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? about gauge - rows and spi don't match up

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a pattern and yarn that both give a gauge of 4" = 20 sts and 26 rows on 7s. I did a 20x26 swatch on 7s but it turned out 3.5" x 3.75". I did another swatch on 8s but that came out as 3.5" x 4".

It seems like my spi are correct on the 8s but my swatch is still short in the rows department (which I think means too many rpi). How do I proceed from here to get the proper gauge? It's my first sweater so I want to make sure I wind up with the right size.
post #2 of 5
You'll get a more accurate gauge measurement if you make the swatch roughly six inches square. The swatch needs to be larger than the area you want to measure.

Are you washing/drying/blocking the swatch in the same fashion you will the finished product?

In general though, the row gauge is less important than the stitch gauge because
90+% of the time you can just add rows to get the right length.
post #3 of 5
What pattern? There are patterns where row gauge is critical, but they're few and far between.
You could try using wood instead of metal needles, that always helps slacken off my row gauge.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lnupermom View Post
You'll get a more accurate gauge measurement if you make the swatch roughly six inches square. The swatch needs to be larger than the area you want to measure.

Are you washing/drying/blocking the swatch in the same fashion you will the finished product?

In general though, the row gauge is less important than the stitch gauge because
90+% of the time you can just add rows to get the right length.
But, but I don't wanna knit another swatch! I will try washing and drying them and will see what happens. I am liking the idea of just adding more rows though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
What pattern? There are patterns where row gauge is critical, but they're few and far between.
You could try using wood instead of metal needles, that always helps slacken off my row gauge.
I am using bamboo needles as is. The pattern is Ted.
post #5 of 5
OK: sorry, just re-read your first post. Ignore the size your swatch came out and measure an inch square in the middle. (Pin it flat and block it. Draw on it with pen if it feels right.) Count the stitches and rows in that square, honestly, and see how far they are from 5 stitches and 6.5 rows in an inch. Don't look at the cast-on, cast off, or anything else.
I think my gut instinct is to advise you to use the 7's (especially if you're knitting in cotton), because your gauge will almost inevitably loosen when working on a larger piece, but to check your spi often and to measure distances using a tape measure rather than by counting rows. Does this help at all?
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