Creating Knitting Patterns, Day 5: Knitting Swatches

Welcome to Day 5 of the Complete Guide to Creating Knitting Patterns series! Today, we are going to talk about knitting swatches.

So what exactly is a swatch?

A swatch is a small sample of knitting in your selected yarn, needle size and stitch pattern.

Usually, two or three pattern repeats are worked to see the resulting texture without having to knit a larger piece.

Swatches Are Your Friend

Most people consider knitting swatches to be very annoying (this includes me) but I can assure you knitting a swatch is a step in the design process (in every knitting process, actually!) you should not avoid.

Knitting a swatch serves two purposes:

  • Determining your knitting gauge, which is essential especially when designing garments, and
  • Checking if the texture of the resulting fabric from your needle/yarn combination is okay.

Always Knit Swatches Larger Than Necessary

For checking the texture alone, a swatch in the size of the desired stitch count for a 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 in) might be sufficient. For further calculations, working a larger swatch is recommended – the larger your swatch, the more precise your calculations will be. (That’s an advise I barely follow myself. I’m a lazy swatch knitter. Shame on me!)

Exercise: Knit Swatches For Your Selected Stitch Patterns

Knit a swatch for each of your selected stitch patterns. Go and get some practice now – creating knitting patterns in easier than you think. You can do it, too!

Don't miss your free surprise shawl knitting pattern!

Hi, I'm Julia!

Here on I share decades of knitting experience and knowledge with you - for free, and updated at least three times per week.

Subscribe to our mailing list and get weekly knitting updates, free online courses and your free surprise shawl knitting pattern today!

One thought on “Creating Knitting Patterns, Day 5: Knitting Swatches

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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