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Rainjerfan
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  08:35:36 AM  Show Profile Send Rainjerfan a Private Message
Hi everyone.... I was just wondering how many knitters here actually obtain the gauge by using the suggested needle size. I have tried several different yarns and I have tried knitting tighter and looser and I still cannont obtain the gauge as suggested. What might I be doing wrong??

Sigh.....very frustrating


Myra

lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  08:39:39 AM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message
Come to think of it, I rarely get the required gauge with the suggested needles. But then, I rarely use the yarn suggested either. I think that's one reason I made so many teddy bears for awhile. Normally I get bored making the same thing more than once, but in this instance, I could see an improvement in each bear and never once did I worry about gauge.

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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Parrot Girl
Permanent Resident

2129 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  08:50:34 AM  Show Profile Send Parrot Girl a Private Message
I almost always have to go a size or two smaller.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." Thoreau
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storiesr
Sustaining Member

694 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  09:20:38 AM  Show Profile Send storiesr a Private Message
They say I am a tight knitter; my gauge always comes out correct when I go a size UP! Guess that is why they say guage is sooooo important.

We may not be able to control the wind, but we can direct our sails!
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  09:31:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
I knit to the gauge on the ball band using the needle size suggested on the ball band. When substituting a yarn in a pattern, match the ball band gauge to the pattern gauge and then change to the needle size suggested on the ball band, if it is different than the needle size suggested in the pattern. This always seems to work.
The most important part of the gauge is the # of stitches to the inch as indicated in your pattern. Changing needle size may also be necessary based on your own yarn tension while knitting.
Use the metric sizes on your needles when pattern gives both metric and US - the US sizes do not always match up therefore are not as accurate. Be especially careful with US sizes 2, 3, and 6 and don't depend on conversion charts as they do not agree. 2.5mm & 3mm do not have US equivalents and there is question as to whether US#6 is 4.0mm or 4.25mm. There are 2 metric sizes between US #10 1/2 and US#11 - 7mm & 7.5mm. When referring to the ball band be aware if the needle size they recommend is metric or US - it is easy to become confused.
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BergenKnitter
Chatty Knitter

249 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  09:34:20 AM  Show Profile Send BergenKnitter a Private Message
Myra,
I have to go up in needle size to get gauge. That is one of the reasons I really like projects where gauge in not extremely important, like scarves & baby blanket. Currently I am working on Sonnet
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall03/PATTsonnet.html

In this pattern, you knit a gauge swatch, and do some simple math to get the pattern to fit your gauge.

Kathleen
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Pinky Yarn
Permanent Resident

USA
1045 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  09:39:05 AM  Show Profile Send Pinky Yarn a Private Message
i dont think i usually knit to guage..then again i havent really knitted that many things that need to fit someone.. ive never really payed attention to the row guage, just the stitches per inch..maybe i should, lol.

A life without God is hardly a life at all.
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1481 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  09:43:02 AM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message
I always seem to have to go down, at least one size, to get guage. But, I am never using the exact yarn, either (except Sidar Snowflake, don't try and substitute that in a pattern for a different yarn!)

Debra
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  10:09:38 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I know exactly what you are doing wrong...........nothing. That is only a suggested needle size, not a required one and not necessarily the best one. Now the gauge is necessary to achieve in order to get a good fit, but that comes with the pattern, not the yarn band. Learning to knit consistently so your gauge remains the same throughout a garment is necessary., but comes automatically with practice. But the really important thing to learn is how YOU, personally, knit and what you need to do to get the results you want. Try not to set artificial standards for yourself. Frankly, I find trying to exactly match a sweater pattern is more difficult that designing your own sweater that takes your personal quirks into consideration. I can knit exactly to the guage on a yarn band, but I don't find it necesssary to do so. It only took me 40 years to achieve it........LOL......I am sometimes a slow learner.

fran
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Rainjerfan
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  10:41:42 AM  Show Profile Send Rainjerfan a Private Message
Thank you all so very much... now I don't feel quite so inept at this knitting thing...LOL. I will continue to try to go up in needle size to obtain the correct gauge...

Thanks again

Myra
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SusanT
Seriously Hooked

950 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  10:46:57 AM  Show Profile Send SusanT a Private Message
I usually have to go down a needle size at least since I'm a loose knitter. To me it's easier to change needles than try to change your knitting style. Note that most patterns say "Size # needle or size needed to obtain gauge"
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  11:28:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
quote:
gauge is necessary to achieve in order to get a good fit, but that comes with the pattern, not the yarn band.

quote:
match the ball band gauge to the pattern gauge. The most important part of the gauge is the # of stitches to the inch as indicated in your pattern. Changing needle size may also be necessary based on your own yarn tension while knitting.


