The advice I’ve read around the web when your blocked gauge swatch doesn’t match the pattern gauge is to adjust your needle size until it does. This bothered me slightly as switching needle size also changes the loop size meaning changes the overall look of the finished product. I understand that going from a 6mm loop to a 7mm isn’t going to result in some disastrous look but I was thinking: couldn’t you also keep the needle size the same and do the math to adjust the number of stitches?
As an example: say the pattern gauge wants 4 stitches/inch and has you cast on 40 stitches meaning it wants 10" cast. Let’s say your unblocked dry gauge ends up 3 stitches/inch (knitting loose) and, after blocking, you get 3.5 stitches/inch (still kind of loose). Doing the conversion, couldn’t you just cast on 34 stitches which, doing the math, would result in the same 10" in your final blocked item?
The conversion formula for how many dry stitches you would need to knit in order for you blocked result to equal the pattern gauge is very simple:
((number of stitches listed in the pattern) divided by (stitches/inch (or cm if you prefer) in the pattern gauge)) times ((st/inch in the pattern gauge) divided by (st/inch in the blocked gauge) times (st/inch in the dry gauge))
I put everything into Excel so adjusting the number of stitches in the pattern to the number of stitches I’d actually have to knit in order to meet gauge would be automatic.
Has anyone ever tried this? It seems like it would be an equally valid way of attaining gauge while still maintaining the pattern designer’s vision in terms of loop tightness and final look but maybe I’m missing something. Also, it would mean you’d only have to swatch and block once and just have Excel adjust the stitch count throughout the pattern rather than swatch/block multiple times on multiple needles in order to make gauge.