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Topic: Gauge swatch questions  (Read 841 times)
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Belladune
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« on: March 13, 2012 04:49:27 PM »

Okay, so first, pick your knitting needles up off the floor, yes I did knit a gauge swatch.... I know, who does that, right? Tongue  Wink  Grin

Firstly, I'm making the chimera mitten patern over on Ravelry.  For the swatch it says: size 6 US needles, 22 stitches and 32rows = 4 inches.  Now, I take it that is 4 inches square?  It doesnt specify.  I ended up with a piece of fabric that is 4.5x5 inches big, when blocked, not really stretched, just flattened.  Now, if I go down a needle size, say to size 5 won't that affect the width more?  And what about the length, would it be really that affected?  Of course I some how need to loose an inch off the length.  Although if I didn't loose a whole inch I could just put in fewer rows, right, ad end up with decent mittens, as I'll be trying them on  as I go.... They mostly need to fit in the width and the length can be played with, right?
..... So that got pretty ramble, but I hope you all understand it. 

Thanks for your help, deciphering this gauge nonsense Smiley

Oh! And what about tension. If I knit it tighter is that going to affect length, or width?  Or both?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012 04:50:27 PM by Belladune » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2012 05:21:02 PM »

I don't have answers to all of your questions, but when I do take the time to do a gauge swatch I always do more than what they list for the 4" square swatch. So with your example, I would be stitching at least 30 stitches for at least 35 rows before I checked the gauge. Somewhere, once upon a time, I read that that is a more accurate way of measuring the gauge in the middle of a swatch than on the exact edges. Someone else can correct me if I'm wrong, but that is how I've always done them.

I also know that knitting tighter is going to make your gauge smaller, the stitches more dense. So far as the effects of needles on length & width & such, my logic is not working today so hopefully someone else will be more help with that. Tongue

For your situation, my first step would be to try doing a larger swatch, then start going down in needle size if it's still too large.
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012 08:03:17 PM »

The aim of swatching isn't to make a 4" square, but to see how many sts you get in 4". Rows too, but they're not as important as matching the stitches, most patterns tell you to work to a measurment, not so many rows for the length, so you just knit to the measurement. Use a smaller needle, the row gauge changes far more than the stitch gauge when you go up or down a size, casting on 30 sts and knit 2-3" then measure the sts across the middle. Don't include the edges because they're a different size than the ones in the center. It can also be a good idea to wash the swatch the same way you will the finished item, some yarns stretch, some pull in.
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sue
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012 08:18:25 PM »

Thank you for the advice ladies! I'll pull it apart and try casting on more stitches, and checking how many stitches are in 4 inches. And I'll try with my next down set of needles, which I think is a four....  Or I borrow a set of fives... Either way I really appreciate the input.  I'm still new to this following a pattern, I usually just make scarves, and gauge and such don't overly matter when you make those. (IMHO Wink )
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012 07:49:48 PM »

Alright, I cast on 28 stitches on a size 5US needle.  I've got 23 stitches to the 4 inches.  And 15 rows in 2 inches long- I didn't have enough yarn to go a whole lot bigger then 3 inches, as I just unraveled the first swatch that I had cut off the skein. This is all unblocked, but I don't really know how one would go about blocking mittens.  I'd say that I should be good to go, right?  Will one stitch difference make that big a deal in a mitten? 
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soozeq
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012 07:49:16 AM »

To block mittens, or hats or just about anything, just wash and lay them flat to dry, unless it's a yarn that can go in the dryer. You don't need to cut your swatch yarn, just leave it attached and you can reuse it if you run short. For mittens, one stitch in 4" shouldn't make a difference, that would only be 2 sts worth for the whole thing and would only make them about " smaller, so I think you're fine.
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sue
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012 09:36:09 AM »

The reason I did cut it was because the yarn needs to be dyed before I start the mittens, and iddn't want to go through the effort if the yarn I made wasn't going to work for the mitts.  If I had to start again, and make another yarn, and then dye it... Well, it's just easier to be sure what I'm dyeing would work.
It's 100% BFL, so I'll give that a try, wash and lay flat. 
Thank you for all your help!
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