Probably the zillionth gauge question

i am a beginning knitter, starting my very first BIG project: a sweater/coat from a Lion Brand pattern book. the gauge calls for 10 1/2 needles, in mistake rib stitch, 15 sts and 21 rows = 4", measured without stretching.

now, i have 4 inches width with 15 stitches, no problem…but i am always more than 4 inches in length by the time i get to 21 rows. i have tried this twice with 10 1/2 size needles (in case it was my tension), and twice with 10 size needles.

do i keep moving down in needle size? i’m afraid if i do, i will begin to not have 4 inches in width…argh. or am i doing something else wrong?

Don’t worry, my row gauge is always off. What is really important is the stitch gauge and yours is correct.

You will just have to knit less rows than stated. So, the following two are important questions:
1.How much does it vary?
If it varies a lot you can get problems at the armhole/sleeves(I’m having that problem at the moment, cause I didn’t paid attention :frowning: )
2.Does the pattern tell you to knit for Xinch or x rows?
If the instructions are mostly in inch you don’t have to alter the pattern if they use the rows you have to calculate how many rows you’ve got to knit with your gauge

Hope that helps :wink:

okay, question 1: how much does it vary? so far, on the 10 1/2 needles, i have consistently hit 4 inches in 17 rows. on the 10 needles, i hit 4 inches in the middle of the 19-20th rows.

and question 2: does the pattern say to knit for x inches or x rows? that’s the problem…it has both, which would be why i’m so “argh!” over the gauge. there’s a note at the beginning of the pattern: because of the tendency of this pattern stitch (mistake rib) to shorten the fabric as it’s laid out for measuring, row counts for all vertical measurements are included.

one thing i forgot to mention: i am trying to make this project using Lion Brand Homespun yarn for the first time. previously, i’ve only ever worked with ordinary run-of-the-mill sport/worsted weight yarns. this stuff is HUGE, and rather weird to me, do you suppose i just need to keep reworking my gauge swatches till it doesn’t feel odd?


One other thing you should know: Homespun stretches quite a lot in the vertical dimension. If you’re doing somethink long such as the sweater coat you mentioned, you should probably measure the length from hem to armhole shaping vertically (if that’s making any sense).

I did a long cardigan sweater fro my DD a couple of years ago, measured everything flat, and when it was all sewed together, and she put it on, the length was about 8 inches too long and the sleeve length hung over her hands with the armholes about half way to her waist. :shock: :frowning: :?? AAARRRRGGGGHHH! :wall: :wall: :wall:

I ended up giving this to DSOs DD - my DD is 5’2" and very petite and Megan is 5’11" and quite statuesque. It fit her quite well, fortunately! I’m now redoing DD’s (when I feel like working on this, which is seldom since I’ve grown to detest this project) having changed my needle size downward by about 4 sizes to get a stiffer fabric and adjusting ALL!!! the measurements to take the stretching into account!! Tlak about rewriting the pattern!

THIS is what made me HATE working with Homespun!! Beautiful colors, BUT…

Suggestion for measuring “vertically”. Lleave the piece on the needles or if too wide slide onto long circular needle, hang it from a coathanger up against a wall somewhere, let it “relax” for awhile and measure that way.
The weight of a long piece of knitting tends to make the stretch even worse.

I hope you have an easier time than I did. Good Luck!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: