Help understanding gauge

I have a few questions about gauge. Up until now I’ve don’t project where size didn’t matter too terribly much - purses, scarves…

Do you check you gauge before EVERY project?

What do you do? Knit a little square to check and then rip it out?

I’m just trying to get a handle on this!

TIA! :smiley:

There are no stupid questions at all, how else should we learn :wink:

Yes, I do a check gauge before every project, cause I learned it the hard way. Almost every time I have to change needle size even when I’m knitting with the recommended yarn for a pattern.

I mostly knit a square with 4 more stitches than the gauge says and rip it out afterwards. But for a recent cardigan out of 100% wool, I did a square and washed it too. It’s a christmas gift and I wanted to be 100% sure it will be correct in size. Some yarns stretch when washed and some yarns will do the opposit.

thanks for the help!

i’ll start doing that once i get brave enough to do a piece of clothing. :slight_smile:

If I’m using a yarn that I don’t need to check the washability of, I will cast on one of the sleeves or some other small piece of the pattern. I follow the pattern until it’s a bit longer than what the gauge measurement is, and then measure my gauge. If my tension is correct, I continue on and finish the sleeve. If it’s off, I frog it and start over. It takes a bit longer than a typical swatch, but I find it less of a waste of time if I’m actually making something that I need with my swatch.