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As you work a new stitch pattern you may find your inner dialogue changing as you continue to work more repeats:
1st repeat – What am I doing? Knit 3? No wait, it’s knit 2, then decrease. Slip…slip….ok I’m supposed to slip purlwise.
2nd repeat – Knit 2… slip…wait am I on a right side or wrong side row?
3rd repeat – Hey, I kinda got the hang of this thing…wait! Why am I one stitch short?! Where’d that stitch go???
4th repeat – I can do this AND watch tv at the same time. Sweet.
As you get more comfortable with a stitch pattern, you are likely to loosen up some and your gauge will change. If a pattern uses a completely new to you pattern, work some repeats to get comfortable with it BEFORE you do your gauge swatch. That way you’ll have an easier time maintaining gauge in your project.