Quick Gauge Question

Now that I'm using the long tail CO, things are going much better. I've bought 2 different colored skeins for the same brand/weight yarn and was knitting a swatch to check my gauge. When I opened my book, it described how to count stitches/rows in stockinette, but not in garter...which I've been doing. Does it matter which pattern I use for a gauge check? My end product (with the yarn) is a garter-stitch scarf for my wife. Even though gauge for a scarf isn't needed, I figured I'd give it a whirl. Any ideas how to count rows/stitches in garter?



You count it pretty much the same way. Horizontally, each bump is 1 stitch. Vertically, each row of bumps is 1 row.

When measuring start at the edge of a stitch that lies in the middle of the swatch. Count each stitch within a 2-3" span and divide the number of stitches by the number of inches for a more accurate count. (If you get a decimal, that's ok.) Do the same thing with the rows of stitches.

I didn't do a very good job explaining this. Perhaps someone could explain it a bit better?

MMario's picture

Garter will give you horizontal ridges; each ridge is two rows; the stitch count is the same as if it were in stockinette, it's just a little harder to distinguish the stitches.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

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Gabriel's picture

Sounds like they have covered it for you...I also count each ridge as two rows....it can be really confusing especially with a cast on edge...so make sure you move up in the swatch to count! And as with any guage that I do....I make sure to do enough rows....cuz the more I knit the looser I get! FYI! That sounded bad...but ya know what I mean!

Chris Vandenburg's picture

Tsk, tsk... Gabriel, Gabriel, Gabriel, just what are we going to do with you?

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

JPaul's picture

It does matter which stitch you use to knit your gauge swatch. Ideally, it will be the same stitch pattern as your project.

This is especially true if your project is all or mostly garter stitch. Stitches aren't square, they're more rectangular. That's why row guage is different than stitch gauge (ie. 6 sts and 8 rows over 4", for example, in stockinette). When you knit garter stitch, the rows are more compressed and the stitches spread out a little. It's common for gauge in garter to be 2 rows for every stitch (ie. 6 sts and 12 rows over 4"). So, if your pattern calls for a certain gauge measured over stockinette stitch, but you knit your swatch using garter stitch, your gauge will probably be significantly different.

Tallguy's picture

Most often, in the pattern instructions, they do give you what pattern to use to measure gauge. Usually something like "in pattern", or "in stocking stitch". Use that. You know, of course, the difference of gauge with cables being different than in stocking stitch. Most often, it is a good idea to use the pattern stitch, to learn how to do it, and to measure what gauge YOU get when doing it.