mechling

I swatch IF I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO which is only in a blue moon. Its usually only for a sweater. Yes, I've paid the price in frogging things but I tend to frog if I don't like things.


I never swatch, I always feel guilty when doing a sweater and have to check my stitch count per inch.


I swatch depending on the project and how critical gauge is but just start knitting on shawls, scarves, and cowls.

Debra Cohen

I also knit mostly socks... with some scarfs, gloves, hats and mittens thrown in. My sweater knitting has been passable...and I have swatched a new yarn or needle for those only because it’s such a commitment of time and money if it doesn’t pan out.🧐

Tabitha Burks

I hardly ever swatch. I mostly knit simple projects for myself so I have no problem starting over if I mess up and need to start over again. However, I do swatch if a specific pattern that I want to use either requires it or highly recommends it. Also, when I am trying out a new stitch pattern from a video on Youtube, a book, or something else, I will swatch that pattern because I don't always know if I will end up making a project out of that pattern or not, sometimes I just like to see what different stitch patterns look like!


No I don't really swatch. If I'm knitting a sweater I start with the sleeves so if my gauge is off I don't have that much to re-knit. I have been knitting socks since forever and could probably knit them in my sleep (I wish) so no problems there.


Looks like I'm in good company in the it depends camp - I swatch only for different yarn than usual and/or end results highly dependent on fit. Most small articles are a swatch - don't mind frogging and starting over if way off. I was rather brave with a sweater recently and didn't swatch but it was a lacy top down raglan that I made my MIL try on several times. Luckily I'm close on gauge and it fits well - and if it stretches with wear it will still be good.


I don't usually swatch. I'm mostly knitting shawls at the moment and a pair of socks here and there.

Geraldine Scott

I must admit that I am not a swatcher. However, if I were to attempt a sweater, I would probably invest the time for that...


Whenever I start a new pattern I knit a gauge swatch. Although, when I knit plain vanilla socks for myself I don't swatch. Haven't attempted a large project like a sweater but I'm sure that I would swatch for something like that.


I only make a small swatch if the pattern isn’t clear about the weight of the wool used or the gauge.


It depends upon the project that I am making. If it is a scarf or a blanket or throw I do not swatch but for sweaters yes I usually do swatch.

Dana Snyder

I don’t swatch unless I’m forced to at my LYS. Lol! I guess it’s useful for a sweater but I rarely do it.


I dont really swatch. I knit mostly socks and scarves. If it is a big mistake I will frog and redo but for the most part I dont.


Swatch for sweaters for adults only. Baby items will fit eventually so no swatching. For hats and mitts I check the gauge after knitting a few inches to make sure they will fit and change needles as needed. Never swatch for cowls, socks and shawls. Just change needle size if I don’t like the fabric after I start.

Becky Gray

I’m a Sweater swatcher. And I make the swatch quite larger, 50 stitches with 4 stitches garter on each side and 4” of rows. Wash and block. This way you can measure the 50 stitches and get a good idea of your gauge. And the swatch becomes an insurance policy in case you run out of yarn

Laura Gabler

I have never swatched (I know - I’m bad). I knit socks, shawls, mittens and seamless sweaters. For the sweaters, I measure stitches per inch on the actual sweater to make sure I am close and I also mainly do top down so they can be tried on as I knit. Luckily my son is very close to my size but taller so when I make him a sweater, I basically knit it a little bit larger and longer.


Swatch?! Ha ha ha! Tried it and most times it just does not work for me. Personally wastes my knitting time. I just dive right in and adjust as I go. Makes for unique and wonderful items.

Jackie Taylor

I did swatch once for a cardigan I’m making. I’m not too sure I did right because the sweater seems small. As you can tell I haven’t finished it yet. I still need to do the front facings. I’m hoping blocking will get it to the right size. But other than that, no I don’t swatch .


Ashamedly I do not swatch , I just block it out if it is too small !


I swatch for some items: sweaters, to play with new yarn, to experiment with yarn I've used before, to check colours, textures, to dream about a project, etc. I don't generally swatch for hats, or if I know the results I'm going to get. Experience plays into it too; when you know how a yarn behaves on certain needles, and you have used it for all sorts of projects, those become your 'swatch'.


I swatch for garments but nothing else - even then I sort of use the 'close enough' rule!

Sandra Sprouse

I don’t think I have ever done a swatch, but I don’t make many garments.

Brenna Delosier

I like to live dangerously. I never swatch. I've only knit one sweater too big. 😃

Lisa B

For a long time I didn't but do now. The funny, or really not so funny, thing is it doesn't seem to help. My gauge is one thing on my swatch and something different on the item.

Nicole S

I don’t swatch, but I would if I was knitting adult-sized sweaters. For accessories, I try them on once I’ve done a bit of the patterned part so the whole thing is kind of a swatch.


I do (generally) for sweaters. Although I admit sometimes I just dive in...

Diane Nocivelli

I hate to swatch. I just jump right in and see how it goes!

Sara Hart

Whenever I get new yarn and am ready to start a new project, the last thing I want to do is swatch! If I’m doing a shawl, scarf or other similar project, I just start knitting, but if it’s a sweater, I’ve learned the value of a swatch. Definitely not my favorite thing to do, but very helpful in the end.


My first thought was heck no, I don't swatch! And for fit, I don't swatch. I'll just take it out and use different size needles. I mostly knit socks, mitts, scarves/cowls and hats so no swatching required. However, on the rare occasion I will knit up a few rows to see how the colors play out or if I'm making a toy and I want the fabric tight enough stuffing won't show through.

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