Posted by: GourmetGirl | November 19, 2013

Repeating Gauge

I think gauge is a topic every knitter of every skill level should hear about again and again. From one source then another. Learning Gauge, Learning to know what needles to choose by looking at the yarn – not the label – is important for your final outcome of your knitting project.images-2

Gauge is REALLY important. It is what we knitters use to obtain some control over our size of our finished garment.

How many of you have knitted your 4×4 square, blocked it and have thought you had the correct gauge – then only to find out you are knitting at a much different gauge when knitting your sweater!?! Or when you block your sweater the yarn stretches tremendously more than the small 4×4 swatch?

It has happen to me, it has happen to people of all skill levels that I have met and spoke with – so it probably has or will happen to you, too! Sometimes, no matter your level of skill, unexpected things happen to your well planned “Gauge” and reading the manufacturers tag will not help.

More and more yarn is having a looser gauge put on their skein tags – and recommending larger needles for the yarn. Few yarns represent accurate gauges in my opinion. It has become an epidemic to deceive knitter’s into believing the information on the tag.  Instead, I encourage you to look at the weight of the yarn with your own eyes and learn what needles to try. Don’t be fooled into the Big Needle Fad. Try several needles – swatch to see how you like the way the stitches look.

I believe it is better for a knitter to obtain more stitches per inch rather than less – your knitwear stretches less with a tighter gauge. There could be some debate on that like drape and ease of knitting. Well, I am not going to ask you to knit an aran weight yarn on size 3 needles, but I am going to ask you to knit a tighter gauge so your sweater will grown less while you wear it – even with bulky weight yarn.

Yes, a lot to learn about knitting. Obtaining correct Gauge is more than getting the correct numbers per inch on your swatch. It is learning that several different needle sizes will get you the same “Gauge” and that the smaller needle choice will make a garment fit better, wear better and stretch less.

Happy Gauge Finding,

Nancy

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