Design A Sweater, Lesson 1: Swatching and Measuring

Ok, are we all ready to start swatching? Last week we discussed yarn choices and design dreaming, and this week we are going to solidify our yarn choices (if you haven’t already!) and find the right needle to get the fabric that your design requires! I’ve done some extensive swatching (the results of which I share in the videos below) and have settled on knitting my Swish Worsted on US 6 Zephyr needles.

Swatching can seem boring when you’re itching to cast on a project, but it is one of the most essential parts of the design process, so it deserves a lot of time and attention! In this lesson, I’ll be giving tips on how to swatch for the fabric your design needs, and then covering the measuring of gauge from your swatch, and the measurements needed for a successful knit. All this information ins contained in the pdf linked below, which also has diagrams and blanks for you to fill in with your personal gauge and measurments. Don’t worry if you’re math-phobic; I’ve done my nest to keep it simple and to walk you through all the claculations step-by-step!

Lesson 1: Swatching and Measuring

Other tools recommended for this step are a View Sizer and Tape Measure–the view sizer will help you measure your gauge and the tape measure will help you measure the garment you will base the dimensions of your project on.

This lesson assumes that you will be knitting your sweater in plain stockinette stitch. If you have decided to be adventurous and use a pattern stitch, simply follow the above instructions, working the swatch in the pattern you intend to use for your sweater! I’ll be hanging around in the comments section to answer specific questions as well 🙂

And, here are the videos! Hopefully they add some clarity:

Let us all know how you’re doing with the assignment, and feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.


  1. Susana / June 22, 2013

    Where is Design a sweater lesson 2? The others all seem to be here except for 2

  2. asma / April 19, 2013

    How do I know what length to get for my cable needles’ I’m using 4mm for a 32 bust using double knit yarn…

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