Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

13 February, 2024

Are you ready to keep learning, beginner Sock Lover? You already know which yarns to choose and how to measure your foot to knit tailor-made socks; it’s time to level up! This time, we share a video about how to knit a gauge swatch in the round and how to cut it using the steek technique. This way, you’ll be able to flatten the fabric to precisely count the stitches and rounds in 10×10 cm (4×4 inches). With this guide to learn how to knit socks you’re closer to making your dream socks come true! 

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Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

Gauge swatch in the round 

To guarantee proper fit and size, it’s essential to knit a gauge swatch in the round. This is the only way you can know how many stitches and rounds you knit in 10×10 centimeters. Take note of the following recommendations to make swatches before knitting socks. 

Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

Yarn, circular needles, and stitch(es) 

Use the same circular needles (or double-pointed needles) and yarn that you’re intending to knit your socks with. Knit a swatch in the stitch pattern you want for your design, or the stitch pattern indicated in the pattern you want to follow. 

📌 If you’re going to knit a lace sock design, we suggest blocking both the swatch and the socks after you’ve knit them. 

Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 
Gotiek lace sock pattern by @apella.knits available at

How to make a gauge swatch in the round 

Given that you plan to knit socks in the round, ideally you should also knit the swatch in the round. Why? Well, because your tension knitting in the round can be different to when you knit flat. 

📌 Cast on enough stitches to make a swatch that is slightly larger than 10 cm / 4”. This way, you can count your stitches and rounds more easily and precisely. You can take the number of stitches (and also rounds) indicated on the 10×10 icon on the ball band as a reference. 

Muestra de Tensión en Circular ➕ Técnica Steek 🧦

Techniques to knit a swatch in the round 

Swatching is probably not your favorite part about knitting, but you already know how important it is. To encourage you, we recommend some surprising techniques to knit swatches in the round. With videos to boot! So, you don’t have any excuses not to swatch 😉 

Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

Swatch using Magic Loop 

If you know the Magic Loop technique, apply it to knitting your swatch in the round. And if you don’t have much experience, knitting swatches is the best way to practice. Once you’ve finished your swatch, we recommend cutting it with the steek technique to be able to count the stitches and rounds comfortably. 

Steek technique for cutting knitted fabric 

Steeking consists of cutting knitted fabric vertically with scissors. This way, you can spread out the swatch and easily count your stitches and rounds. 

Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

⚠️ Before cutting! We show you the key to successfully steeking without changing your tension or unraveling the swatch in this video. You just need a crochet hook to learn how to fasten knitted fabric before cutting it. 

Swatch in the round leaving loose strands at the back 

This method allows you to knit in the round, leaving a long strand between the last and the first stitch of each round. Thanks to these long strands, you can flatten your swatch knit in the round, avoid steeking it, and easily count your 10×10 centimeters.

Gauge swatch in the round ➕ Steek technique 🧦 

In the following video, we show you how to swatch in the round, leaving loose strands at the back. 

How to count stitches and rounds in 10×10 cm 

Now, your swatch is ready to count how many rounds and stitches there are in a 10×10-centimeter square. Take a look at the following video to learn how to count stitches and rounds on a swatch. 

With the result of your 10×10-cm swatch and your foot measurements, we hope to see you in our next post, calculator in hand. ¡February is the month of love for socks on the Katia Blog! 

Guide to learn how to knit socks 

If you want to go over previous posts or see what we still have to share in this free guide to learn how to knit socks, here is the list of contents: 

The comments section is open for you to share your sock questions, suggestions, and experiences. 

We look forward to hearing from you, Sock Lover!