How to check knitting gauge in the round


It’s time to start a sweater (we’re making Ursa on our latest knit-along) and you know you want to check your gauge but the sweater is knit in the round. Since we won’t be turning our work and we’ll only be knitting this gauge might be a little different than normal.

As a knitter, I know that my tension is different when I purl than when I knit and since this project will be worked mostly in the round and I won’t be purling much I’d like to make sure I’m getting the stitch count the designer recommends.

I’ve put together some photos on how to knit and block a gauge swatch in the round.

How to Check Knitting Gauge in the Round

Yarn and needles for a gauge swatch

Yarn and needles for a gauge swatch

Step 1: Cast on

Step 1: Cast on

When knitting any swatch you want to start with the exact yarn the project will be made in and the same needles you plan to knit the sweater with. Variations on either of these items can result in a different gauge.

For the sweater I’m knitting I need a gauge of 11.5 stitches over 4 inches. I will have 20 stitches on size US 11 (8 mm) needles for this swatch.

Cast on normally. DO NOT TURN.

Slide stitches to the other end of the needle

Slide stitches to the other end of the needle

Hold working yarn to the back creating a long float

Hold working yarn to the back creating a long float

Now for the strange part! SLIDE your stitches to the other end of the needle so the front of the work is still facing you.

Hold the working yarn from the ball across the back of your hand and knit into the first stitch. Continue knitting across the row. This will create a long, loose float of yarn across the back of your work.

DO NOT TURN. Slide work back to the other end of the needle always keeping the knit side facing you.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

After a few rows this is what the piece will start to look like. You can see the knit side of the work on the left and the wrong side or purl side in the right photo.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

How to trim a gauge swatch knit in the round

How to trim a gauge swatch knit in the round

When the swatch reaches a good height bind off as normal.

Flip the swatch to the wrong side and (YIKES!) cut the floats so the swatch opens flat.

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Knitting a gauge swatch in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Here’s my swatch. It looks crazy, doesn’t it?! All of those edges seem like they could just fall off but they don’t. Just be gentle.

Next we need to block the swatch. In a small bowl I added a touch of Soak wash and cool water. Submerge the swatch and leave to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Remove the swatch from the bath and gently lay it out on a towel.

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Blocking a gauge swatch for knitting in the round

Fold the towel over the swatch and lightly roll the towel pressing the water from the yarn.

On a dry towel straighten the swatch, leave it to rest and dry completely.

I block my knit swatch just like I plan to block the finished sweater. I don’t pin a swatch if I don’t plan to pin the sweater.

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

When the swatch is dry it’s time to measure the stitches. Exciting stuff for a knitter!

I like to use a stiff ruler and gently lay it across a row to count the stitches. I also measure in several locations around the swatch to be sure that one row wasn’t a fluke.

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

How to measure knitting gauge in the round

And here we are! Count the Vs of each knit stitch as one stitch. My swatch is measuring 11.5 stitches across 4 inches just like the pattern asked for.

I hope you’ll join me for the Ursa sweater knit-along starting on Thursday, August 1, 2019! Here’s the details:

  1. Thursday, August 1: KAL kickoff and cast-on with details about knitting the half-brioche stitch, neck and shoulders of the sweater.

  2. Thursday, August 8: Working the German short row bust darts and finishing the body of the sweater.

  3. Thursday, August 15: Knitting the sleeves, finishing the neckline and blocking.

  4. Thursday, August 22: Wrap photos!

Get your yarn: Find the yarn at a local yarn shop that carries Ewe Ewe Yarns or here on our website.

Let us know you’re joining the KAL! Leave a comment on this post, join our Facebook KAL group, Ravelry group, and use hashtags any photos with #eweeweyarns and #BaaBaaUrsa on Instagram.

#EweEweYokeAlong: Increasing in color work on the Threipmuir sweater

Thank you to those of you that wrote in asking about how to increase during the stranded knitting section of the Threipmuir sweater. Knitting an increase during color work can be a bit tricky but it’s not as bad as it seems so let’s give it a try!

On Round 3 of the chart there is a new stitch at the beginning of the chart that’s labeled as an increase. The designer asks that we work a “left lifted increase into the last KNIT stitch worked”. That sounds like a lot to unpack but it’s ok, I got you.


In the color chart the first and second stitches are to be worked in our MC. By working this increase we are creating a stitch that means we have worked BOTH the first and second stitch by the time we’re done.

Step 1: Knit the first stitch in MC.


Step 2: Insert the left needle from back to front through the stitch you just worked.


Step 3: With MC, knit into the front of the loop on the left needle (creating a twist in the loop).


This is how the stitch should look. There is a small bar under the new stitch but as you can see it fades away among the other stitches as you knit across the round.

On Round 6 of the color chart we encounter an increase at the end of the stitch pattern. In this case we will do the same thing but just knit the new stitch in a different color. Take a look.


How to work LLI with 2 colors: Knit as instructed on the color work chart across to stitch 5. Work stitch 5 in CC1 as shown, work left leaning increase as shown above but rather than using the CC1, knit the new stitch using CC2.


Let me know how it goes!

I’ve been answering some questions by email and a few have been the same so I decided to start a Facebook group for our KAL. This way we can all benefit in a collective way. We can easily share photos, talk about issues, ask questions, tell stories, whatever! Join the group >

Check in, stay motivated, encourage others:

A place for us to chat and post photos: Join the Ewe Ewe KAL Party!  

We'll check in online on Facebook, Instagram with the hashtags #EweEweYokeAlong and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns on Instagram now! Plus you can join my Ewe Ewe Yarns Ravelry group if you like that type of thing. Whichever!

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)

#EweEweYokeAlong: How to knit a swatch to check gauge in the round

Today we’re going to check gauge for our Threipmuir sweaters but we do it a little differently because this sweater is knit in the round. Normally we’d check gauge by knitting and purling back and forth but because we will only be knitting this sweater we should only knit our gauge. Here’s how to knit a gauge swatch in the round.

Choosing Fluffy Fingering colors for Threipmuir sweater

Choosing Fluffy Fingering colors for Threipmuir sweater

We’ll need to start with choosing our colors for the sweater and specifically which color will be CC1 and which is CC2. I am using the Red Velvet on the left for the MC body color of my sweater and I decided Berry will be CC1 and Saffron is CC2. According to the pattern specs we use the least amount of CC1 so that’s a good skein to knit our swatch!

Creating a swatch in the round

Creating a swatch in the round

We want to swatch on the larger size needles. I know that I knit a bit tight so I went up a needle size to a US 5 (3.75mm) needle to check my gauge. Knitting a swatch in the round is almost like making a loose i-cord. Check out this video by The Unapologetic Knitter below all about how to work that swatch.

Here’s what I ended up with!


When it’s finished — trim those long strands and give it a soak in a gentle bath for about 15 minutes. Carefully press it in a towel to remove the water and then set it out flat to dry completely. This is not a swatch that we want to pin because we won’t be pinning our finished sweater so we want to treat our gauge the same way we’ll treat our knitted piece later.

Gauge swatch knitted in the round

Gauge swatch knitted in the round

And there’s my little knitted swatch all trimmed and dried! My stitch count is a tad bigger than I expected so I am going to make a smaller size sweater. If you have a question about your gauge size be sure to email me and I’ll help you figure it out!

Check in, Stay Motivated, Encourage Others!

What do you think? We could finish our sweaters before the real cold sets in for the season.  

We'll check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #EweEweYokeAlong and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns on Instagram now! Plus you can join my Ewe Ewe Yarns Ravelry group if you like that type of thing. Whichever!

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)

Double the Fun KAL: Guildenstern Swatching and Hems

Happy first day of the Double the Fun KAL, Guildenstern edition! I hope you’re as excited as I am to make this adorable shirt by Cory Ellen Boberg! I chose to go with the Spruced Up color combo and can't wait to wear it this summer!

The first week of our KAL is a lot of housekeeping: designating colors, choosing size, swatching and measuring for gauge. So, let’s jump right in and get down to the business of making a fabulous shirt that fits!

Color Order!

When I think about the order of colors I think “Ok, lightest at the top, darkest at the bottom” so lightest color is Color A and darkest color is Color D. NOPE! It’s the reverse. Since this top is worked from the bottom-up, we need to make sure our darkest color is Color A. I found it helpful to grab a Sharpie actually write “Color A”, “Color B”, etc. on the ball band of each skein.

IMPORTANT! Cory makes specific note in the pattern to use Color D to swatch. Please be sure you know which color is your Color D and use that to knit up your swatch to avoid running out of yarn in the other colors!

Spruced Up Kit: Vanilla (D), Soft Sage (C), Pistachio (B) and Teal (A)

Spruced Up Kit: Vanilla (D), Soft Sage (C), Pistachio (B) and Teal (A)

Choosing a Size

You likely already have your yarn (though if you don't, there's still totally time to join us) - which means you probably have a general idea about the size of garment you plan to make. BUT! If you’re on the fence about sizing here’s a tip I offer to anyone who asks:

Go into your closet and find your most favorite garment - preferably knit, if possible. You know which one I’m talking about: the one that you’re always happy to see is clean, the one that you feel like a total Rockstar when you wear it. THAT one!
Lay it flat on a non-stick surface, like a countertop or kitchen table, not a bed or sofa that can “stick” to the fabric, and measure the dimension across the bust of the garment. Make the size of Guildenstern based on that!

As an example, I’m a 40.5” bust and one of my favorite favorite shirts measures 41.75” (the dimension across the bust when laid flat is around 20-7/8” - half of the total circumference). Now, obviously the top doesn’t come in quarter sizes, only full sizes every 2”, so I’m going to knit the size closest which comes in at 42”. Pretty perfect!

Let’s Talk Swatching ITR!

Before we get started with the knitting, I want to talk about swatching for gauge when working in the round (ITR). I know lots of knitters who will swatch flat for knitting in the round. I have BEEN one of those knitters. Lemme tell ya… it didn’t work out so well for the finished garment fitting me so I’m here to share my favorite knitting tip: SPEED SWATCHING!

Alright, so "speed swatching" it’s a bit of a misnomer based on the fact that you don’t actually knit any faster, but you can create a gauge swatch that is appropriate for measuring gauge in the round faster than if you did it the traditional way: casting on an entire tube and knitting the whole thing.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to knit a speed swatch for this project since we’re going to be working this in the round once the hems are complete.

How to Measure Gauge

Once your swatch is dry, dry, dry, it’s time to measure your gauge so you know that your finished garment will fit.

I’m going to refer to you to a handy-dandy blog post that Heather shared back in May when she hosted another knit along with a few reminders/tips:

  1. Be sure to use Color D!
  2. Use a needle size that is close to the size you estimate you’ll need for this project. Cory calls for a US 6 in the pattern. I know from experience with Ewe Ewe Yarns that to get 24 sts / 4” using a sport weight yarn I need to go down a needle size or two. I swatched using my US 4 needle and am bang on 24 sts / 4”. If you don’t know, start with a US 6. If you swatch a couple of inches (pre-blocking) and measure and you’re already getting fewer stitches per inch, go down a needle size and restart.
  3. Cast on at least 30 sts (Heather’s blog post calls for 20 but they were using a Bulky-weight yarn). You want to make sure you have a good sample to take your gauge over.

Ok, with that said, head on over to Heather’s previous blog post about measuring your stitch gauge by clicking HERE.

Choosing Needle Sizes

Once you have determined your gauge for your Larger needle size, you'll need to determine what your Smaller needle size is (if you didn’t get gauge on at US 6).

My first assumption was to go down 3 needle sizes as per Cory’s pattern, however, after some trial and error on my part, I decided it was best to go down the metric number of sizes, as closely as possible.

For example, you’ll notice that Cory uses a US 6 (4 mm) for the Larger needle and her Smaller needle is a US 3 (3.25 mm). That’s a metric diameter difference of 0.75 mm. So I highly recommend just going down the 0.75 mm in size rather than 3 needle sizes.

  • If you’re using a US 6 for your Larger needle, obviously use a US 3 for your Smaller needle.
  • If you’re using a US 5 for your Larger needle, I would still recommend using a US 3 for your Smaller needle. Going down to a US 2 would be too small compared to your Larger needle gauge.
  • If you’re like me and need to use a US 4 to meet gauge, go down to a US 2 (2.75 mm) needle to get the 0.75 mm diameter difference.

Casting On!

Whew! That felt like a lot of work just to get to the magical part of casting on. But we’re finally there!

For week 1 (that's today!) we’re going to work the Cast On - Front and Back using our Smaller needles, exactly as Cory has it written. Mostly!

TIP TIME! I highly recommend knitting the Back hem first. You can work the back Hem, and break the yarn then work the Front hem leaving the working yarn attached for joining in the round next week.

If you don’t have 2 needles of the same size you can knit the Back hem and place the stitches on a stitch holder or length of smooth waste yarn while you work the Front hem. You’ll be able to tell the difference between the two because the Front is shorter than the Back. Next week we’ll talk about joining the Front and the Back and working the shirt in the round (so much faster!).


Until next week...

Week 2 of the Guildenstern edition of the Double the Fun KAL will be next Thursday, July 26th where we'll tackle joining in the round and Body Stripes Section 1. But before I sign off the blog post for the week, I have two more tips for you as you get those busy little fingers a-knittin’!

  1. Grab a highlighter or red pen and go through the pattern and highlight or circle your size of instructions throughout the pattern. It’ll make the process moving forward a lot easier - far less counting each set of instructions to get your size.
  2. Clip a removable marker to the RS of your garter stitch hems. You’ll notice that in the instructions Cory says “Beginning with WS facing” - so you’ll want to make sure you know RS from WS so that when you start the Body you’ve got the correct side of the garter ridges facing you!

Noble Goals!

This week your goal will be to swatch, measure your gauge and knit the Front and Back hems.

Next week we’re going to start working the shirt in the round so be sure you have a 32” circular needle with which to join the work and a couple of stitch markers. Have a great week of knitting!

Check in, encourage others, have fun!

Heather and Meaghan are here to answer any questions you might have about these projects and how a knit-along works. We hope you'll join us on this summertime knitting adventure!

We'll check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #DoubleTheFunKAL and #EweEweKALFollow @eweeweyarns and @notsorryknitter on Instagram now! 

Email us if you have any questions! (We're just a click away.)

Carbeth Cardigan KAL: Blocking your sweater

We so close to being able to WEAR OUR SWEATERS! Isn't it amazing? Can you imagine yourself in it? Do you have a first outfit picked out for it? 

My answer is yes to all of these questions!


Blocking a sweater is easier than it seems. I think blocking a shawl is more challenging since they often want you to use a ton of pins and blocking wires to create a specific shape. In the case of the Carbeth Cardigan we're just going to get it fully saturated, lay it out correctly and then let it dry. Letting it dry completely is the hardest part because I just want to get in there and put it on.

How to block a hand-knit sweater



  1. A bucket large enough to hold enough water to fully submerge your sweater.
  2. Wool wash such as Soak
  3. 3-4 large towels. I use what I call "dog towels" which are the old spare towels we all keep around for the day the dishwasher leaks. However, even if you don't have old towels you can safely use your normal towels with Ewe Ewe yarns. Our yarns are 100% washable and the colors don't run so there's no fear of color bleed.
  4. Blocking mats or trash bags. Weird combo, I know but you'll see!
  5. Straight pins if desired. I didn't end up using them but you may want to.
  6. An empty area your dog won't be.

To prepare your sweater for blocking you should have all the buttons attached and the ends woven in. A trick I learned from The Unapologetic Knitter is to weave in the yarn ends but not trim the tails until after the project is finished drying. Trimming the ends after blocking allows the yarn ends to get comfortable in their new home and you can trim them off on the inside of the sweater after it's dried. This helps prevent any strange poking ends!

Set your sweater in the bucket and add a bit of wool wash. Fill the bucket with water to cover the sweater. Your sweater may float but you can gently continue to submerge it until it stops bubbling. Leave it to rest in the water for about 15-20 minutes.

What's wool wash? I use Soak which is a rinse-free laundry soap that smells great. You can just block your sweater with water but adding a wool wash helps soften the fibers even more. 


When the timer's done gently drain the water from the bucket being as gentle to your sweater as possible. Do not wring out or lift your sweater. Hold the sweater to the edge of the bucket and pour out the contents. 

Lay down 2 towels on a hard flat surface and roll the sweater out onto them. Your sweater will be very wet and it's going to feel a bit like you're wrestling an octopus. Position it on the towels so it looks pretty reasonable.


Add a third towel and begin to roll the sweater in the towels pressing firmly and rolling tightly. This method will gently wick the water out of the sweater without misshaping it.


Now, the final step! Setting your sweater to dry. If you have blocking mats this is the time to use them. I don't own any, I'm not sure why I don't, I just haven't bought them yet. However! I did learn a good tip from an Drea Renee Knits pattern -- if you don't have blocking mats use trash bags instead. It doesn't sound very glamorous but I'm giving it a try. The idea is that by pinning out your project on plastic the water will be forced to evaporate upward and into the air. If you just set it on a towel on carpet the moisture could linger down below. By adding the bags we're hoping for a faster drying time!

Arrange your sweater with the buttons buttoned and the bands set in place. Arrange the collar so it's straight. Lay the decrease lines so the are perfect angles from the neck to the underarm. There is no need to stretch or warp anything here, just gently work your way around the sweater smoothing it to wear it needs to be. 

It may seem a bit droopy but that is because of all the water the yarn is holding. Baa Baa Bulky yarn, and all Ewe Ewe yarns, really bounces back after it's been blocked. The gaps and strange sections will gradually fill in and come to life as the sweater dries. Now we wait...


It's important to let your sweater DRY. Completely dry. It's hard to do but give it time because the result is worth it.

How was it? Did you finish?

How did you do on your Carbeth Cardigan? Did you have fun? Did you finish your sweater? Send me a picture! 

Check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #BaaBaaCarbeth and #EweEweKAL. Follow @eweeweyarns on Instagram now! Plus you can join my Ewe Ewe Yarns Ravelry group if you like that type of thing. Whichever!

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)

Carbeth Cardigan KAL: i-Cord edging for buttonholes


Oh, my! We are SO close to being done. Today we're all about making the finishing edge for the button band and buttonholes. It's a fun stitch to work and these steps go quickly.

We start by picking up 8 stitches at our folded collar. This is a "pick up and knit" situation, not just pick up like we did on the collar fold. Be sure to pick up the stitches through both layers of the folded collar.

Now that we have all of stitches on the needles we're ready to start the i-cord edging. We'll add two stitches at the beginning using the e-loop or thumb cast-on. This is the quickest way to add stitches to a needle and there's a good tutorial here.


Knit i-cord edging

Working the i-cord edge is fun and fast. I use a DPN to knit my stitches onto in conjunction with my long circular needle that is holding all the stitches on my button band.

First, knit one stitch. Then knit 2 together through the back loop. Then slide those two finished stitches back to the lefthand needle. 


Repeat that all the way down the button band edge.


So pretty! I think this is the nicest finishing edge I've ever had on a sweater. Now we get to work the other side where we'll add buttonholes.


The steps say to use another needle but I just added my needle tips and yarn and picked up straight to the existing needle.

Placing buttons and planning buttonholes

Our next step is to figure out where the buttons will go. I am using 6 buttons as the pattern recommends but if you added a few extra inches to the length of the sweater then you may want to add an extra button or three. It's up to you.

First I started by laying the sweater flat and arranging my buttons where I thought they looked nice and felt evenly spaced. I didn't count any stitches. I knew I'd want one at the top, one at the bottom and one at the base of the collar. The other three I set fairly equally spaced in between. Then I placed my clip-on markers at the corresponding spot on the other edge.


After I decided that I liked where everything was sitting I went a step further and added stitch markers where the buttons had been. This way I can just rest the sweater in my lap to sew on the buttons rather than having to continuously line it up to make sure I'm in the right spot.


Now we work our i-cord edging again but from the other end and we're adding in buttonholes! The buttonholes are just i-cord that isn't attached. I found it easiest to use 2 DPNs while working this edge, one to knit and then a spare to use when working a buttonhole. We're working "applied i-cord" and just regular "i-cord".

Knitting i-cord buttonholes

To begin, add 2 stitches as before then work three rows. Your first button should sit right about here at the bottom edge of your sweater. Rather than moving your stitches back to the left needle you'll pull the yarn behind and work plain i-cord for 3 rows. When you've stitched those then continue back to working the applied i-cord until you reach your next marker.

And there you have it! We have buttonholes on our sweaters! Now you can sew on your buttons, I know I'm going to do that tonight because I'm so excited to finish this up.


When you're finished with the button bands then we're ready to graft the underarms. I have a tutorial on the Kitchener Stitch here. You'll place your live stitches back on to DPNs, hold them parallel and then work the Kitchener Stitch to graft them together from the RS of the work.

Next post is blocking!

Check in, ask questions, keep knitting!

Check in online on Instagram with the hashtags #BaaBaaCarbeth and #EweEweKAL. Follow @eweeweyarns on Instagram now! Plus you can join my Ewe Ewe Yarns Ravelry group if you like that type of thing. Whichever!

Email me if you have any questions! (It's always me on the other side of that form.)