Fran, Obviously I agree that it is the pattern gauge to be achieved, but in order to substitute yarns you must start somewhere and if the pattern calls for 18sts=4" on #7 needles and you sub a yarn that the ball band reads 18sts=4" on #8 needles then one would start her/his swatching with #8 needles, not #7 to get to that 18sts=4" and end her/his swatching after finding the actual needle size she/he personally needs to arrive at the goal of 18sts=4". The needle size given in the pattern only relates to the yarn suggested in the pattern; if you change the yarn you may have to change the needle size to get the gauge of the pattern. Isn't there a reason that the ball band has gauge/needle size printed on it?
With all due respect, (I think you are amazing in so many ways in both knitting and life) you and I and many of the people on KR have been knitting for 40 years, but there are people asking questions on KR who have not even been alive for 40 years. I don't think that many of the new knitters are anxious to design the first sweater they are trying to knit - I have read too many posts from people who are afraid to even attempt a sweater, no matter how simple. I would like to encourage them in the easiest possible way. Many times KR is the only place they have to get an answer.



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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  11:53:42 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I almost always get the suggested swatch. If anything, I have to increase my size by .5mm

Monika

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2309 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  5:30:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
I usually have to go down one or two needles sizes, except on socks! It's weird 'cause years ago when I first tried to knit, I knit very tightly, but now I knit loosely. My dd usually knits right to gauge with the size needles suggested. Barb

"OF ALL THE THINGS I HAVE LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST!"
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oneangel77
Gabber Extraordinaire

453 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  7:02:18 PM  Show Profile Send oneangel77 a Private Message
OMG Debra, You are so right about the snowflake yarn stuff. I totally messed up my first sweater by using a pattern that called for the Sirdar Snowflake stuff which I subsituted for something totally differnt. Ugh. That sweater is hiding in a corner now because I can't bring myself to tear out my first project.
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Rainjerfan
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  7:38:19 PM  Show Profile Send Rainjerfan a Private Message
OK - so now I am confused again... Do I go for the gauge on the pattern or the gauge on the yarn wrapper??? Man do I feel stupid tonight...LOL

Thanks for your patience....

Myra
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  7:43:31 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Myra: I don't but I have a friend who does. Don't think you are doing anything wrong, I think its just the nature of knitting. I knit quite loose except when I cast on and off. Then for some reason I seem to want to pull it as tight as I possibly can. For cast on and off, I use at least one and possibly two size larger needles and for the rest of it I decrease the needle size by one. Hope this helps to put your mind at ease. Take care. Beverley

PS: If you have too many stitches per inch use bigger needles, if not enough use a smaller size.

Bev
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  8:48:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
Myra,
  • Always go for the pattern gauge. If you are using the yarn suggested in the pattern make first swatch with needle size recommended in pattern and then adjust needle size to your own knitting style to achieve pattern gauge.

  • If you are substituting yarn, find one with the same gauge as the pattern. Check the ball band for suggested needle size to get that gauge for this yarn. It may be different than needle size recommended in pattern, but is correct for the new yarn to achieve pattern gauge. Make first swatch in new yarn with this needle size. Again, you may ultimately have to adjust needle size for your own knitting style.

  • As other posters have indicated, many people have to go up or down needle sizes to achieve a certain gauge with a particular yarn. The needle size that matches the yarn as recommended by the company on the ball band (or yarn/needle size in the pattern) is your starting off point not your final decision on needle size to use for the project.

  • If you are substituting a yarn with a gauge on the ball band that is close to, but not exactly, the pattern gauge and trying to match it to the pattern gauge, (such as 20sts=4" for 19sts=4") then you will have to just keep trying different needle sizes until the gauge matches. Whether you knit "tight" or "loose" doesn't matter; it is the needle size that will get you to the gauge that you need.
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Rainjerfan
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  10:06:59 PM  Show Profile Send Rainjerfan a Private Message
OK guys - I think I've got it now!! I'm sure with a little more experience, this will become second nature...I hope. Thank you for all your help and suggestions and HAPPY Knitting..

Myra
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thevalkyry
Sustaining Member

USA
736 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  10:53:51 PM  Show Profile Send thevalkyry a Private Message
Since the question came up....I am trying a Starmore pattern that calls for some impossible guage like 28 s x 48 r on size 3 needles. Ai yi yi... so I am doing a yarn substitution and actually did a swatch because it had to be in pattern and my swatch came out to 25 x 39....I dont want to have to go any smaller on the needles because it hurts my hands... So I am thinking of going with it, but I am trying to sort out my logic on if the garment will come out smaller or larger because I am getting less stitches/inch. My logic says bigger, but I didnt score that high on the deductive reasoning section of the GRE -- can someone validate my logic?? And if it is going to be bigger...will it be horrfically bigger??

Food, Gas, Rent.. and Yarn
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myshelle10
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2004 :  01:00:21 AM  Show Profile Send myshelle10 a Private Message
It will be bigger-- Let's use imaginary numbers... they want you to get 25 stitches per inch, but you're only getting 20 stitches per inch. If you cast on 100 stitches, the pattern is planning on you creating 4 inches of fabric (100/25), and you'll have 5 inches (100/20).

So the answer to your second question-- will it be horrifically bigger?-- will depend. You'll have to do the math. :) (or post the #'s here and have someone help you!) :)

good luck,
m
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