? About Gauge Before and After Blocking

I’ve a question about gauge. The yarn that I plan to use is hand painted 100% wool. Using #9 US needles I get 4.5 sts per inch. After blocking it is 4 sts per inch. I want to use the same size needles and yarn and I want to wing it on my own without a pattern. Do I use the blocked measurement to go by?

I don’t plan to use a ready pattern, but let’s say I did and the pattern has a gauge of 4.5 sts per inch. For a garment size of 38 inches (with negative ease) I would need to CO approx. 171 inches. According to my blocked swatch it would actually block out to be approx. 42.75 inches. So, how do I decide the amount of ease? I like my sweaters to have some ease, not snug but not baggy either. This much of a difference before and after blocking is a lot over the course of a large project and it is playing difficult for me to wrap my head around.

I think I answered your question on ravelry. Use the number of sts you get after blocking, but as you knit check the gauge according to the unblocked number. Keep to that and you know that the blocked sweater will come out the right size. You might want to shoot for zero ease or maybe an inch larger for the finished size.

Yes, you did and I am following your advice. I did not realize you were here as well. There are seasoned knitters here that I would love to hear from too. That’s why I posted here also.

Sure, it’s always good to get input from different people.

I haven’t used wool often because I’m sensitive to it, but when I have it always seems to block out a little larger. I’d go with your blocked measurements, too.

Decide how big in inches around you would like the finished and washed sweater to be. That’ll take into account how much ease you would like in the sweater. If it turna out to be 38", then figure out how many sts you would need to cast on at the blocked gauge (4sts/inch) to give you 38" (152sts). The knitted garment will look small and measure small but after blocking, it will give you the size you want.
Whew, enough math for one day! Hand-painted yarn sounds great. What kind of garment are you thinking of making?

I am making a pullover sweater in the round top down using the ingenious contiguous method. You can read about it here.