Friday, November 23, 2007

Swatch guage cap

Hi, all! I'm relatively new to Zimmermania and EZ, although not to knitting in general. I'm curious about the EZ concept that I've heard of: knitting a cap instead of a swatch guage. Can anyone give me some more info. about how it's done? Thanks in advance!



  • The best way is to see if your local library has a dvd or vhs copy of Elizabeth Zimmerman's (Knitting Workshop). She is really funny to listen to and very easy to follow her instructions. She makes the caps with worsted weight (I'm 99% sure about that) and does a bit of color changing. I made two and they were so easy and turned out great.

    GOOD LUCK!!!
    Check Amazon if the library doesn't have a copy.

    By Blogger Rani, at 12:00 PM  

  • Basic concept of a swatch cap:

    Cast on Enough Stitches to get around the target head. EZ helpfully points out that for a flat sweater the width of the front or back tends to be a good starting size for the head. Knit the patterns for the target sweater. Continue til it's a respectable hat length. Measure gauge.

    The gauge of the yarn doesn't matter. EZ typically used worsted because... it's a common yarn size and she liked it. After all, a worsted weight sweater is a very practical thing in Wisconsin.

    There are some problems with the idea. A complete adult hat takes roughly 100g of yarn. And a half finished hat that's still on the needles is not exactly washable, so if the yarn's gauge varies after washing you've got trouble.

    By Blogger Emily, at 4:28 AM  

  • I haven't done it Emily, but have studied her books a lot. I think you would remove the hat swatch from the needles to waste yarn and wash it that way if you want a washed swatch.

    The aran or cabled sweaters are good for this because she does 4 repeats of her pattern groupings around the sweater so she does only 2 on the hat and it is hard to get a good gauge swatch otherwise.

    I would expect that if you want to complete the had, after you reach the respectable length, you would decrease both sides of 4 points every other row for a while and then every row at the very top.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:15 AM  

  • I think it is in Knitting Alamanac where she does the Aran fishtrap sweater. I think the idea was to cast on half the stitches of the sweater in the sweaters pattern and thus knitting the hat with the patterning of the sweater to get the gauge.

    By Blogger Kucki68, at 3:36 AM  

  • I made a swatchcap for my Fishtrap Aran that was quite successful, and useful in adjusting the pattern to get exactly the right size. I had a rough notion of what my gauge would be, so I threw in a couple of fishtrap motifs and filled in between with cables. My head is large and my husband wanted a slim-fitting sweater, so I added an extra cable to make up a little more than half of the sweater body.

    It does take up more yarn than a traditional 4 x 4" gauge swatch, but as most of EZ's sweaters are constructed in the round and many people's gauge changes between flat and round knitting, it's worth taking the extra time to do the hat. Plus you end up with two wearable garments in place of one!

    By Blogger Sarah / Blue Garter, at 11:36 AM  

  • Many thanks all! I'm going to check out the suggested resources. Thanks again for your comments.

    By Anonymous Captivating, at 2:41 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home