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Swatching in pattern is the same as swatching in plain knitting.

A "proper" swatch used by machine knitters is large enough to measure AT LEAST 4" x 4" IN THE MIDDLE of the knitting.

Markers are placed in the middle of the knitting to isolate a specific number of stitches and rows. That isolated section is measured and the gauge of your knitting is calculated.

For 4.5 Standard Gauge Machines Isolate 40 stitches and 60 rows
For Mid-gauge Machines Isolate 30 stitches and 40 rows
For 9.0 Bulky Gauge Machines Isolate 20 stitches and 30 rows
Tip: These recommendations are based on using traditional Gauge Rulers that were included with vintage machines. You could isolate any number of stitches and rows (50 sts x 50 rows or even 100 stitches x 100 rows) to establish YOUR gauge.

The advantage of a "proper" swatch:
NO COUNTING of stitches and rows

The Math:

Measure the isolated area between the markers

  • Divide the number of stitches you measured by the result to get stitches per inch (or stitches per cm)

  • Multiply the result x 4 (for 4" gauge) or x 10 (for 10cm gauge)

  • Divide the number of rows you measured by the result to get rows per inch (or rows per cm)

  • Multiply the result x 4 (for 4" gauge) or x 10 (for 10cm gauge)

Even though swatching in patterns is done the same way as swatching in plain (stockinette) knitting, there are some ways to account for texture and color as you swatch.

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Sue J
 Feb 22, 2023
Karen, I've removed that link from the blog post. Sorry for any confusion.

Sue J
 Feb 22, 2023
Karen, If you are logged in AND you own the course or are a Premium member, the green 'start the course' button should take you directly to the course. here's the link

Karen T
 Feb 22, 2023
Is something supposed to happen if you click on the green “start this course”? Because on my iPhone nothing happened. ? Thank you

Also bloglovin (to follow blog) is very glitchy (have noted with another site that tries to use it). Only had problems.

Katherine B
 Feb 14, 2023
Thank you! I re-knitted a swatch three times recently because I thought I missed counting the rows properly--the gauge ruler gave the right row count, but I couldn't find the 30 rows on my bulky swatch even though I was sure I'd knitted 30 rows between the markers. This clears things up!