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Topic: Do I have gauge??  (Read 378 times)
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eatmoreplants
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« on: June 13, 2007 12:30:27 PM »

Please help me if you can! I think I have gauge problems in life. I understand the concept- but I guess I am just bad at judging it. I am planning on knitting the two tone shrug from fitted knits, I just did a gauge swatch and it is a tiny bit big.
The book says: gauge= 20 sts and 26 rows= 4"

My whole swatch is 20 sts and 26 rows. It is a little bit big- but if I went down a needle size I think it would be too small. From my pictures do you think I have gauge? What should I do?


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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007 12:36:13 PM »

I'd say give it a try on smaller needles. Changing needle size never seems to affect the gague as dramatically as I expect it to going in. Also be conscious of how tightly you knit... when I'm having trouble achieving gague, sometimes I'll subconsciously change my tension to help it along, but that's no good because I won't be able to sustain it over the life of the project. I've had to frog because of that on occasion.
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eatmoreplants
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2007 12:40:15 PM »

Ok- I'll try going down a needle size! Which brings me to another question- the pattern calls for two different needle sizes- 5 and 8. The gauge is done in size 8s. If I must go down one size from the 8 should I go down a size from the 5 too??

Thanks for answering so quickly!!
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2007 12:45:13 PM »

Hmmm... probably, but it depends on the pattern. When I did my version of the Pithy Hat in a larger yarn, I didn't end up sizing up the needles as much for the body of the hat as I did for the ribbing. What I'd do in your shoes would be to swatch in both sizes I'm thinking of trying for the other part of the pattern, multiplying my gague by the number of stitches, and comparing that number to the dimension of that portion of the piece (if given) or to the body measurement you're trying to fit (in my example, I just measured my head) accounting for ease or negative ease as needed. Isn't yarn substituting fun?

All of the above is assuming the gague actually matters, and it's not something like a scarf.
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redwitch
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2007 03:50:50 AM »

For a gauge swatch, you need to cast on more than 10 cm wide. Say 15 cm. And if it is stocking stitch, add 4-5 stitches of garter at the start and end of each row to stop curling. In a 20-st swatch, the edge stitches can be a bit loose, so you will get a bigger measurement than what you will actually have in your knitted item.

What you have there looks like about 16 stitches to 10 cm/4 in (although not curling too much, well done).

I say go down a needle size, cast on 26 stitches at least, first 3 rows garter, then about 10-12 cm of stocking stitch with 3 stitches of garter on each side. More than 20 stitches of stocking stitch would be even better, say 25 with 3 st garter each side. Wash it the way the shrug will be washed and dry the same way, then measure scrupulously and don't be tempted to stretch or squash it even a little bit, if you do this the shrug will be the wrong size. Better to err on the small side if you do err because many fabrics will be able to block larger, also it will be stretched out slightly when it's on you, so smaller is better than bigger, but DO swatch and wash it because you don't want to knit a whole shrug that doesn't fit you! Much better to spend the hour swatching, get out your favourite DVD - I recommend Prison Break, as long as watching those boys will not make you feverishly clench your wool tightly, you don't want to have different tension during your swatch from when you knit the shrug - it will fly buy, you will get the feel of your wool, and it is really worth a few minutes now to get a shrug that actually fits you.

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