We're sure you've heard, read, and been told many times and from many places the importance of swatching. It also matters which needles you swatch with! In our experiment we knit three swatches all using the soft and silky Fibre Company Canopy Worsted. We used three different needle materials, all size US 6 (4mm). from left to right they are Symfonie Cubics, Nova Platinas, and Trendz.
The center square in stockinette stitch on all three swatches are 20 stitches wide and 27 rows long. All the squares measure 3.75" long after blocking, but the width of the swatches varies slightly. The difference might seem insignificant, but if you're talking about a sweater with 200 stitches, at the first gauge on the Symfonie Cubics that would measure 38.75", with the Nova Platinas the garment would measure 40", and with Trendz it would measure 41.25". So depending on which needles you use, with the same exact number of stitches, you could get anywhere from 38.75" to 41.25", a difference of 2.5"!
When choosing which needle is best it's also important to consider your personal style of knitting, preferences, and the yarn. Canopy Worsted is a soft blend of of 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 20% bamboo. Both baby alpaca and bamboo are very soft with lots of drape, making this wool a little bit slicker than a more rustic wool yarn. It's a 3-ply yarn, making it round and durable, and doesn't split, making it easier to knit with blunt needles. Symfonie Cubics, Nova Platinas, and Trendz are all appropriate for working with this yarn. You can learn more about finding your perfect needle with our new series of videos from Staci Perry.
We continue the Conversation Socks Knit-A-Long as part of Socktober! Learn more in this blog post and join the KAL on Ravelry.
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina Starter Set! To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us whether or not you swatch when starting a new project, and leave us your Ravelry ID or another way to contact you. We'll choose one lucky winner October 31st!