Swatching for Olive Knits 4-Day KAL

Olive Knits’ Annual 4-day KAL begins June 30th. Learn more about it on

I look forward to participating in the 4-Day KAL every year, as I know this is one of the projects that I am guaranteed to finish. I love the quick deadline, it makes me feel like I don’t have time to dilly dally around, or start a million new projects when I get bored after casting-on. The Lemon Spritz pattern was no exception, and I was eager to get going on my gauge swatch. 

I selected Comfy Sport in Hydrangea, and I am in love with this fantastic periwinkle hue. My purl is looser than my knit stitch so I generally don’t get gauge with the recommended needle and often need to go down a needle size (or two) but because this project was knit in the round I didn’t have that issue and was able to use the recommended needle, US 4 (3.5mm). I used our Foursquare needles as I find that square needles give me the most consistent tension and stitches especially with a cotton yarn. 

I needed to make two gauge swatches. My first swatch I stitched flat, working back and forth in rows. When I didn’t get gauge with that swatch, instead of switching needle sizes I created a second swatch which I worked in the round and was able to match gauge with this swatch. Because this sweater is knit in the round I should have worked the first swatch in the round, but second times the charm, and luckily I thought to stitch my second swatch in the round.

Gauging in the round is easier than it sounds, but I find my edges are not as neat as swatching flat, so I try to add a couple of stitches to my swatch to make it a bit easier to measure gauge. To swatch in the round, cast on the number of stitches and knit the first row (like usual) then instead of turning the work to purl back, I slide the work down the needle to begin working at the opposite end of the row. I stretch the working yarn the length of the stitches, like a super long float and knit across the row like normal, being careful not to catch the “float”. Think of it like a giant I-cord that you don’t pull the strand tight to make a tube.  I keep repeating this process knitting every row until the swatch is large enough to measure. Once the swatch is long enough, I turn the work and bind off like normal and then cut the floats in the center to help the swatch lie flat, this also allows me to tug the end stitches and make them a bit tidier.

With gauge achieved I was ready to cast on, and like the other 4-Day KAL patterns, I found Lemon Spritz easy to follow, with lots of stitch counts for me to easily confirm I was on track. Marie Greene is great about adding notes for how she is working the increases in the pattern, and this patten worked the raglan increases as yarn-overs knit through the back loop. I was worried that this increase would leave tiny holes, but I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong and found that it created a nice consistent fabric. I want to note, that in addition to adding these helpful notes about why she is doing something, Marie is also wonderful about encouraging you to do things the way that work best for you. I am a firm believer in trying all of the techniques, especially the ones you are not familiar with, but if you have tried something and found that it doesn’t work for you (because not all techniques work for all knitters) you are always welcome to do the technique that works. I love that these KALs are about community and learning, but you never feel like you must do things exactly as they are written.

If you haven’t picked up your yarn yet, it’s not too late to join the 4-Day KAL. Cast-on happens this weekend, with most people knitting over the 4th of July, but many people don’t finish their sweater in four days, and many people are still knitting at the end of month. So get comfy with Comfy, and cast on with us.

Olive Knits’ Annual 4-day KAL begins June 30th. Learn more about it on

1 comment

  1. Carlie / July 11, 2023

    Love it!