Is a gauge swatch really necessary?

I know some of you swear by doing a guage swatch and some of you say you don’t do them. If you do one, can you rip it out and use the same yarn for your project? Do you keep all of your guage swatches? Do you do them for every project or just clothing? I am working on a hat right now, and did not do one, but got new books today and they tell me to never knit without a swatch and I have never done one.

I’m so confused… :??


I never used to do one, but since I started making things that have to fit, I make them. Seems to make a difference as I can adjust as needed if the guage is off.

I usually save them in a plastic bag, but I dont know what I am going to do with them yet.


I never save swatches that are just meant to check the guage. I always to a guage check though.

I always make a gauge swatch. But I mostly have to anyway, cause I’m not using the recommended yarn.
Actually I just make a “half-right” swatch, cause I unravel it and start knitting instead of binding it off and wash it or let it lay flat…that’s a waste of yarn, right?
And sometimes I don’t check my row gauge just my stitch gauge :wink:

You really should do swatches to check your guage for items that need to fit someone, like a sweater for example. But if you’re making an afghan or something else whereby it doesn’t really matter if the final size is a little off, then a guage isn’t crucial. I don’t save my swatches. I rip them out and use that yarn for the project.

My row guage is always off!! :doh:

So, what do you do if your gauge is off? Adjust the needle size up or down depending on which way you were off?

I don’t usually use the recommended yarn either, but I just figured as long as it was close… but I guess I should start checking when I make sweaters or another hat. Right now the hat I am making is supposed to be for my son. I did not check, but I sure hope it fits because he has been waiting for me to finish it and is very excited about it.

Thanks for everyone’s answers. I really appreciate the help that everyone on here gives. I love this forum!!! :heart:

Ive heard some say that they use their swatches as beverage coasters.

Yep, just adjust your needle size. If your swatch is too small, use larger needles; if your swatch is too big, use smaller needles. Generally speaking, I think st guage is more important that row guage. After all, you can always just work a few extra rows to obtain the correct length. (Unless the garment is knit to fit horizontally. I once saw a pattern where the row guage was crucial b/c the sweater was knit sideways.) I haven’t yet figured out how to correct row guage though b/c if I change needle size, my st guage gets tilted … :?? That’s why I place more value in st guage…

wildforyarn, I was just wondering the same things about gauge lately. I started doing the gauge for my hat I’m working on but then kinda said screw it…I figure the hat will fit someone…loL. Plus…I didnt really know exactly what to do if the gauge isn’t right, so I’ll just work on gauge for my next project :XX:

jivewhistle, that is so funny you say that about the hat, because that is where I had my first problem and started to wonder about gauge swatches. :lol: