More about gauges

I’ve decided to take the plunge, I’m going to make a sweater for myself. It’s been in the fifties here the past couple days, rainy and windy, and I’m cold. :slight_smile:

I want to learn more about how the gauge works. I know how important a gauge is (thanks to ArtLady!) but I’m confused as to what the words mean.
I linked below two patterns and the gauges are both worded differently, so maybe could someone tell me what they mean? Pretty please?

Thank you so much.

Oh, you know we love to talk about gauge!
Both sweaters are 16sts/ 4 inches stitch gauge. The Lionbrand is 32rows per 4 inches in garter stitch and the Knitty is 24 rows per 4 inches in stockinette st. The difference is because of the difference between stockinette and garter stitch. Garter stitch pulls the rows up so that it takes more rows to make up 4 inches. Don’t worry so much about row gauge, since most patterns will tell you how many inches to knit, not how many rows. The critical gauge is the stitch gauge. Both are nice patterns, the Knitty, a little more of a challenge.

Thanks for the quick reply!
So, just to clarify, if I’m knitting along and from the beginning to 24 rows equals 4 in., then my gauge is correct, right?
So if I don’t use the same yarn, I need to run a test swatch, right? If my yarn is bulkier than what than what the pattern calls for I would need less rows, correct?
I hope I’m making sense.

I’m not really loving the first one, but it’s so easy I might make it first to practice and wear it only when I hate myself. :teehee:
But I love the second one. I had seen someone asking about it not too long ago in the pattern central and fell in love with it. I’m up for a challenge right now and I think the results will be well worth the trouble I take. If I can get the gauge right. :slight_smile:

I think the thing to keep in mind is the stitch gauge, not so much the row gauge. Do look for yarn that will give you the stitch gauge that the pattern calls for, especially at this is a first sweater. Work a gauge swatch that is 22-26st or so cast on and knit for at least 4 inches. That way you can measure the stitch gaugr over the middle 4 inches and the accuracy of your measurement will be increased. Go for the pattern that really interests you. We all can help.

Mostly the stitch gauge is more important because you can always knit more rows or less; the lengths in a pattern are usually given as a measurement not how many rows.

It’s a good idea to use more stitches that the gauge gives, the idea is to find out how many stitches you have in 4", not to make a 4" square. The edge stitches shouldn’t be included in the measurement because they curl under and aren’t the same size as stiches in the middle. So for these patterns you’d want to cast on at least 20 sts, 24 is better, and measure across 4" in the center of the piece.

I usually cast on 25-30 stitches and knit about 3 inches or so. Then I count stitches rather than measure the size of the swatch. If its okay then good, but many times I need to purl a row then change needle sizes. My gauge usually changes once I’m knitting, but it’s a start.

Now I get it! It took me all night to figure it out.
The amount of stitches on your needles is more important than the amount of rows. Okay. Got it.
Thank you all so so much.
Now I just have to go buy some yarn. Some people stash yarn and take forever to decide what they want to make with it. I’m completely opposite. I know exactly what I want to make, and take forever to go get the yarn for it.
Completely off topic, my friend took me to a LYS the other day. I just about died walking in, looking at all the yarn and not having a cent in my purse, (although that was probably good thing.)


Trust me - always knit a guage in the yarn you’re going to use and the needles suggested …

Your pattern will give you the guage (we call it tension in Australia) and the mantra seems to be: “if less sts use smaller needles, if more sts use bigger needles”

when I started my hoodie - I didn’t do a guage/tension square. BIG mistake.