Swatching Before You Begin a New Project

So how do you figure out what your gauge is for a particular project? You need to knit a little sample (called a swatch) and measure it. This process is called swatching. Sure, this takes a bit of time, but the results are absolutely worthwhile. "Take time to save time," the old adage goes. By making a swatch, you'll know that you've worked out the kinks in your gauge and that you're armed with the right needles to knit a project that fits. (See Chapter 16 for some things you can do with your swatches.)

For most projects, you'll likely need to try only a couple of needle sizes when you swatch. Plus, as you get to know yourself better as a knitter, you'll be better able to predict your own gauge. Still, good knitters always swatch.

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