DK and Pattern

I was wondering, what is DK yarn? Recently I decided to make a baby dress, and I made with with light yarn (3) and it said it was for a newborn- I started making it, and it wasn’t until I got to the sleeve, that I realized that the dress would be too small even for a tiny doll! I was really disappointed. The dress pattern is lovely. However, do you think this pattern would work if I doubled the amount of stitches on a bigger needle?

That’s cute. What is your gauge? I don’t see gauge given on the pattern itself but it is on the Ravelry page.

So… I never made a gauge… Honestly, it didn’t occur to me- I used the right yarn and the right needle size according to the pattern and I was so mad- I didn’t realize how small it was until the arm hole- oh dear- it wouldn’t have even fit my cabbage patch kid!

Ugh, that’s so disappointing. This little dress works out so nicely in a true DK or even worsted weight yarn. I’ve made more than one myself.
Your yarn may be at the light end of the “3” classification. DK is typically about 22sts/4" but #3 covers 21-24sts/4".

You were right. I made the swatch, and it was only 1 inch- Plus it said 10 cm across- well mine was only about 3.5 cm I am a little frustrated, but I could use a bigger needle to obtain gauge right?

I get the impression swatching for gauge is new for you. This video explains a lot about swatching for gauge. I can say you would need to use a larger needle if your sts/in is more than that given.

Thanks so much- I usually don’t make swatches because it is not necessary when making blankets! This clothing thing is a totally different game! :slight_smile:

Salmonmac can help more with technical stuff than I could ever hope to so I find links. :laughing: Since this is a baby dress and babies grow extremely quickly, having the finished garment on the large side would definitely be better than having it be too small to fit a doll. I can knit a garment for a baby pretty quickly and still fear it will be too small by the time I get it done. I made a blanket for my first great granddaughter. I might have to consider making this dress but it will have to be a lot bigger than the pattern is written for.

What is the name of the yarn that you’re using? Going up a needle size or two will help get you closer to 4" measured across the center of your swatch. You’ll also be able to see whether you like the feel and drape of the knitted fabric. Is it too lacy or too tight and dense for what you’d prefer.

Good video, GG. Thank you.

I also suggest blocking the swatch before you decide on your final needle size.
It sounds like a drag I know but knitted fabric can change quite a but if washed and pinned out to dry flat,more steam blocked, the feel, drape, and size can change.
Having said that sometimes even blocking a swatch doesn’t give all the information, I have tops which are growing despite blocking both the swatch and the top. There are so many variables!

Good luck with it, such a pretty dress I’m sure you’ll get a good result in the end after all your effort.

I agree that how the knitting changes when blocked or washed and dried in the dryer - this is a baby garment after all - is important. Pinning out to block wouldn’t IMHO be appropriate for something that goes in the washer and dryer. The swatch should be treated as the finished garment will be treated. I find little change in acrylics, the yarn I’m most likely to use for babies and young kids, when washed and dried and generally don’t bother. That doesn’t mean I should use this approach but for me it works. The same is true for sock yarns. I see no change after laundering in the washer. If I put items I use sock yarn for in the dryer (I don’t) that might matter.

GG I totally agree that baby wear needs to be easily washed and dried.
Coincidentally though, just today I have steam blocked for the first time. Also coincidentally it was baby wear which I’ve never made before. I decided to make a baby blanket and cardigan to donate using up some yarn which is 100%recycled acrylic.
I am SOLD on steaming! True it might not be worth while for every project but from what I have been watching, reading, learning the past few days about steam blocking acrylic I believe it does have a lasting effect on shape, size and drape which is not obtained by going straight to washing and drying. The steam softens the acrylic and then it is allowed to set in shape (whether pinned or just gently manipulated with hands) and it will hold this shape after subsequent washes.
I have not yet washed my 2 pieces but I believe it should hold its shape when washed - I hope so!

And after

Not seamed or finished yet but it was vital I steam blocked before seaming and positioning the buttons and button holes as the design and size isn’t revealed until after blocking.

I do agree this is not always the case.

IME steaming can be a good thing but the effects don’t hold through washing and drying. I may be doing something wrong but acrylic items I’ve steamed and then washed looked the same as others I didn’t steam. I’ve purposely killed acrylic. That was interesting. Once killed - I’m not saying you killed yours, the photo doesn’t remotely hint that you did - it’s permanently the way it is. I have found that pinning and drying flat can change the gauge but it won’t be permanent. If gauge is super important (rarely for me I admit) I wouldn’t rely on gauge from a swatch not laundered and dried as I expect the FO to be. Nobody’s right and nobody’s wrong on this. I’m glad for the discussion! Thanks for sharing your experience and for the photo of you lovely knitting.

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I made the swatch, according to the pattern and it is good now, however the pattern says it is for a 0-3 month old, though mine looks like it is for a preemie- It is turning out nice though I would definitely use a bigger needle next time though just to make the pattern bigger


GG, I have to hope mine will hold its shape after washing because otherwise its unusable and will have to be binned!
I’ll let you know when I eventually get to it.

Melanie, sorry you’re having problems with the size of this project. There are a few babies photographed on ravelry wearing this pattern and they don’t look ultra small so it seems the pattern doesn’t always come out as preemie. Good luck.

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Creations, that kimono worked out beautifully. Very pretty.

Ah, thank you. Some of it was a real struggle although it looks SO simple! Still seaming, half done now.

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In order to increase the number of stitches, you normally have to do it both vertically (rows) and horizontally (stitches). Normally it takes more rows than stitches to get the same measurement in length. I always guess it at about a 3/2 ratio. But your exact guage from a swatch will always be more accurate.

Increasing the stitch size (larger needles) will change the texture of the garment. You may or may not like it.

You could find some thin yarn, maybe coned yarn for machines) to run along with your yarn & may get a good approximation of the pattern yarn.

I wouldn’t want to lose the yarn I already had. There are several ways this could be worked out, imo.

I used to deliberately kill acrylic yarn. For better drape. Especially the cheap yarn I bought at the dime store.