!@#!@#$% Gauge

OMG! I just spent the past day trying to get the correct gauge for my sisters sweater. Uggh! The pattern called for Size 8, 18 stitches=4 inches in garter stitch, worsted weight. I'm a loose knitter; so, I went down a size. That didn't work. Went back to 8...Nope, and so on until I ended up on size 10 needles. The yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers. It's not like this is chunky yarn. Is garter stitch tighter than stockinette?

Anyway, I will now bravely push forward and pray that this damn thing will fit my sister.



Thomasknits's picture

Did you wash and block your swatch...this is something I rarely do myself, but sometimes a gauge will change a whole stitch per inch after being soaked.


Crafty Andy's picture

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Buck each yarn has it's own gauge. I will say that if you really want to see what this looks like make a 6 x 6 swatch or as little as 3 x 3. Garter stitch is very different from stockinette as you can tell and behaves more stretchy sideways. It takes twice as many rows as stitches to reach a square. Like thomas said, sometiomes there are changes when you block. Since it is garter stitch I would not be too worried about it, but I would do a small swatch even a 2 x 2 and see how this wool behaves on garter stitch.
Your gauge will also be affected by your tension and stress, so try to be as relaxed as possible. Hope this helps cowboy! Happy Pride!

Nathanael's picture

I can relate. I've spent 3 hours now trying to get my gauge right for the "Alvin" vest in Jane Ellison's Queensland Collection book. I'm going with maritime cotton instead of wool, and haven't hit the "sweet needle" yet. I'm done trying for today. Washing and blocking is an excellent recommendation! Hang in there...best of luck!

daveballarat's picture

I am so pleased to have read this .... you guys have great advice. I have noticed a lot of lovely sweaters in the shops here in Singapore and back in Turkey going for quite a sum of money ... and they are machine knits. I'm doing an aran at the moment... by the book... and later on with more confidence and competence will branch out and try different wool weights etc.... and this will be where your sagely advice will come in handy.

Now Buck, being a mathematician ... once you've figured out the gauge conversions into a simple equation, I'll be calling out for help... eventually... I can imagine you with (x +2) + (y +2) = perfect sweater every time...

not in Istanbul, Turkey...Langkawi Island Malaysia


albert's picture

I'm knitting a rather large gauge swatch right now. When finished, it will be 54 inches around, 30 inches long, and will have two sleeves and a neck hole. If this "swatch" doesn't initiate me into the mysteries of guaging aran knitting I'm going to shave my head, paint my ass blue, and never knit anything but stockinette again.

BuduR's picture

ok but even if everything comes out ok, will you still shave your head and paint your ass blue? because that just sounds hilarious.

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mrossnyc's picture

Please find someone to take pics of you painting your ass blue. If it happens...Then of course, post them for all to see.

ronhuber's picture

That is why it is so difficult to follow a pattern. Every person's knitting is so personal. That is why you see patterns that have a different tension than the ball band of the yarn used. Try to find a gauge that you like, plug in the measurements you want, and design your own sweater based on the sweater you like.

Buck Strong's picture

Thanks guys! It would be so much easier if my sister lived here where I could measure her and knit it my way. But I got the gauge; so, things should be okay.
I think I like knitting for babies best. If it's too big, they just grow into it.

"A man may fight for many things. His country, his friends, his principles, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mud-wrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a sack of French porn." Blackadder

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace.
~Milan Kundera