A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Random Tip: You can now organize your bookmarks into folders!  Read more here.
Total Members: 302,967
Currently Running With Scissors:
639 Guests and 26 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop


Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: How would you best fix your gauge?  (Read 268 times)
Tags for this thread: knitting , gauge , cables  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit add to Wists
1+
 
ludicrouslouisa
« on: April 26, 2014 04:52:02 AM »

Hello knitters!
I have a horrible problem - I, for whatever reason, neglected to do a gauge swatch for !three! separate cardigans (separate patterns and yarn weights) that I'm knitting, and I'm now halfway through all of them and I think they're all too small (using recommended needle and yarn size of course.) I've looked at my knitting, and it seems...my gauge is off. With all of them, I have more stitches and rows per square inch than I should. With one of the cardies it's only about three or four stitches and rows off, so I think if I switch needles to a slightly larger size, I might be able to salvage it. One of the other cardies might be Ok, it seems a bit small but I could maybe just make the button band wider(?) (the gauge given in the pattern is specified as "After blocking", which isn't very useful), but I'm most worried about the third cardigan, which is Knitty's Kittiwake. http://knitty.com/ISSUEw12/PATTkittiwake.php
Granted, I seem to be getting 20 stitches by four inches, instead of 16, which doesn't seem TOO horrible, but the pieces I've knitted so far really do seem very small. Has anyone knitted the pattern before? It specifies positive ease, and the half-finished sleeve, for instance, does seem to stretch around my wrist, but I have a sneaking feeling that blocking won't do much, and I really should just unravel the piece before I make an even bigger mess of it.

How does one change one's gauge? I didn't think I was a tight knitter, and indeed for several things I bothered to measure gauge for, I got exactly the right gauge, so this is a new one. Do I just go up a size of needles? If you want to, say, get 16 stitches per 4 inches rather than 20, would going up, to, say, a 5.5 mm needle (from a 5mm) work?

In case you're wondering, I'm an...ok knitter - I can do stranded colourwork and cables and lace and in the round just fine, but I've probably got nothing on most of the knitters on the board and lurking about on Ravelry. I really should post some of my knits to give you an idea.

Thanks so much for all your help!
THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014 07:58:04 AM »

It's okay to use a differnt needle than the designer used, they may be a looser or tighter knitter than you are - everyone knits with a different tension. As long as your sts aren't so tight they're difficult to move on the needle or work with, you're fine to go up in needle size. Best way to make a swatch is to CO about 6-8 more sts than given for the gauge and work about 8 more rows; you can also do a couple rows of garter stitch then use another needle on the same swatch. Count your sts across 4" and see how that compares. Then wash and dry it like you will the finished item and count the sts again to see if that changes anything. Acrylic yarns may not change though they can sometimes relax a little in the dryer. But that's what 'after blocking' means, just wash and dry is fine, you don't need to stretch and pin it out. It's very likely the gauge was measured on the finished item after blocking that's why you should see what the yarn does beforehand.

Now, why is it important? You're getting 5 sts per inch, instead of 4 - say the pattern is 30" around. At 4 sts per inch that's 120 sts, but the same sts at 5 spi would be 25" so that's quite a difference! On the one that might be only a little small, you can put the sts on scrap yarn to wash and dry it now to see if it relaxes. If it does, you're alright, if not, take it out and do over after determining if you need to use a needle one or two sizes larger.

Many people go up 2 or 3 needle sizes to match the gauge, so that's no reflection on your knitting skills. You might look at how you tension the yarn and form the sts though. If you wrap it around your fingers, you could drop one of the wraps; when you make the sts, make sure to push the end of the needle all the way through the st so you're not making the st on the very tip. That would be like using a needle 2 sizes too small, the new st needs to be on the straight part of the needle. Also, if you pull the yarn after you make the stitch to make it 'nice and even', don't - making the next one will tighten up the previous stitch, they get even when you wash the finished item.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sue
ludicrouslouisa
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014 05:16:04 PM »

Thanks so much for the response. I think I'll try a swatch at a slightly larger needle size - an increase of .5 mm should hopefully do it. Not sure if I have the needles lying around though, I'd have to see.
I'm assuming knitting using a slightly larger needle would match the gauge/work better than simply knitting the cardigan in the next size up? That seems to be what posts about gauge have indicated.
THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014 08:42:26 AM »

It's usually better to just switch the needle size. You can knit a size larger if your gauge divided into the stitches for that size will come out to the measurement you need. However, the fabric may be stiffer and denser than it should be for the item, so using another needle will retain the same feel the item was intended to have.

I would try both one size up and 2 sizes up on a sample. I've found the stitch gauge doesn't usually change noticeably with just 1 size change, but will for 2 sizes. You need a whole extra stitch per 4" so the larger size would likely be better, a 6mm should do it. Don't be worried about the needle size being so much larger, it's matching the gauge that counts.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

sue
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search



your ad could be here!

How-To Videos
Taking Candid Wedding Photos
Photography Battery Tips
What Is Digital Photography?
The Rule of Thirds in Photography
Vertical Vs. Horizontal Photography
Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Art Pen Case
Sock It To Me!
Meatless Monday: Kale and Edamame Salad

Comparison Shopping




Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies
Comparison Shopping

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2014, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.