Like most things in the world, knitting has a set of rules and conventions. Sometimes, we knitters break them. This is my knitting confession.

On Mondays, I’ll fess up to some of my own, personal knitting “no-no’s”. Feel free to join me by blogging some of your own weekly confessions or stories of breaking knitting conventions and join the linkup below. 
Confession #2: I am a lazy gauge swatcher.

This one is bad, isn’t it? If we were to break knitting rules into categories such as “Go on and break me,” “More of a guideline than a rule,” and “Never ever break me on penalty of knitting death,” I think not knitting your gauge swatch falls into that last category. It’s pretty darn bad. Knowing this, I still usually don’t do it. And when I do knit a gauge swatch, I usually never do it to the full recommended four inches and I never ever wash the swatch afterwards. I am a very lazy knitter when it comes to gauge swatches. 
All of this is not to say that I never measure my gauge, I just do it after I’ve already started a pattern and then adjust from there. I’m usually not too far off on the gauge when I use the recommended needle and yarn weight, so I can usually just loosen or tighten up my knitting to get the correct gauge. And I feel an inch into a project, a small change in gauge isn’t going to be too noticeable after blocking (I do block my work, at least. I’m not the worst knitter out there). 
Until this practice really comes back to bite me in the butt (which I fear after almost every single project I finish), I probably will just continue on my merry way. Once I really mess up a project after not knitting my gauge swatch, I give you all full permission to point me back to this post when I was so smug about never swatching. It’ll serve me right.

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15 Comments on Knitting Confessions #2

  1. I’m currently terrified that the sweater I’m making isn’t going to fit – I did the swatch but I didn’t do the washing step either….I’ve also never blocked anything before
    (hangs head in shame)

    • For blocking, I usually just hand wash an item and then lay it flat to dry. I find it can really help make the knitting look a bit more polished as it evens out the stitches. And for lace, it opens the whole thing up beautifully! But it can be so scary if you aren’t sure how much your project will grow.

    • I used to never do gauge swatches, until I knit a HUGE cabled hoodie. It took me months and when it was done, it was big. Then I hand washed it (to block) and it grew even more. That sucker would have fit Santa Clause. Now, I do gauge swatches for sweaters only. I still don’t do the usual full 4 inches, maybe 2 and sometimes I don’t wash them either. I guess I still like living on the edge. Damn, that hoodie still pisses me off.

      Knitting in Pearls

    • That’s exactly what I fear happening every time I finish a sweater and block it. I’ve only had one turn out a little bigger than I hoped, but not terribly. Someday I will have a horrible experience and then I’ll probably gauge swatch for like… 3 months and then quit again.

  2. Oh dear – I tend to treat gauge swatching as more of a guideline than a rule! Even producing one skintight sweater and one enormously long sweater hasn’t broken me of this habit.

  3. My friends call me the Gauge Nazi…..(but, big secret…..I, too, rarely do the swatch, but measure part way in to the project. Sure, sometimes I have to rip out a big project, but I figure, I just found a whole lot more knitting—and then I’m REALLY getting my $$$$ worth from the yarn.) I got the reputation because I used to own a yarn shop—–and most people don’t want to rip out, so I really was nut-so in insisting EVErYONE do a big gauge. Do as I say, not as I do!

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