Wondering How to Precisely Measure a Gauge Swatch?

The yummiest of yarns and a pattern you can't wait to cast on are sitting in front of you.  It's a small project, an accessory that you will love if it turns out to be the size you want.  You are prepared for success; your washed and blocked swatch is ready to be measured.  Good for you!However, you aren't quite sure how to measure it.  We are here to guide you through the process!Gather your materials:  a darning needle, some yarn in a contrasting color, a ruler or metal measuring tape, a piece of paper and a pencil, an object with a pointed tip such as a small needle or Jenny's favorite gadget, a HandiTool.materials-rtpLay your swatch on a flat surface.  Using the darning needle and contrasting yarn, mark off the section you're going to measure.left-side-marked-rtp left-side-with-ruler-rtp both-sides-marker-rtp top-and-bottom-marked-rtpCount the number of stitches between the yarn lines.  Counting the 'v's with a pointed object such as a small needle tip is easiest!Mark the number on the piece of paper you have handy and put it with your swatch.Now there is a tiny bit of math involved.  Divide the number of stitches by the width and you have your stitches per inch! Do the same to calculate your row gauge.In our sample swatch, we have 15 stitches over 3 inches which makes it easy to do the math:  15 divided by 3 = 5 stitches per inch.  For the row gauge, we have 22 rows over 3 inches:  22 divided by 3 = 7.3 rows per inch.Compare your gauge to the pattern's.  If you have fewer than the pattern calls for, try again with a smaller needle.  If you have more stitches, go up in needle size.It's important not to kid yourself at this point.  If you want that hat to be a slouchy one and not a beanie, or the shawl to wrap around your neck with the ends long enough to hang down in front, you need to check your gauge!  Join Jenny for our free Fearless Knitting demonstration of measuring gauge from 11am until noon Thursdays, Oct. 20, 27 and Saturdays, Oct. 22, 29th!  Remember that we also offer free knitting help on those days from noon until 1pm; bring in your questions!