I believe gauge is the most important knitting concept because it is the sole principal that determines whether a knitted item will be the right size when it is finished. For an afghan, you have a bit of leeway in that a slightly smaller or slightly larger afghan is still acceptable. For a sweater however, a mere 1/8″ inch difference between the pattern gauge and your knitting gauge is enough to cause an improper fit.
If you’ve always believed that knitting a swatch is a waste of yarn, think again… you’ll waste a lot more yarn knitting an entire sweater that ends up being 3″ too small.
Whether you’re a knitting machine novice or looking to up your game by converting hand-knit patterns to MK, the Knitting Gauge Tutorial can be a useful resource for understanding how gauge works, knitting a proper swatch and adjusting a pattern to work with an alternative yarn.
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