Being Naughty

I'm here to confess.
I have never done a gauge swatch. Never. 

I learned to knit and crochet during a summer Sunday school curriculum the year I was ten. No swatching necessary--all of us girls just gave the too-small scarf to our favorite doll. Nobody really had any interest in carrying on for five feet or so of scarf anyway. The s-word wasn't even mentioned. When the class ended, I promptly lost my needles and forgot the whole thing.
 When I was in eighth grade, I wanted to be a ballerina. I went to class five days a week, and rehearsed my part as a Chinese fortune cookie in The Nutcracker with almost equal regularity. Bored and not yet interested in Seventeen magazine like my fellow cookies, I started to knit again. No thoughts of gauge there either.

I kept on knitting after that, and found Ravelry somewhere in the middle. 

Right around then--although I can't remember exactly how--I was introduced to the swatching concept, and slowly it started to dawn on me that it seemed to be important. But, teenagers are stubborn, and I'm Irish-Italian to boot. Just to spite all the voices that said I had to, I refused to swatch. I just got a little bit smarter about trying to avoid it. For example, I no longer simply assume that the finished project will be the correct size and shape. I hold it at arm's length about 1/3 of the way in and eyeball it to ensure that it will. If you disregard a few minor frogging incidents, this has all been very well and good until recently. 

Recently, I'm dabbling in what I like to loosely term pattern design, and it sort of requires me to give hopeful knitters some sort of gauge to go by so they (you?) know if they're doing things right and if they have any chance or not of knitting a hat that will fit them--or if it will be better suited to being a doorknob cover.
Would you all be terribly offended if I wrote, instead of gauge, "Just hold it out at arm's length and eyeball it"?


  1. lol. i sure wouldn't as i sort of doing the same thing. i'm not one for gauge swatches either. i just hope that it knits up to the correct size!

  2. I've never tested my gauge either! Glad I'm not the only one...