How does blocking affect end result?

Trying to calculate gauge for a new project. It’s for a cardigan, DK weight yarn recommended.
It specifies 22 sts and 40 rows = 10cm in garter stitch after blocking.
I am struggling to find a yarn to match this. All the yarns I have previewed online yield approx 30-32 rows for that number of stitches.
I am not sure what to do not wanting to risk the final fit in either direction. So how does the blocking affect the end result?

Hi! Blocking can help a great deal. It can help to stretch the garment to fit certain dimensions or smooth out lacework, etc.

The pros always recommend that you wet block your swatch and then measure your gauge after that. It’s always best to figure out your own guage for a pattern, rather than look at the manufacturer’s – because we each have our own unique tension with yarn!

Thank you, I know what you mean. I knit a bit tighter, so I try and allow for that. As well as that I am hoping to vary the needle size slightly.
I will try what you suggest, in the hope I won’t have to return the yarn, minus 1 ball!

Does the pattern suggest a yarn to use? Usually there is a suggested yarn and that will be more likely to give the right gauge (obviously taking your own tension into account) because of the nature of the yarn.

If you don’t like the suggested yarn or it doesn’t come in a colour you want, or a price that suits you then you can use yarn sub to find other yarns which will be similar in composition and how they work.

You could also phone or email your yarn shop and ask them if they have a suitable yarn which work to this gauge?

I have not knitted many things and all in dk but each yarn has reacted differently in how it knits and blocks.

I agree wer blocking is the best check before going ahead on a big project. Maybe just buy one ball to try it out first?

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That would be a very good idea, if I could find it online anywhere. It’s called Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, and I could only find the hemp yarn of that brand, not the silky wool.
I have chatted online to the shop on other occasions but they are not much help.
I have found 3 that might work, a Lang Yarns Merino 120, a Rowan felted Tweed DK, and A Rico Essentials Cotton DK.
If I buy one ball I have to pay delivery, if I order the lot it’s free!

I don’t know where you are. This site seems to have the yarn looks like USA and says ships world wide… but I think if you are not in the US you probably wouldn’t want to order this.

This site seems to link to shops all over depending which colour you choose

Looks like there is some on Etzy.
Might not be what you want though.

I know what you mean about paying delivery for 1 ball.

When I put it in to yarn sub there was a suggestion of sirdar Haworth tweed which is in stock on wool warehouse UK although it doesn’t say it knits to 40 rows for 10cm.

Have you checked that the pattern doesn’t have a misprint on the number of rows? There might be notes on ravelry?
Maybe check out another pattern which uses the same yarn and see what gauge it has on it?
Or is your pattern a lace pattern which would open up a lot after knitting??

What is the name of your pattern?
Mez2113’s suggestions about blocking and swatches are good ones.
You may not be able to match both row and stitch gauge. Since most patterns give you length in inches/cm it may not be critical to match row gauge. That depends on the pattern of course.

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I am in the UK. I am not intending to order from the US, it’s too much hassle and expense. But thank you for those links, the first one has the stitch gauge on it which matches the substitutes I found.
Thank you for your other suggestions, I will do a bit more digging.

It’s Line Dance by Heidi Kirrmaier. It’s not a lace pattern, mostly garter stitch. I will pay more attention to the stitch count.

Have you tried for suggestions?

I usually match stitch gauge and don’t worry about row gauge unless the sweater has raglan sleeves. Even with raglans, it’s easier to adjust the number of rows and shaping than to look for an exact match to the designers gauge.

Thank you. I didn’t know about, it’s very helpful! I shall investigate some of those suggestions.

Hello Liz,

I think the problem might be that the gauge on your pattern is given in garter stitch, but gauge on ballbands (and on online shops) is given in stocking stitch.

Garter stitch is compressed vertically, so the row gauge of garter vs stocking stitch will be quite different.

If you can find the stocking stitch gauge of the Lavold yarn, you can use that to choose a substitute.

P.S. The Rowan Felted Tweed looks like a good choice. The no. of metres per ball is almost the same, and it has the tweedy look too.

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Hello Kushami

That’s a good point, it might make all the difference. The main body and sleeves are actually in garter stitch. So I’ll go by the stitch gauge to choose the yarn and keep in mind that the row count will be higher for garter stitch.


That’s a nice pattern, too.

Do post a photo!

Thank you, I will. But it might take me awhile!