Getting gauge right

Does anyone have advice about gauge? How to get it right? What do do if your swatch isn’t getting it right, say by a half a stitch? Yes, it does make a huge difference if you’re making a sweater that you want to be the right size. I’m not great at math, or I might have been able to figure out what size to make with my gauge…can anyone help me with that?:wink:

Just multiply the number sts in your gauge by the number of sts you need and go from there. eg. if you gauge comes to 4 sts to the inch and you need 20 inches, 4x20 = 80 st

sorry that’s multiply the number of sts in your guage by the number of inches you need.

Switching out the ndl sz might help with st gauge. Row gauge will often times be off but can usually be adjusted when making up the pieces as most patts call for working to a certain length. Note: This doesn’t apply when a st pattern requires a certain number of rows, as in Fair Isle.

If you’re off by .25-.5 sts…or even less… you’ll need to do the math and see how your finished width compares to the figs for the FO. It might mean making a smaller/larger sz to hit the actual measurements.

The gauge for a particular yarn is determined by a certain knitter using that person’s ndls and their knitting style. Depending on how loose/tight you knit, your ndls, etc the results will vary.

if you gauge comes to 4 sts to the inch and you need 20 inches, 4x20 = 80 st

Generally speaking that might work BUT that’s assuming you’re not working with a st patt that has a req’d number of multiples whereby that has to be factored in. And if you’re gauge isn’t close to the original, in the case of a garment you might end up with armholes that are too big/small, necklines that aren’t shaped properly, sleeves that are too long/short, etc.

The first thing to try is a bigger or smaller needle size to see if that corrects the gauge for you. Otherwise, just do the math and make corrections as needed.

:muah: Thanks for the helpful answers. I will have to get my dil to help me with the math when I’m only 1/2 st per 4" off on my gauge. Just never was very good at that, but she is. When I think of all the decimals I’d get for figuring out that gauge in one inch instead of 4", my head goes blank:)

Your kitty avatar sure has some wild eyes…cute!

Your origianal guage of the pattern tells you what you need to do. Since your guage came out too big switch to the next smaller size needles. On the otherhand if it had been too small you would need to go to the larger needles. If you find you’re consistently too big or small start out with the smaller or larger. The gauge is for average knitters-there are no average knitters! High humidity will make your tension tighter as your wool won’t slip as easily through your fingers so lighten up.

If you happen to have an interchangeable set of needles, you can adjust your gauge by switching ONE needle to a different size. Often, our tension is different when we knit vs when we purl.

I’ve been knitting long enough to know that, in general, I’m a tight knitter. So when a pattern says to use size 6 needles, I automatically start with a 7 or 8. :shrug:

When I make a swatch, I cast on 26 stitches. All the time, for every swatch. I knit 3 rows for a garter stitch border. Then, I keep 3 edge stitches in garter stitch while working the center 20 in st st. On RS, that means K across, and on the WS, I K3, P20, K3 . After several inches of knitting, I knit 3 rows for a final garter stitch border, BO, wash and block. (okay, sometimes I dont’ wash and block, but I usually do).
Measuring is so important. Measure in many different places. Measure from garter border to garter border, to the closest 8th of an inch. Then, convert that measurement to a decimal… Here’s a cheat sheet:

1/8 = .125
3/8 = .375
5/8 = .625
7/8 = .875

So a measurement of 3 and 5/8ths of an inch = 3.625.

Divide 20 (the number of stitches you have in stockinette) by your measurement (hypothetically 3.625) and you get your stitches per inch, which, in this case is equal to 5.51, or 5 and a half stitches per inch.

Also, if it’s a yarn I really really like and use a lot, I keep my swatches. I have swatches made for malabrigo, and I used a permenant marker to write the gauge and needle size I used ON the swatch. So if a pattern calls for 4 stitches per inch, and I want to use malabrigo, I look at my swatches, find the right one, and just pick up those needles and get started. Saves a lot of time!

A lot of people get hung up on “how many stitches do I cast on for 4 inches??” . It doesn’t matter. Further, the more stitches you cast on for swatches, the more accurate your gauge is going to be.

Great information! Thanks.:stuck_out_tongue: