Next time I tell myself, “measure the gauge BEFORE you wash and dry the swatch”... thought of it two or three times and then promptly forgot…ah well…swatching one more time.

With yarns that are prone to shrink I:

  1. knit the swatch
  2. measure the gauge
  3. wash and dry the swatch
  4. re-measure the gauge

I then use the “washed gauge” when I calculate the stitch numbers for the design.

I view measuring the before and after gauge as absolutely necessary….if there is significant shrinkage in the yarn, it has to be accommodated in the design and I like to let knitters of my patterns know if the measurements of the initially knit garment and the washed garment are going to differ greatly i.e. it may look too long as you knit it, but once you wash it it’ll be just right!

Swatches of Things to come:
These two swatches are for a new project I’m plannning — ok, the yarn talked to me while I was walking down the aisle of the store 😉

I’ve come to really, really like the apple green. It’s actually a Bernat Handcrafters 100% Cotton. In the past this yarn has been a little rough, I thought, but these skeins were quite soft. I tried the swatch with 3.25mm needles but it was too tight and very hard to knit. I changed to a 3.75mm and it was much easier to knit and made a nice soft fabric.

The black is Lion Brand Cotton Ease, a 50 / 50 blend of cotton and acrylic. Very soft. Looking forward to working with that one. I knit this swatch on 4mm needles and that worked well.

Buttons:
These buttons I found at my local favourite second-time-around store — Guy’s Frenchy’s — for 35 cents a bag! It is also a great source of sweaters to unravel and reknit. Treasures!

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