# Checking gauge

OK, I have to admit I have never, ever done a gauge swatch (oh, the shame, the shame :oops: ) since I’ve mostly done scarves, blankets, and headband/earwarmers. I did one kiddie sweater, but since I was making it oversized anyway (made it in the local school’s colors for her to wear to football games and therefore wanted it to be big enough to layer stuff under…and she’s 5, so she really isn’t overly fashion conscious when it comes to watching football in a chilly stadium) I didn’t worry about it.

Well, now I want to make my nieces sweaters for their birthdays, and with them being in 5th and 6th grades, they WILL be very fashion conscious. So, wanting to make sure the darn things fit, I decided to do it the right way.

Thus begins my quandry…I have one of those plastic gauge checker things and thought it would be no big deal to check my gauge. I found out I’m much more ignorant than I gave myself credit for :shrug: The pattern states “9 stitches equals 2 inches, and 6 rows equals 1 inch”. So, is the 9 stitches going lengthwise and the 6 rows going vertical? Why wouldn’t it be 9 and 9 instead of 9 and 6? I am probably not seeing the forest for the trees, but I am totally baffled. It seems like if it takes 9 stitches to make 2 inches, then it ought to take 9 rows to make 2 inches, not 6. Anyway, I can live with it if I can just figure out if I’m measuring the right way. 9 horizontal, 6 vertical, is that correct? :wall:

argh!!! :gah:

Your stitch gauge is the 9–that’s the width and your row gauge is the 6. Stitches aren’t perfect ‘squares’ so your gauge for width will not be the same as for length. The width (stitch) gauge is the most important one to get right. You can always make a piece longer or shorter, but you can’t make it wider or narrower.

Most patterns have you knit for a certain number of inches rather than rows, anyway, so it usually doesn’t make a difference if your row gauge is off. So just worry about the stitch gauge.

Thanks for the help!!!