Mothering Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I understand what guage is and how to knit fake round and flat etc. However, I am trying to figure out how guage affects size and how to determine which direction to go up or down in needle size if guage isn't right.
In other words- if I knit 3.5 stitches per inch on size 8 and someone else knits 4 stitches per inch on size 8, how will the finished piece compare? How do I get the correct guage then- do I try a size 9 or a size 7 needle next?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by yasi
Hi,
I understand what guage is and how to knit fake round and flat etc. However, I am trying to figure out how guage affects size and how to determine which direction to go up or down in needle size if guage isn't right.
In other words- if I knit 3.5 stitches per inch on size 8 and someone else knits 4 stitches per inch on size 8, how will the finished piece compare? How do I get the correct guage then- do I try a size 9 or a size 7 needle next?
Okay. It's mostly basic arithmetic. Let's say you're knitting something that's 100 stitches big. If you knit 3.5 spi, that times 100 stitches means you end up with something that's roughly 28.5 inches big. Your friend who knits at 4 spi, and knits the same 100 stiches will knit something 25 inches big. I did that by saying 4 stitches/1 inch = 100 stitches/x inches. 100 divided by 4 equals 25.

We can work the other way too. This time you need to knit something that's 50 inches long. You will have to cast on 3.5 (how many stitches you get in one inch) times 50 (the number of inches you need) for 175 stitches. Your friend will need to cast on 200 stitches.

In the first example, you can see how being off by merely 1/2 stitch per inch can grow your item quite a bit. If the gauge for the pattern is 4 stitches per inch, they mean to end up with something 25 inches long (or around). If you instead knit it at 3.5, you'll end up with something that 3.5 inches bigger.

Now, if you'd rather get 4 stitches to the inch, you need your stitches to be SMALLER, use a smaller needle. The yarn harlot words it thusly in her book:

"If you have FEWER stitches to the inch than the pattern calls for, you need to make the stitches SMALLER so more will fit in the same space. Use a SMALLER needle." from Knitting Rules

You have fewer, you need smaller.

Likewise, if you were trying to get 3 stitches per inch, you have MORE, you need BIGGER stitches, go with a bigger needle. You have MORE, you need BIGGER.

That was a fantastic mnemonic for me.

I have a hard time explaining gauge without math - someone else might be better able to. Let us know if this helps at all...

~amey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you so much Amey. Math speaks to me so I dont know why I didn't figure this out myself! Thanks for the mnemonic too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,448 Posts
Wow! MDC delivers once again.
: I just came to the forum to ask a question about guage and here was a thread about guage! So cool!

Thanks Yasi for posting this!

I have another guage related question that will probably seem very obvious. When you measure the stitches per inch it's horizontally on the swatch right? I feel so silly for asking it, but I am just not completely sure.
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by fremontmama
I have another guage related question that will probably seem very obvious. When you measure the stitches per inch it's horizontally on the swatch right? I feel so silly for asking it, but I am just not completely sure.
:
Yes. Stitch gauge is measured horizontally. ROW gauge is measured vertically.

To be geeky, stitch gauge is the x-axis, row gauge is the y-axis. And I remembered the mnemonic for that from my 6th grade math teacher: "x across. why? [y] up and down."

Also remember to measure your gauge in several different places to get an accurate one.

~amey
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top