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Topic: when gauge is off just the slightest...  (Read 369 times)
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zizabean
« on: August 08, 2007 09:56:56 PM »

So, I'm knitting up a swatch for a sweater, calling for 22 sts every 4 inches.  I'm afraid I might be off by just the slightest... I'm talking 1-3 stitches.

The question is, when is it worth changing your needle size to match your gauge?  I could understand if I was off by 5 or 6... a whole inch we're talking, here, but what if I'm off by just one, or two?  Would changing the needle size compensate just enough, or would I end up worse off?

Please share with me your past experiences for this awful dilemma.
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soozeq
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007 10:03:55 PM »

A couple stitches every 4 inches might be only an inch or so... depends what you're making and how closely you want it to fit. Some yarns may also stretch after they're blocked, so you might want to take that into consideration.
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sue
rippedoffknitter
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2007 01:52:18 AM »

Well, if you're knitting a sweater a few stitches per 4 inches can matter a lot. Say, if the sweater has 220 stitches around and you are off by 3 st per  4 inches and you were supposed to have 22. That is 30 stitches, or 5-6 inches for the whole sweater and will make a big difference. If you are knitting something smaller, e.g. over 60 stitches, one or two stitches per 4 inches won't make as much difference. This is what the Yarn Harlot calls Relative Gauge Risk.
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zizabean
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2007 06:48:54 AM »

so you guys would definitely recommend it's worth going down a needle size?  in the final swatch after blocking i was off by just two stitches, but as rippedoffknitter pointed out, seeing as this is a sweater, it'll add up quickly, which I didn't consider... a 32" sweater with an extra 2 stitches for 4", means an extra 16 stitches... might as well be knitting up an extra size :/

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soozeq
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2007 08:20:38 AM »

If you like the stitch gauge these needles make (going to a smaller needle makes it denser and tighter) then you might consider making the next smaller size. Going down a needle size might not get you gauge either so you might have to go down another or another. At that point, the fabric might be so stiff you don't like it.
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sue
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