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Passap Knitting Machine Gauge Swatches

3 min read
Passap Knitting Machine Gauge Swatches

First, for your Passap, you really HAVE to do a gauge swatch for a garment if you want it to fit. Yarn dyes vary so even if you are using the same yarn it might knit up with a different stitch size when you are knitting this time.

Second, always be consistent in the size of your gauge swatches. I recommend 30 stitches X 30 rows so select -30 + 30 when you are programming your Passap. You can do a larger swatch and use it for a charity item as you can’t use the same yarn again to knit in the garment as yarn will knit up and look different when knit the second time. The Passap creates a unique crimp in the yarn so if you try to use the yarn again with yarn that you have not knit it shows up immediately and changes the finished stitch. You knit it, dye it, unravel it and re-knit it so the crimp is throughout the garment or knit item.

If you’re dealing with a very unstable fabric or yarn then you’re going to want to do a gauge swatch that’s double the normal size except for the 100×100 size.

What is unstable fabric? Well, stockinette and Passap birdseye fairisle are really stable (unless you’re knitting stockinette on a really big stitch size with weights to get very loose stitches). Passap Fisherman’s Rib is one of the most unstable.

The larger the piece of fabric the more it will grow usually from the weight of the fabric especially if it is, in my case, a dress. The length of the dress can cause the yarn to stretch from the weight as it is being worn or hanging on a hanger. You can catch the tendency of the yarn to stretch if you do a gauge swatch and send it through the same process you would when needing to clean it after wearing.

A longer length may change the gauge. Some yarns may be (50 stitches may measure 8 inches, but 100 stitches may measure 20 inches). You will want to monitor what is happening when you get into the real garment pieces to be sure your gauge is remaining accurate.

Some of the Passap double bed tuck fabrics may grow in both dimensions. Just watch as you are working with them and handling them after removing them from the knitting machine.

The contrast yarn that you use to mark the beginning and end of your gauge swatch should be close to the same size as the main yarn and of similar fiber content. If your main yarn is cotton, then if you use cotton for the contrast yarn, they’ll both shrink and the contrast yarn won’t distort the shape of the main yarn piece.

Never have ribbing attached to your gauge swatch, unless you have a considerable number of rows between the two, since it will severely distort the main fabric gauge.

Tip: if you have different stitches that you want to swatch, be sure to put at least 50 rows of scrap on either side of the next stitch you want to try. This will give enough distance to keep one fabric from affecting the other.

Many new blends of yarn are available. some of them will knit on your Passap and some will not, so approach your yarn with curiosity and a sense of exploring and see what you can discover that might surprise and delight you, taking your knitting to an entire new dimension and level.

If a yarn could go through the Passap eyelet it is possible we can knit with it on our marvelous Passap knitting machine if you know how to do it? And yes, you have to do a swatch for it too.

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