hi i have been looking at some knitting pattens most is simple enough and some of it not so simple, but what i really do not understand is the term “Gauge” can anyone explain this . at the moment i am just knitting with no purpose just to get used to it but i would like to say that i am knitting something so could someone suggest something that is easy to get me started.

thank you

Gauge is the number of stitches per in and the number of rows per inch.

Patterns, generally, are designed to provide a certain size item. A sock to fit a given shoe size, a sweater to fit a certain chest size. Lets say the person designing the pattern knits at 5 stitches per inch and 8 rows per inch. Then for a person knitting at 10 stitches per inch and 16 rows per inch the pattern produce a item 1/2 the size shown in the pattern.

There are a lot of thing that go into producing your actual gauge, how tight you knit, which brand of needles you use, are you using American needle sizes or metric needles, the actual thickness of your yarn. This is why many patterns say use needles of “X” size and yarn of “X” weight or what is necessary to get gauge. To duplicate a pattern the important item is the gauge (stitches and rows per inch) rather than the actual needle size.

To explain it simply, gauge is how tightly or loosely you knit. At the moment this doesn’t effect you much since you are just practicing, but in patterns this is pretty key.

If you’re knitting a sweater and you actually want it to fit, you have to follow the pattern writer’s gauge. This is how tightly or loosely they knit. If you match their gauge, you should be able to knit the sweater in the correct size.

To test gauge, you usually knit a swatch of the yarn you plan to use and the needles recommended in the pattern. After knitting (and washing!) the swatch, you measure it to see if it matches the gauge in the pattern. If it does, you’re set! If not you have to go up or down a needle size and try again.

Some people say they always get gauge, so they just knit away. Unfortunately this cannot be true, since all patterns are written by different people who have different gauges.

Since you’re just starting out, you’re probably going to start with some simple projects, like a scarf or dishcloth. These are great projects for beginners and you won’t even have to worry about gauge.

Hi James: I agree about starting with a scarf – you can find some fabulous patterns for scarves that are very simple, and you don’t have to worry about gauge at all: just so long as it’s as wide as you want it, you can just keep knitting until it’s the length you like. (I like about 110", and so that’s how I started knitting - I couldn’t find a scarf in the color, fiber, or length I wanted, so I ended up knitting one.)

thanks all for your reply i have decideed to do a baby blankey. caston on with 136 one row of knit stich and every other purl.

is easy to do this but i would like to do a baby jumper after this this is what i have
a 3mm crochet hook
a 5mm circular knitting pinn
a 7mm knitting needles
a 4mm knitting needles
and some balls of cheap yarn so if any one has any ideas as to what i could do please suggest

thanks james