Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thuh Key

Knitters know this as an unforgivable truth:  The Key to knitting to size is gauge.  The number of stitches in each inch of each row and the number of rows in each inch of fabric creation dictate the final size (and fit) of the garment.

Lots of other variables, of course.  This IS life, after all.   You might knit with different tension one day versus another -- due to temperature or stress.  Your yarn might behave differently due to the weather, as in moisture content.

But it is a knitting truth that you must measure the gauge before you start the garment.  Here's the way it worked for me.

Two swatches, a ruler, a calculator and a place to
record the results.

Two swatches, using two different size needles.  The US3 yielded only 6 stitches to the inch; the US2 produced a finer fabric and almost 8 st to the inch.

Tiny needles either way.

Size US 3 above the pencil.

Size US2 below the pencil.

What difference does it make?

Two needles, same yarn, different 'fabric,' which means different feel, different texture, different look, and different drape.

The difference that shows most dramatically in pictures
is the difference in the ribbing.  On the left, two repeats
yields one inch+ of ribbing, with big holes and not
enuf definition.
Now look between the 1 and the 2 on the ruler.  Smaller
needles yield 'tighter' stitches and a 2 ribbing repeat of perhaps
3/4 of an inch.
And it makes a big major huge can-be-regrettable difference in the final size of the garment.  I won't bore you with the math.  And just in case you want to use the I am not good with math excuse, every book out there (well practically every one) tells you how to make the adjustments.

The gauge is the key and lest you forget, your finished garment will remind  you the first time you wear it.  It will either have sleeves that are too short or it will begin at your knees when you planned a nice plain cardi to sit at your waist.

Open the door --

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