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Gauge Problem

Posted by: Cathy (IP Logged)
Date: September 22, 2009 04:12PM

I'm working on a sweater from the Paton's Next Steps Six "Learn to Cable." It's on page 51 "Fading Cables Pullover."

The gauge is 20 sts and 26 rows= 4 ins.

My width is correct, but the length is ending up 1 inch too long.

The back is all in stocking stitch so if I knit to the correct length (17 1/2 ins) then shape armholes, how will that effect the front when I start to do the three different cable patterns?

The front says to work in stocking st until beg measures 7 1/2 ins, then begin cable patterns. Should I just work 6 1/2 ins instead then start the cable patterns?
I hope someone understands what I'm trying to say =)


Posted by: KT (IP Logged)
Date: September 23, 2009 07:16AM

So your stitch gauge matches but your row gauge is off -- you need fewer rows to make the 4 inches?

Unless you have a pattern that calls for a specific row count you can generally adjust by simply working to length. The issue here is whether row count is important once you start working the cables. If even the cable portion directs you to knit to measurement, you can do what you propose. If the cable portion has you work to a specific row count, you will need to do some calculating to figure out what length you get with the particular row count and adjust accordingly.

I hope this is a straight drop-sleeve sweater. If you have any armhole shaping, you need to do the same kind of adjustment/calculation if there is a row count on your cable portion.

Does this make sense?

Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: September 23, 2009 07:54AM

To add to KT's advice, I'd also be curious as to whether the gauge swatch was to be knit to stockinette or to the cable pattern. Cables always pull the fabric in laterally, sometimes to the extent that it makes a huge difference in gauge. For that reason, a good designer (or editor) will give you instructions for two gauge swatches or will specify which you are to follow. If you are knitting a stockinette-specified swatch and you are that far off. I would strongly suggest working with two different needle sizes until you get the proper gauge. You could be in big trouble when you start the cables.

Here's the reason: As stated above, all cables affect the width of the fabric. Some cables can act like a ribbing and cut the width of the fabric nearly in half.

This tendency can be blocked out, or it can be pushed out when the fabric is worn (think of how cables might be distorted over the bustline), but is that the desired effect? Sometimes yes (somewhat flattened, blocked-out cables are often a design feature), sometimes no (distorted cables don't usually look very good).

Posted by: Cathy (IP Logged)
Date: September 23, 2009 10:24AM

Oh my! =0
This may be too much for my knitting skills. I think I'll just skip making this sweater and save my yarn for something else.

I'm sure I'll find a use for it some time in the future.

Thanks for all the help.

Posted by: JJKnitter (IP Logged)
Date: September 23, 2009 07:41PM

I was taught that gauge (stitches per inch - width) was more
important than rows per inch. Most patterns I have seen will
tell you to knit so many inches to armhole not number of rows.
If the pattern says inches to armhole then I would do that or
if pattern tells you to end with a certain row, do that. Hope
this helps.