Tension and Gauge Swatches
Make your garment the same size as the pattern intended
Gauge swatches are usually made 4” or 10cm square. They are used to check your tension.
The pattern will tell you which hook and yarn to use, but in the real world we often reach for some wool that we have to hand and this may work up either too big or too small than the pattern intended.
What you do is make a gauge swatch or a tension square.
Too small or too big?
- If the swatch is too small then you should use a larger hook.
- If the swatch is too big then you should use a smaller hook.
The idea is to use the hook that results in the same measurements as the original pattern.
When to do a gauge swatch
Size and tension matters more in garments that have to fit like clothes rather than blankets or throws which are still ok if they are a little bigger or smaller.
When you start a new pattern always do a test swatch to make sure you will have the correct size at the end.