Thursday, January 26, 2006

Slight hiccup

Knitters, I need some help. I swatched for Blanche-Neige last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The yarn is fabulous, and knits up into a soft, dense fabric. But there's a slight problem -- I'm not quite getting gauge. The pattern calls for a gauge of 28 stiches over 4 inches (or 7 stitches per inch); I got 24 stitches over 4 inches (6 stitches per inch) on my blocked swatch. The swatch was knit on US 3's, although the gauge given on the yarn label calls for US 5's. The knitting was pretty tight on the 3's, and so I'm wary of trying a swatch on US 2's to see if I can get gauge that way, so now I'm stuck. I know that having one less stitch per inch than I should doesn't seem so bad, but I know that multiplied over many inches it'll make an impact. However, I'm wondering, if I follow directions for the size smaller than I was intending, will the extra inch I get every so often work to my advantage and actually give me a size closer to what I wanted? Or will this really mess me up and do I really need to re-swatch with smaller needles? Help, all of those who are good at the maths!

Edited 10:06 pm
Pulled out my swatch again, and got 37 rows over 4 inches (the pattern gauge is 40 rows over 4 inches). I looked over the pattern again, and there are parts where it says something to the effect of "continue in pattern until piece measures x inches." I'm thinking that here's where I have a little wiggle room, since I can always eliminate some of these rows to account for the difference in row gauge. I think. Am I right?

As to the stitch gauge, I did some calculations at the end of the day and I think that if I follow the stitch count for a size XS, it should get me approximately to the width of the M.

Thanks all for your helpful comments/advice -- you help is much appreciated!


  1. What is the gauge on the yarn band using a 5 US needle? If it's the same as the pattern, swatch on 5 US needle.

    Let me know what happens.


  2. OK... for the sake of argument we'll call the sizes Small and Medium. (where you were going to make the Medium to fit yourself). What you need to do is check the number of sts in the small and then multiply that by your gauge (6 sts/inch) to get the number of inches that the size small would turn out to be if you used your current gauge. If that number is comparable to the size of the size medium (or your size) then you should be fine knitting the smaller size with your larger gauge. If not, then you'd have to tweak it. If you're good to go with the small, then just make sure you figure your row gauge into it too. If you're getting a different row gauge, then you need to adjust the number of rows you work. Of course, if you want to make it fit you perfectly, just figure out your row gauge and then multiply it by YOUR measurements and then it's customized! If you need clarification, feel free to e-mail me.

  3. Miriam's post made me dizzy. Wow. I have SO much to learn. Here I was going to say to try using #4 needles. :-s