The knitting gauge or needle gauge tool is a handy addition to your knitting basket.

Mine is yellowed with age, but still functional.  Since most of the patterns I need a gauge for give it in inches, the fact that mine has only inches is fine.

gauge-tool

I like the handy L-shaped window, through which 2 inches horizontal and vertical are clearly visible.  Why?

stitches2

Well,  it makes it easier to count horizontal stitches and vertical rows at one time.  Of course, you can still use the ruler and do one at a time.  Many times my gauge is only accurate in one direction anyway.  And if given the choice, I’ll make my gauge match the stitches and keep the width the same as the pattern.  I use the written knitting gauge provided in the pattern to convert rows to inches.  And then just knit the number of inches required for the length.

Like many good tools, this one has more than one purpose.  Not only is it an easy way to count rows and stitches per 2 inches, but it’s also a ruler.  And it also has those little holes in a row.  The holes correspond to knitting needle sizes, given in both mm and US sizes.

If you’re used to knitting with straight needles, yes they are all marked.  But many circular needles aren’t.  And sometimes the differences between sizes are hard to see.  Especially for anyone wearing glasses:

2circs

These two circular needles are not the same size.  And, there’s only 1/4 mm difference between them.  They’re US size 4 (3-1/2 mm) above, and 5 (3-3/4 mm) below.

Even rolling the two in your hands, it can be difficult to tell them apart.  Which makes this little tool indispensable at times.

And a good deal, at less than $2 many places.

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