Finding Gauge

HELP! I’m starting a new project, a sweater, and the instructions for finding the gauge include the instruction “using US 6 needles over pattern stitch after blocking.” I’ve never seen “after blocking” before in gauge instructions. It also states to find the gauge knitting “over pattern” but there are actually two patterns to the sweater. Can you explain what I am to do to find the gauge? What does “after blocking” mean when referring to gauge, and which pattern does “over pattern” refer to in the instructions to find gauge? Thank you!

Blocking can change the size of a piece of knitting. It’s more likely to happen with wool or other natural fibers than with acrylic yarns. For checking gauge after blocking you would want to measure before you block the swatch and then again after washing it as you would expect to wash the sweater and pinning it out to dry so that you can compare the two. As for the “over pattern” a link to your pattern so we can see it would help.

So are you saying to find the gauge I need to knit in pattern (still confused which of two patterns to use, though) for a 4" swatch, wash it, pin it, and measure it and then make sure I have the right gauge? Here is a link to the pattern: Thank you!!

What yarn are you using? Babies grow so fast that if your sweater turns out a little bigger after washing it should be just fine. I can’t see the pattern. I’ve had problems when I signed up at Love Knitting before and won’t do it again.

Here’s the pattern at WEBS:

It’s basically stockinette with a little pattern stitch yoke. You could do a gauge swatch in stockinette (knit one row, purl one row) and be fine.

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Thank you so much!

Yes, gauge is to be taken AFTER blocking always. That is standard. Even if the directions do not say so, we all know that is how it is done. You will NEVER get gauge if it is not blocked.

AFTER BLOCKING means after the swatch is washed and dried as you are going to treat the garment. You do that for all your knitting anyway, right? You can’t call your knitting finished until it is blocked! And so your gauge swatch must also be washed and blocked to know the final gauge. Different yarns will all react differently to washing and drying – you need to find out BEFORE you start into the sweater!

Which pattern? I would do both. You can do each in the same swatch, or do two swatches. I am assuming the pattern repeat is fairly small – just use one repeat in your swatch.

There is too much stress placed on gauge. It is not that critical – really. As long as you are close – you will NEVER ever get the same gauge in width and height to be the same as the designer. Don’t even try!!

However, you need to be sure that your sweater will fit – and sometimes even if it is a little larger or smaller, it will still fit. If you are wildly out, then make the necessary corrections. Don’t get so hung up on gauge! It is only a guide – the same as highway speed limits!