This is written to accompany the Harriet Hat Knitalong, but it will work any time you need to swatch for a project you’re knitting in the round!
1) Cast on 50 stitches* and join to work in the round – but make sure you leave a 4-5” gap in the yarn between the two edges. Make sure it’s long enough so it doesn’t pull on your knitting.
* for other projects, figure out the recommended gauge and multiply by 6. SO if it says 3 sts/in, cast on 20 stitches at least.
2) knit one round, twisting the first and last stitch.
3) slide the work to the other end of the needle and being the working yarn along, leaving that 4-5” between sides.
4) begin working in pattern! What pattern? You could do this, twisting the first and last stitch on every round
Round 1: *k2 with A, k2 with B, repeat to end
Round 2: repeat round 1
Round 3: *k2 with B, k2 with A, repeat to end
Round 4: repeat round 3
OR you could do a 50-stitch version of your chosen project! That may mean an incomplete chart at one side but that’s ok.
4) keep going until you complete your charts or the work is 5” long, then bind off
5) cut down the center of the loose yarns behind the swatch (that 4-5”) ?. Yes, CUT it
6) wet block your work and squeeze it gently in a towel
7) Lay it flat to dry
? measure gauge when dry
9) trim ends even and voila! You have a coaster too!
Note: this method will result in you having a whole other project – the coaster. So you won’t be able to reuse the yarn in your project. If you have a very limited supply and want to be able to reuse the yarn, cast on TWICE as many stitches as called for in #1 and follow the rest of the instructions as written, except for cutting the yarn. Once your swatch is dry, you will have at least a 4″ section over which to measure.
Need to measure your swatch? Learn how here!