How to Measure a Gauge Swatch
8 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Knitting
In knitting and crochet, accuracy counts when measuring your gauge swatch. Before you measure your gauge swatch, wash and block it, if that's what you'd do for the completed project. Next, smooth out the swatch on a flat surface, like a blocking or ironing board. Pin down the edges of the gauge swatch if they’re curling in, and be careful not to stretch your swatch.
For stitches, lay a ruler along a row of stitches and mark the beginning and end of 4 inches with pins.
If your second pin lands at half a stitch, don’t be tempted to stretch or slightly squish your fabric to make the 4 inches end on a whole stitch.
Note the number of stitches in 4 inches.
Fractions and all!
For rows, lay your ruler along a vertical line of stitches.
Align the bottom of the ruler with the bottom of a stitch or row.
Put a pin in to show where the first stitch begins, then place another pin 4 inches up.
This step marks off the area that will represent your gauge.
Count the stitches between the pins and note the number of rows.
Check to see if your 4-inch gauge matches the one in the pattern.
If your gauge swatch doesn’t match the one specified in the pattern you want to use and you want your project to come out the same size as the pattern measures, change the needle size you’re working on and make another swatch. If your first swatch is smaller than specified, then use larger needles. If your swatch is larger than specified, use smaller needles.