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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy. Beginner here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag"><br><br>
Let's say that a knitting pattern for a sweater calls for a gauge of 4" for 28 stitches and 26 rows. I knit the gauge swatch, and I get 3.5" for the rows and 4.5 for the stitches. What gives? And what do I do? Does it still work to proceed if the swatch doesn't measure up exactly? This is my first sweater, and I'd hate to botch it. TIA!
 

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Not sure what you mean when you say you get 3.5" for the rows. Do you mean you hit 28 rows at 3.5"?<br><br>
Have you washed your swatch? If you're getting 4.5 stitches to the inch, you have too many stitches, which means your finished item will be too small. For example, if the sweater has a 34 inch bust, at 4 spi (stitches per inch), you'll need 34 * 4 = 136 stitches. If you are getting 4.5 spi and cast on only 136 sts, you'll end up with 136/4.5 = 30.2". So, it'll be too small.<br><br>
However, if you wash your swatch, you may find that once the yarn soaks (especially if it is wool or a wool blend) that the fiber will "bloom". It may bloom anywhere from .25 to .5 stich or more. And, if you're knitting with something like alpaca, you may find that your swatch grows lengthwise as well so that your swatch lengthens to 4".<br><br>
Generally, though, too many stitches means you need to use bigger needles to get the gauge you're going for and too few stitches means you need to use smaller needles.<br><br>
A sweater is too much of a time investment to get it wrong. Spend a little time on your swatch (unless it's for a baby/child - then my motto is, it'll fit someone!) so you end up with the garment you plan to knit.
 

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When you're knitting a swatch, you don't want to knit precisely what you're trying to hit. So if they said 28 stitches to 4 inches, you want to knit 4 inches (or preferably more), not 28 stitches. Just knitting 28 stitches will not give you an accurate assessment of your gauge.<br><br>
That being said, the entire reason for knitting a swatch is that not everyone gets the same result. So if you're not getting enough stitches per inch, you need to increase your needle size and knit another swatch. Your stitches/rows may never match precisely, but it is more important that the stitches match, the rows are of lesser importance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honeybunmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Not sure what you mean when you say you get 3.5" for the rows. Do you mean you hit 28 rows at 3.5"?</div>
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Yes. Sorry for not making that clear.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honeybunmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you washed your swatch?</div>
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No. The yarn is 95% cotton and 5% viscose, so would that be affected as much as the wool or wool blend?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honeybunmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A sweater is too much of a time investment to get it wrong. Spend a little time on your swatch (unless it's for a baby/child - then my motto is, it'll fit someone!) so you end up with the garment you plan to knit.</div>
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I agree. It is a child's sweater, but it's cabled, and a lot of work will go into it. So yea, I'll be spending some time on the swatch. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cristeen</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15448896"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When you're knitting a swatch, you don't want to knit precisely what you're trying to hit. So if they said 28 stitches to 4 inches, you want to knit 4 inches (or preferably more), not 28 stitches. Just knitting 28 stitches will not give you an accurate assessment of your gauge.</div>
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Ah ha! Thank you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's probably irrelevant, but this is what I'm knitting, if you're on Ravelry.<br><br><a href="http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-cable-yoke-sweater" target="_blank">http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/libr...e-yoke-sweater</a>
 

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Knits stretch, if it's longer one way and shorter the other your gauge is probably right and washing and/or blocking may sort it out. Many patterns you can just add some rows to make sure they end up long enough if it looks like it'll be a problem.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Turquesa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15449896"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It's probably irrelevant, but this is what I'm knitting, if you're on Ravelry.<br><br><a href="http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/childs-cable-yoke-sweater" target="_blank">http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/libr...e-yoke-sweater</a></div>
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Very nice! Washing it could still be helpful. I started a cotton sweater for my dd last summer. My gauge swatch came out a little big, but, once I washed and threw it in the dryer (since that was how I planned to care for the sweater), it was spot on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Since cotton stretches, I would be sure to fold up that beautiful sweater and put it on a shelf rather than hanging it.
 
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