Intro to knitting: gauge swatches

These were the guidelines offered in my intro to machine knitting class for machine knitting swatches to be measured for gauge, or simply to test new yarns or yarns in different colors. Sometimes yarn from the same manufacturer can vary  in gauge even if in the same color but from a different dye lot. Black is often yarn that has been over-dyed, and may behave very differently.  The knit studio was a Brother punchcard lab, with a few 910s available for special projects at the end of the course, or for advanced knitting when offered. The suggestions work well for single bed knitting on standard or bulky machines for fabrics that are not deeply textured. I find with DBJ and highly textured fabrics it is wise to measure much larger swatches if the goal is a predictable size garment or finished piece. I also got in the habit of checking the marker measurements against the finished piece. If using a knit leader, the tape used to track your stitches should line up on the width of your swatch in term of counts. Using truly contrasting colors for the separating rows with tension marks, in equal weight yarn if possible, make the visual measurement for row counts easier.  Until one has a good understanding of how stitches are formed, it is good to avoid very dark colors. 

These illustration are from the Brother Knitting Techniques Book, now available for free download online

adding yarn markers in body of knit I prefer to measure on the purl side, find the top and bottom of stitches easier to identify Using the ribber? from the Brother Ribber Techniques Book: