I have a lot of yarn. I do swatches with different size needles. I know some people like to do individual swatches with different needle sizes, but I like to use all of my yarn and to be honest, I’m lazy.
So the 3 tips and tricks of the day is……
1) I knit a good size swatch, about 4 x 4″, then successively go up a size, up a size and so on but I separate the size differences with a purl row. Also, this way I don’t lose swatches- it’s all right there on one. The swatch should be as big as you can stand for the best gauge, but that’s true for any swatch. I know if I started with a size 4 for example- and if there are 4 purl rows I know it went 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8’s.
2) Speaking of misplacing things, when I am done with the swatch, I BO until there is one stitch left- I pull the working yarn out to make a big loop and then I simply pass the yarn through this loop and then tighten (but not to the point where you can’t pull it out again!)- And then I have my swatch AND my yarn in the same place. When it’s time to knit, I take note of the gauge, frog it and cast on. Obviously I only use the loop-tying method if I am not going to knit with that particular skein immediately- I have lots of these laying around.
3) And if you would rather still BO your swatch, you can save it somewhere in case you need to use it for darning, if you run out of yarn for seaming, etc. It’s good to pin a piece of paper (or even the swatch onto a piece of paper) indicating which needle size you used and what the gauge was in that size.
Side note- I find it amazing that today is the very first day ever that an image of those wildly popular swatch watches came to mind when thinking of knitting swatches. You’d think that would have happened before now.
ANOTHER side note- I JUST got Sweater Design in plain english (like 5 minutes ago, I kid you not) and aside from her opening page (which I easily could have wrote myself, it was so accurately close to my experiences)- I literally just read she uses the same method as me for the swatches! I was worried that people would be like “how can you get a true gauge” well MAGGIE did! I wrote this post as a draft March 6th, btw. I was about to publish it, but then made lunch- then got my package and how weird is that??