How on earth do I do a gauge swatch of lace and be able to count it??? I used to think this, till I came across this nifty trick for marking off stitches as you knit the swatch. When it comes to measuring the stitch gauge you don’t have to do any counting, just measure.
Why go to all the trouble of knitting a lace garment only to find it is blocks out to be two sizes too big or small enough for your 3 year old niece??
Materials you need:
- Sample of Yarn – I am using cascade Ultra Pima Buff.
- 1 m (3ft) Contrasting Colour Yarn that is slippery – I am using cascade Ultra Pima in Deep Coral
- A Tapestry Needle – I use 2, one on each end of the Contrasting Colour Yarn.
- Needles in recommended size/s for pattern, remembering I may need to go up or down a size if my gauge swatch is too small or big.
How big a swatch do I need?
It is always better to have a bigger swatch than a smaller.
I would like a 20cm (8″) or so swatch so need to CO roughly 17st x 2 = 34sts. Remember it must be a multiple of 2 + 1. 34 is a multiple of 2, so I need to +1.
CO35 st for my Gauge Swatch.
Knitting the Gauge Swatch
I am not going to knit a garter border on this lacy Eyelet Moss Stitch because it will interfere with blocking.
So straight into the pattern.
Work Rows 1-4 of Eyelet Moss two times through.
Get the scrap Contrast Yarn ready with a tapestry needle on each end.
Work Row 1 of Eyelet Moss
Next I use the contrast yarn to mark out the number of stitches and rows I need to have over 10 cm (4″). So in this case 17 sts, 28 rows. I weave the contrasting yarn through every 2 stitch till 17 st are marked starting 7-8 stitches in from the edge.
Continue working the Eyelet Moss Rows 2-4.
Next row, work row 1 of eyelet Moss St. When finished row carry contrasting yarn up and thread it through to mark 4 rows.
Continue working the Eyelet Moss and carrying the contrasting yarn up every time you finish a row 1.
When you have 28 rows knit you can bring the contrasting yarn back across the row to mark the 17 stitches again. Finishing with a rather ugly, yet well marked swatch.
The ugly swatch must be blocked. For a tutorial on blocking click HERE.
When stretching out the damp swatch you need to make the ugly rectangle into a 10cm (4″) square.
If you can achieve the 10cm (4″) square then you have reached gauge. If you can’t stretch it out that far then you will need to try again on larger needles.
If you find the fabric stretches out too much and ends up bigger than the 10cm (4″) then you will need to try again on smaller needles.