Whether you’re looking for the easiest way to calculate your swatch gauge, learning how to do it correctly, or just trying to figure out the correct number of stitches and rows needed, I’ve got you covered!
Read the step-by-step method on how to measure your gauge the right way or you can just click the button below to go straight to the calculator.
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How to Measure a Swatch?
What you will need to measure your gauge:
- A swatch made with the stitch you intend to use that is bigger than 4 x 4 inches or 10 x 10 cm.
- A measuring tool ie ruler, measuring tape or a swatch ruler (see below)
Lay your swatch on a flat and even surface. Flatten it out gently by pressing on it firmly with your hand. Do not stretch the swatch!
Determine where you want to start your measurement. It is best to measure the first row at the top, because this will include not only the post stitches but also the loops.
Next space apart the posts on the stitch row and start measuring from the first visible post.
Take your measuring tool and place them exactly where you have “marked” in Step 2.
Using the Gauge Calculator, first select your preferred measurement unit that being in metric or in imperial.
Next input the number of rows and stitches for each 4-inch or 10 cm that you have collected earlier. You might not get a perfect number, and that is completely normal. Key in the length and include each decimal if any or get a wider gauge. The bigger the gauge to closer the accuracy.
In this example above, I have 7 rows and 13 stitches for every 4 inches. And the result shows 1.75 rows and 3.25 stitches for every inch.
Now that I have my row and stitch per inch, I can proceed to the next column and get the actual number of rows and stitches I need for a specific size, which may not be in the written pattern.
The final result will show you how many rows and stitches you will need.
How to Match a Gauge
Always try your best to match the gauge of the pattern you are following. A few decimal extras can result in a huge difference in the final garment. So, what should you do to get the closest possible gauge?
- Change hook sizes – sometimes another size might work better for you
- Adjust your tension – work looser or tighter stitches may help
- Check that you are using the same yarn weight as the pattern calls for
- Test, test and keep testing.
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