So, you’ve decided to knit a beret. There are so many beautiful beret patterns available and you’ve searched through them all and chosen the perfect one. You purchased and downloaded it, used the suggested yarn, and followed the pattern instructions … Continue reading
Gauge is so important when knitting garments and socks. Fit depends on it. Clara Parkes gives a wonderful overview of the principles of a well knitted sock in her book, The Knitter’s Book of Socks. For a fingering-weight yarn, she suggests a gauge of between 8 and 10 stitches. I like a gauge of 8.5 stitches for ribbing or cables and a gauge of 9 stitches for lace socks. My go-to sock yarn right now is Cascade Heritage. It is soft (merino wool), washable (super wash) and has a bit of nylon for durability. It’s always my choice for socks that will be gifts because of of its durability and washability. So I know that a US 1 needle will give me a gauge of 9 stitches per inch every time. And I know that when I want a gauge of 8.5 stitches per inch I need to use a US 1.5 needle. And if I have a hard remembering this? Well, I solved that problem with this swatch:
I knitted a tube of fabric with Cascade Heritage Sock yarn. I put a small cuff on each end so it will lay flat. I started with US 2 dpns, knitted for a couple of inches, purled one row to mark the end of the section, and then changed to US 1.5 dpns. I worked 4 sections in total, each time decreasing my needle size. I washed it. Then I labelled it:
Now I know that every time I use Cascade Heritage, I can choose the gauge I need, check my swatch, and select the right needle size. It’s a no-brainer!