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cldpsu
11-17-2010, 11:15 AM
I'm not sure if anyone found it strange last night to see me knitting while drinking coffee at a cafe, but I enjoyed every minute of it!

I just joined with hopes of becoming a better knitter. My main concern right now is to find a pattern similar to an aesthetic I enjoy and eventually understand the logic by examining garments.

I understand the idea behind gauge, but I can't find information regarding its numbering system in the retail world. The reason I ask is because I like this particular feel/tension. It seems a very standard gauge size is "3", at least for Jcrew's knitwear. I'm not exactly sure what they mean by that. The first two links give you an idea what I'm talking about:

http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sweaters/woolblends/PRDOVR~32297/32297.jsp

http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sweaters/woolblends/PRDOVR~32265/32265.jsp

Is the following 12 gauge sweater a 1x1 rib?:

http://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sweaters/wool/PRDOVR~32689/32689.jsp

It looks like it, but I guess the two yarn colors are throwing me off. Plus, I'm ignorant on the matter : p

My other question is whether anyone knows of any patterns that look like these or where I can find them myself?

Thanks for your help,

Cristian

hyperactive
11-17-2010, 11:36 AM
Hi!

that gauge thing trows me for a loop. I do not know what they mean by 3-gauge.
A layer 3 I know (you find that a lot in outdoor gear. Base layer, layer 2 (the sweatshirt, for example), layer 3 the light jacket.... but 3-gauge?)

We determine gauge differently. The standart measure is stitches per 4 inch and rows by 4 inch so you measure a square of 4 by 4 inches of your knitting and count the stitches and rows.

you find a lot of patterns online (they each give their gauge within the pattern). But really, what you will be looking for is more the feel and thickness of the yarn and its quality, not so much the gauge itself.

You probably have not heared of ravelry.com?
you can sign up for free. There are now more than 1 mio. people signed up. It is a forum of every type, a market place - and, important for you, also brim full of patterns.

I found a few links for you. But you may have to sign up to see the results.

overview: overview (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#page=2&view=captioned_thumbs&query=cardigan%20man&sort=best)

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/his-llama-cardigan

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/manos-for-a-man

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/17-mans-cable-cardigan

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/classic-oak-cardigan

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/carlito-cardigan

oh, and don't worry, a lot of us get looks when knitting in public, but you know... why not.

For questions in the knitting world, in any case, you have found THE PLACE here! Just ask for whatever you need. Mostly someone will promptly jump out and help on.
Have you checked out the free videos here? Most people learn a lot from them - or at least spot a bunch of things they had not thought of, forgotten or not paid enough attention to.

Mike
11-17-2010, 11:49 AM
Your handknitter's guage is dictated by your yarn size and needle size. If you go too far out either way with too big of needles and too small of yarn or too big of yarn and too small of needles you either end up with too loose or too tight. If you ignore the guage in the pattern going for a certain feel the pattern won't fit unless you make adjustments. Just do what the patterns say to do for a while.

Don't worry about what a "3" is. The feel you are after probably has more to do with the fiber.

Here is a free Shawl collar. http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/kyle/kyle.html
A bunch of free patterns, http://www.knittingpatterncentral.com/directory/mens_clothing.php

suzeeq
11-17-2010, 12:09 PM
The 'gauge' referred to in the J crew sweaters is not the same thing as hand knitting, probably more like the gauge on the knitting machines that made them, or possibly the yarn weight.

Yarns labeled 3 or 4 refer to the weight of the yarn, and while they do have a gauge and needle size on the label, that's more to put it into a weight category (sport, worsted, bulky). You should go for the gauge on the pattern. Everyone knits with a different tension, even with the same yarn and needle size, so that's why you should try out different needles until you match gauge.

RuthieinMaryland
11-17-2010, 05:19 PM
Hi, Cristian! :waving:

Welcome to KH! You've come to the right place if you want to improve your knitting skills! This is a great forum - the best! - filled with knowledgeable and skilled fiber artists! And also there are lots of beginners and in-between'ers who are just starting to explore this wonderful art form.

About gauge - Think of it as a matter of size. If you and I sit down to knit right next to each other, using the exact same yarn and the exact size needles, odds are that when we finish our sample piece of work they won't match exactly in size.

