Gauge

:?? My question probably sounds dumb but here it goes, when your knitting and reading the instructions it always tell you make sure to check your gauge and the measurements for the gauge. I don’t know what that means, I read the instructions and it tell you for example cast on 56 stiches and I go from there. Can anyone explain I am confused.

Different weight yarn produces different sized stitches…Thin yarn small stitches, thick yarn larger stitches. When you check your gauge you make a small square using the yarn, needle and stitch recommended by your pattern. Usually it is a 4 inch square. then you count your stitches and rows per 4 " (or sometimes 1"). This is your guage. If YOUR gauge is the same as the patterns guage then your finished project should be the size of the finished project indicated by the pattern.

This step is especially important when making fitted garments like sweaters, hats, socks. Being off in guage just slightly can create a big difference in the size and fit of the finished garment.

The gauge on the pattern tells you how the designer came up with the sizes given. If you knit at a different tension than the person who made the pattern, then your’s won’t be the same size as the pattern calls for.

Let’s say, for example, the gauge of the pattern is 4 st per inch and you are a tight knitter and knit 5 stitches per inch. If you’re knitting across 100 stitches, the pattern will expect you to have 25 inches, but at your personal gauge you will have 20 inches. It can make a significant difference in things where the size is important.

If you find your knitting doesn’t meet the gauge of a pattern, you can change needle size to get closer to it.

GAUGE AND GAUGE SWATCHES ARE SO VERY IMPORTANT. Last year I decided that I NEEDED to knit a pair of sox. Last time I knitted (over 20 ago and was a novice back then)) I knitted very tightly. While knitting the soxes I noticed I was knitting looser and bought smaller size knitting size needles and started over. Never made a swatch…

So I finished one beautiful sock tried it on and it was so big it fell off my size 10.5 extra wide foot.

I frogged it with the intention of redoing it but the cat found the yarn and I still find bits of that yarn in the most unexpected places.