Sunday, December 10, 2006

Le gauge swatch.

All rightie. The gauge swatch. Here is our chart:


You can click on it to get a larger version, then print it out (if you use a black and white printer, make sure to outline the pattern repeat with a colored pencil or something). Keep it near you at all times. Sleep with it under your pillow. Hug it regularly. Light candles to it. It's all you're getting from me in the way of a pattern. The rest you're doing yourself. (You, in the corner, quit hyper-ventilating. I'm going to lead you through it.)

Now. As you can see, the pattern repeat is 18 stitches, plus one (to put the vertical stripe on both sides and make it all nice and symmetrical - think about it). I also like to put two stitches at either side of the gauge swatch as a selvedge. So three pattern repeats, plus the extra stitch, plus four selvedge stitches:
(3x18)+1+4=59. (If math makes your head swim, just take my word for it.)

Using some kind of provisional cast-on (in this case, 'provisional cast-on' means anything that you can pick out again; I used a long tail cast-on, with smooth cotton yarn for the tail - a crochet cast-on is also good, or you can go crazy and use an actual provisional cast-on), cast on 59 stitches.

Using BOTH YARNS, knit into the back of the first two stitches. (This locks in the yarn and keeps things neat and in place.) Then knit the first row of the chart, doing three pattern repeats (plus the soild vertical stripe stich at the end), then knit into the back of the last two stitches with both strands of yarn to lock them into place.

Then cut the yarn.

Then skoootch the stitches back over to the other side of the needle so you're ready to start knitting on the right side of the fabric again:

Repeat this, working from the chart and cutting the yarn at the end of each row, pushing the stitches back over to work them on the right side again. Do at least two pattern repeats, or about thirty rows.

By keeping the right side facing you, you're essentially knitting this gauge swatch in the round. Since you're knitting the jacket in the round, that's how you want to do it. Make sense? Good.

When you're finished, DO NOT BIND OFF. Get a smooth, thin yarn (whatever you used for your provisional cast-on would be fine), and just run it through the stitches to keep them from unraveling. Leave a lot of space for the stitches to move around during the washing process; you want them to be able to spread out or shrink as they like. Do the same for the cast-on; pick out the stitches and put them all on another strand.

Then hand-wash your swatch, and leave it to air dry, spread flat.

Next up, measurement and calculating jacket circumference.


April said...


I'm doomed already.

Bells said...

I feel the same April. I have read about such things....that whole long tail thing just freaks me out. I must overcome it. I really must.

Julie said...



Come on, you guys.

Bells said...

but if you've only ever done regular cast on, this provisional thing etc is new and scary. I have books. I have the internet. I'll figure it out!

have a bit of sympathy for the girls who've only been knitting for 2-3 years - like me! :-)

April said...


It's my jacket, I can whine if I want to.

Whine if I want to ...
Whine if I want to ...
You would whine too ...
Provisional cast-on
Boo hoo.

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