Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On Gauge - Two Cautionary Tales

Two excellent answers to the "why bother swatching" question....

In the same class recently, I had two students proudly present their gauge swatches to me. (Having taken classes with me before, they know I'm all about checking gauge before you cast on. )

D. had made a yarn substitution... she was supposed to be getting 16 sts on 4 inches with 6mm needles. With those needles, and her choice of yarn, she was getting 14 sts on 4 inches. If she had proceeded, her nice tailored summer top would have been about 4 inches wider than she wanted.

S. was using the yarn and needles recommended in the pattern. She was supposed to be getting 16 sts on 4 inches. She got 20 sts on 4 inches. That's a 25% difference -- her lovely jacket would have been 25% too small. S. isn't a big girl -- she's a petite sort like me. 25% smaller would make a jacket that would barely fit a teenager.

Could you imagine if either of these knitters had proceeded with their projects?? Heartbreak and many wasted hours handily avoided with the investment of a little bit of time to swatch...

(Not sure how to do it? Try this... )

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