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Warming Up

95 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  5:16:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit kestrel02's Homepage Send kestrel02 a Private Message
I have a question and surely someone, somewhere out there will have an
answer. I have a pattern that calls for a bulky yarn 3.5 sts/inch, but I would like to make it in a smaller yarn. Is there a formula to
do the math conversion for that change? If so, what is it (i am hoping it is not too involved, since i am mathematically challenged :)) Or if there is not a set formula, is there computer software that can do the calculations for me? I hate to spend the bucks on the software (would much rather spend it on more yarn), but i would if i had to. I see so many things that I would like to do, but not necessarily in the yarns specified. HELP!!

Chatty Knitter

230 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  7:49:24 PM  Show Profile Send purlgrrl a Private Message
Hi kestrel-

Try this link and see if its what you need.

Good luck=

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vicky by the bay
Permanent Resident

4768 Posts

Posted - 09/21/2003 :  9:01:45 PM  Show Profile Send vicky by the bay a Private Message
Is this what you're looking for? This was shown on another topic by Debra...

Just take desired guage/original guage, and apply this fraction to all the stitch counts. If it is 3/4 or more, I would round up. Less, I would round fractional stitches down.

Example pattern calls for 16/4"
Your yarn is 12/4"

12/16 = 3/4

Pattern says to cast on 160 stitches/ 160 x 3/4 = 120 stitches.

Vicky (Queen O'Yarn archivist-QYA)
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Warming Up

95 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  06:29:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit kestrel02's Homepage Send kestrel02 a Private Message
Thank you ladies - will sit down with both of these a bit later and see if it is what I need. Really appreciate your input!


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Permanent Resident

1543 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  07:59:42 AM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
Hi Linda,

If your yarn isn't too far off from the recommended gauge you should be able to make an adjustment. If the change is great, you will have to recalculate the stitches and rows very carefully, swatch and get exact numbers before you start. Or you're going to find the shaping way off.

An example: I'm knitting a sweater where the pattern calls for 3 stitches to the inch. My yarn's recommended gauge is exactly this, but I didn't like the looseness of the swatch I knitted. So after some experimentation, I used a needle 2 sizes smaller and ended up with a gauge of about 3.75 stitches per inch. No biggie, *except* that the armhole shaping (cast off 1 stitch per row) had to be completely recalculated since my row gauge was so different from the pattern's.

It didn't bother me a whole lot but if you're nervous about the whole procedure, you should consider a different pattern or yarn.

Good luck,

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Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  1:19:51 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I use this program. It is free. Just go through your pattern directions carefully. Don't be put off by the fact that it says it is for machine knitting, it works for all knitting. He just wrote it for his wife who only does machine knitting.


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Permanent Resident

2749 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2003 :  1:47:11 PM  Show Profile Send myshelle10 a Private Message

Thanks for posting that! I have a sweater whose guage is off from the pattern-- it was easy enough to figure out how to alter the # rows & stitches for the front and back, but I was dreading the sleeves!!!


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Warming Up

87 Posts

Posted - 09/25/2003 :  2:00:42 PM  Show Profile Send sedgwick a Private Message
I'm so grateful to Kestrel for starting this topic and for all of you who responded, because I often don't want to use the bulky yarns specified in patterns. Now I've got a way to make the substitution. Woo hoo!

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Posted - 09/26/2003 :  05:08:06 AM  Show Profile Send eclaire26 a Private Message
There is another easy way to do this that works qute well. I have used it myself a number of times, and also taught it to customers at the yarn shop where I used to work with great success. Make a swatch of the yarn you want to use and measure your stitches per inch. Multiply that times the width of your sweater piece, and that will give you the total number of stitches you need to cast on. See what size in the pattern most closely matches the number of stitches you need, and then follow the directions for that size. For example, if you are making a 40" sweater, then your back piece will be 20". If you have a gauge of 4 stitches per inch, then you will need a total of 80 stitches for the back. Whichever size in your pattern calls for casting on 80 stitches or thereabouts, will work. Hope this helps.
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New Pal

6 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2003 :  09:35:45 AM  Show Profile Send aclipfel a Private Message

swatch...measure stitches per inch...Multiply that times the width of your sweater piece...See what size in the pattern most closely matches the number of stitches you need, and then follow the directions for that size.

I've used this before! It worked well...except, don't forget to NOT follow the length directions. ie "knit until work measures X inches". The good thing about my daughter's sweater having arms too long is that it has been worn for 2 years now!

Don't do what you like - like what you do.
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