Here is a post about swatching, if you’re into that kind of thing. I know we’re often impatient and want to jump to the actual garment, but hang on there, kitten. Don’t you want to make sure it will fit?
Did you know you’re stockinette swatches in the round can be quite different from those done flat? Sometime purl stitches are looser than your knit stitches, or tighter, or any combination of things. That means, if a pattern, like the Kit Camisole, instructs you to swatch in the round, a stockinette swatch that includes purled stitches isn’t going to be accurate.
Rather than cast on double the amount of stitches and using magic loop, you can cheat a little bit. You can cast on the number of stitches you would for your 4″ or bigger swatch. In this case, I cast on 35 because the gauge is 27 sts in 4″. I like to have a little extra at the sides to take the center measurement for greatest accuracy.
Knit the first row. When you get to the end, push the piece back along the circular needle to the right side, as if you were making an i-cord. Move your strand of yarn from the left side of the piece back to the right side, making sure to leave enough of a strand that it’s not pulling in on the piece. Knit the next row. Continue in this fashion. You will have a swatch that uses only knit stitches, just like knitting in the round.
I can’t take full credit for this technique. I don’t remember the exact source, but I’m feeling like it was a tip from Ysolda, maybe in her wonderful book about altering sweater designs, Little Red in the City.