Tuesdays with Dory

This is my thoughtful face

Dear Dory,

Sometimes I swatch for a project, and then by the time I'm ready to start, I've forgotten what size needle  I used. Guessing hasn't worked out well for me in the past. Any ideas?

Forgetful in Fargo

Dear Forgetful,

I bet your kitteh remembers which size you used, but s/he probably won't tell you, so that's not much help. Kittehs are secretive that way.
Here are a few other ideas:
--Write on your swatch--a heavy duty marker like a Sharpie works, but the down side is, you won't be able to cannibalize your swatch if you run out of yarn.
--Safety pin a tag with the needle size to your swatch--less permanent, but could also fall off, especially if you keep your swatches for a lifetime.
--Work your needle size INTO your swatch--does no damage to the yarn, and can't fall off, but you have to remember to do it, which can be tricky. Make it a habit, though, and you're golden.
Here's what you do: while you're working up your swatch, add a row with a series of YOs; the number of YOs= the needle size!


Here's a swatch Kristen made using this method--easy to see she used size 5 needles.

Just be sure to add a matching k2tog for each YO, otherwise you're adding stitches.

This method won't work in a lacy pattern where the YOs would get lost in the pattern, but you still have options--try putting a garter stitch border around the lace and work the YOs there!

Bonus tip: If you have a yarn you use frequently, it's a great idea to work up swatches like this using a few different needle sizes and keep them on hand. Then the next time you decide to use that yarn, you can check your swatches and see how it the yarn will knit up and (if you're a consistent knitter!) what your gauge will be.

(Kristen hasn't actually done this yet, but she still thinks it's a great idea.)

Have a purrrrrrfect day, and happy swatching!