Suppose we started with 60 stitches of worsted weight wool on size 8 (US) needles and knitted back and forth in stockinette stitch (one row knit, next row purl, then repeat). Let's knit a piece about 6 inches long and then bind it off.

So here we sit with our little squares and it's time to measure - how many stitches did it take to measure 4" across and how many rows did it take to make 4" lengthwise.

I knit rather loosely so I got 24 stitches and you knit a bit tighter so you got 28 stitches in 4" across of your little sample. Translated to gauge terms, I knit 6 stitches to the inch (24 divided by 4") and you knit 7 stitches to the inch (28 divided by 4"). (We're primarily concerned with how many stitches across 4" rather than how many rows in length.)

Now, the guy or gal who wrote the pattern, sitting next to us and using the same yarn and needles, is going to get his or her own results that may or may not match ours. Perhaps the author of the pattern knits like you do and gets 7 stitches to the inch.

That being the case, I'd have to adjust my knitting to match the pattern writer's "gauge" so I could get the same size stitches as the author's. Otherwise the garment the pattern is written about won't fit. So I would adjust my needle size until I, too, were knitting 7 stitches to the inch. Then, when I go to knit the garment, if I want to make the "medium" size described in the pattern, it will come out to fit because I match the pattern writer's stitch size or gauge.

Machine knit garments aren't even in the same universe as hand knit ones when it comes to gauge systems. They have their own laws and rules while having only a slight connection to the world of hand knits. So just remember that the writer of the pattern is the leader gauge-wise and the knitters follow the leader to get the sizes right!

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Happy knitting,

MMario
11-17-2010, 05:37 PM
The "gauge" refered to in the ads is a measure of the fabric weight; grams per 100 sq. cm I believe

OffJumpsJack
11-17-2010, 05:53 PM
The 'gauge' referred to in the J crew sweaters is not the same thing as hand knitting, probably more like the gauge on the knitting machines that made them, or possibly the yarn weight.

Yarns labeled 3 or 4 refer to the weight of the yarn, and while they do have a gauge and needle size on the label, that's more to put it into a weight category (sport, worsted, bulky). You should go for the gauge on the pattern. Everyone knits with a different tension, even with the same yarn and needle size, so that's why you should try out different needles until you match gauge.

I agree with Sue. The 'gauge 3' and 'gauge 12' used by J.Crew is not a reference to any common measure of sts or rows per inch/cm nor do I think it is any common needle size.

It might be from the old UK ply numbers that can be seen in this UK to US knitting conversion table (http://www.kcgtrading.com/conversioncharts.html). I zoomed in on the images on the fist gauge 3 link and the last one which was described as gauge 12 and the stitches were small for 'gauge 3' and larger for 'gauge 12' image. Consider that the first was a "...3-gauge knit. Superfine alpaca/wool/acrylic." Superfine fiber would sound appropriate for a fingering weight yarn. While the last link said, "constructed from unexpectedly soft lambswool in a lofty 12-gauge knit." Sounds more likely for an Aran weight yarn.

Gauge is a common word for measures of thickness (such as metal plate or wire) or diameter.

cldpsu
11-18-2010, 01:57 AM
Thanks to everyone for the replies. Luckily, I've recently come to understand the hand knitter's gauge system, although your posts were a good reminder of what I need to know.

One question I have in mind regards to a pattern suggesting a particular gauge. Let's say I pick up a worsted that is requiring US 8 and X stitches per 4 inches, yet the pattern, using the same yarn, suggests a different gauge. Is it correct to think a looser/tighter effect is desired in the pattern? Couldn't I still take the pattern for its aesthetic that I might enjoy and recalculate things with the standard gauge recommendation written on the yarn?

See you around!

suzeeq
11-18-2010, 09:19 AM
You go by the gauge on the pattern generally. The gauge on the label is more to classify the yarn weight and so you can substititute similar yarns. You can recalculate the sts in the pattern; I've always done this because I don't like using a size 8 with worsted weight yarn, preferring a much looser knit on larger needles.

That's where you take the sts/inch you get with your yarn and needles and multiply times the finished measurement of the item to get the number of sts needed to make it that size. Sometimes, another size of the pattern (if it's a sweater) will use close to the same number of sts you need and you can follow those directions, adjusting the length to that of your original size.