Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Gauge, on about it again.

We had a great time at the retreat. Both my Make It Fit classes went very well. Several sweaters that don't fit were checked out. By the end of class I didn't even have to explain what wasn't working. The knitters did it themselves. Guess what the #1 reason for an incorrect fit is? I bet you know.
GAUGE. Argghh. I know, it's a constant companion. Here's an excerpt from the YarnOver SleepOver Retreat booklet. I know knitting teachers do bang on about this!! Maybe this will help explain why it's so important.


Here is a common knitters lament: “I knit it exactly as the pattern said and it still didn’t turn out the right size”. Frustrating indeed. Did you check your gauge? Can I say the “S” word? Did you make a Swatch? A nice big one?

The reason many garments don’t fit when completed is because the knitter’s gauge did not match the pattern gauge. Garments are built on a certain size of stitch. Imagine each stitch as a little box. For example, let’s say your particular pattern calls for a stitch gauge of 20 sts = 4”/10cm. Break it down to 5 stitches = 1 inch.

Below are 5 boxes representing 5 stitches and 1” width, knit at different gauges. If you were knitting a 40” sweater you can see the difference gauge makes.

Do not despair. This can be fixed. I am also a knitter who does not usually knit to gauge. It’s perfectly normal.

Do’s & Don’t’s
Do Not try to change how you knit. Saying you’ll knit tighter or looser will last about 5 minutes!! Then you will be knitting in your normal manner. There is a better way.

Adjust your gauge by adjusting your needles.
· If the pattern calls for the gauge of 5 sts = 1” on a 4.5mm needle and you are getting 5½ sts = 1” then your stitches are a little smaller. You are getting more stitches in every inch. Bump your needle size up to 5.0mm and see if you are closer to the pattern gauge.

· If you are getting 4½ sts = 1” your stitches are a little big (fewer stitches in every inch). Try again with a 4.0mm needle which will make your stitches smaller.

Understanding if you are a tight knitter or a loose knitter helps you get started on adjusting your knitting for better fitting garments.

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