Kara’s Quick-Knit Tip: Easy Circular Knitting Gauge Swatch

Today, I’m starting up a new feature called: “Tuesday Tips & Tidbits.” Over the years, I’ve received many useful tips and tricks from designers and knitters and some of these, I’ve  also collected myself. I thought it was time to share them with you, here on this blog.

Today’s Tip: If you enjoy creating garments in the round, it’s important to create your gauge swatch the same way. I know the idea of working a gauge swatch in the round can seem like a tedious process, but there’s a solution: work a flat, “in the round” swatch. Here’s how you do it:




Cast on the desired number of stitches, then knit across the row. When you get to the end, *DO NOT TURN. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail, then move the work back to the beginning of the needle. Rejoin your yarn and knit across the row. Repeat from * until you the desired number of rows.

This swatch “simulates” a gauge swatch made in the round because you are knitting every row. By avoiding the need to turn your work to purl on the opposite side, (which changes your tension) you are working similar to the way you would when creating your final garment.

If you would like to share your tip or tidbit, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me at: editor@creativeknittingmagazine.com


9 Responses to Kara’s Quick-Knit Tip: Easy Circular Knitting Gauge Swatch

  1. I’ve seen this tip before, but I’d hate to lose all that yarn to cut ends! Another way I’ve seen suggested is to just leave a long loop of yarn at the back of the work, and bring the yarn back around to the beginning of the RS row and keep knitting. That way you can ravel it and have a little extra yarn, just in case…

    • Sandra says:

      Excellent idea to leave a long loop – I usually rip out the swatch and use the yarn in the project.
      thanks so much for both ideas – never would have thought to have done a swatch like that.

      • Kara says:

        Great idea! Actually this is the method I prefer to use myself, but thought explaining it might be confusing.
        Also…leaving a long loop at the end of each row could result in a very loose collection of stitches at each edge, so if you were to work this method, make your swatch is even larger so you can measure further in from each side.

        Thanks so much for suggesting it!

  2. cozyknits says:

    What about using the ‘magic loop’ method. Then there are no loose ends.

  3. Kara says:

    You bet! Magic Loop is great, and this technique is perfect because it’s suitable for small-circumference projects like socks. However, my handy little tip was meant to show you how you can work a flat swatch without having to actually work a swatch in-the-round.

  4. Sue Adleman says:

    I haven’t tried this, but it should work. Use two balls of yarn. Each will leave its tail at the alternate end of the knitting, where you’ll pick it up again when you get to that side. You could use two different balls of yarn, or wind one small ball, cut off from the main ball, or, if it’s not too tangly, use the inside and outside of the same ball.

  5. Donna says:

    Sorry…I’m confused about the ‘magic loop method’ I thought that was just a method of casting on stitches at the beginning of a project (?)

    • Kara says:

      Hi Donna,
      No, it’s actually a method for working in the round with one very long circular needle instead of double-points for working small circumference projects. You may be confused with Judy’s Magic Cast On. I was confused when I first learned too 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *