Swatching — Finding the Right Fabric

Sarah Peasley

Thursday AM

Whether you're designing a knit or crochet project from scratch or working from a pattern, swatching is the ideal way to find the perfect fabric.

When you swatch for the perfect fabric, what kinds of questions are you looking to answer?

What? You don't swatch for the perfect fabric? You don't ask questions? You're not looking for answers?

You should be! There is a wealth of information you can glean from swatching that will make you a smarter, more confident knitter or crocheter, and will help to guarantee that the fabric for your project will turn out the way you want it to.

This applies to looking for alternative yarns as well — substituting something different than called for in a pattern due to availability or personal preference.

In this class, we'll cover basic swatching "why"s and "how-to"s while learning about fiber content and yarn construction, exploring a fabric's breathability, washability, softness, and drape, and determining whether the desired project will be a joy to work or the bane of your existence.

Note: This class covers swatching to find the right fabric. For information on accurately measuring stitch and row gauge on a swatch, see Sarah's "Measuring Stitch and Row Gauge Accurately" class.

Skill Level: Any

Material fee: $0


Student Supplies:

50 gms of any weight of each of the following:

  • A smooth, 100% cotton yarn
  • A smooth, 100% wool yarn
  • A smooth, 100% acrylic yarn
  • A fuzzy or bumpy yarn (any fiber)

A range of needles or hooks in sizes appropriate for each of the yarns chosen. If you're not sure what size to bring, use the needle sizes recommended on the yarn label, or use the information below:

  • US 1-3 (2.25-3.25mm) needle or B-1 to E-4 (3.5-4.5mm) hook for fingering weight
  • US 3-5 (3.25-3.75mm) needle or E-4 to 7 (4.5-5.5mm) hook for sport weight
  • US 5-7 (3.75-4.5mm) needle or 7 to I-9 (5.5-6.5mm) hook for dk weight
  • US 7-9 (4.5-5.5mm) needle or I-9 to K-10½ (6.5-9mm) hook for worsted weight
  • US 9-11 (5.5-8) needle or K-10½ to M-13 (9-15mm) hook for bulky weight


Homework: None