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dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 12:28 PM
Hello again everyone. I'm back with another question. Before you ask, my scarf is coming along very nicely. Since frogging it the other day I've gotten it almost a foot long. :woohoo: And 5 color changes.

I've also started another project, this one is inspired by the posting from fatoldladyinpjs about the Solders that knit (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111742).

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fr44lIzC03k/S4n5QCMxtEI/AAAAAAAABp4/PiZMN3PzlLI/s1600/Knit+for+Defense+Cap.jpg

I've decided to do the watch cap but with slight variations. I'm going for 2 tone black and white with black being the bulk of the project with 3 parallel white stripes wrapping halfway round horizontally. That's not my problem. I've working using DPN's never done it before and last night I sorta figured out working DPN, and got my cast on onto my 3 needles. My issue though is the sizing looks off. I followed the pattern for the cap using 108 stitches divided up between 3 needles, but it's looking a bit small.

Tonight I can post a pic of where it's currently at for some feedback as far as stitch spacing goes for casting on. Where it's at now though the hole looks barely large enough to fit a toddlers head. Possibly 4 - 6 inches diameter.

As always I appreciate your input.

Jan in CA
01-23-2013, 12:38 PM
What size needles and weight yarn are you using? Is it the recommended gauge for the pattern? If even one of those is different it can affect sizing.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 12:42 PM
Hello again everyone. I'm back with another question. Before you ask, my scarf is coming along very nicely. Since frogging it the other day I've gotten it almost a foot long. :woohoo: And 5 color changes.

I've also started another project, this one is inspired by the posting from fatoldladyinpjs about the Solders that knit (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111742).

I've decided to do the watch cap but with slight variations. I'm going for 2 tone black and white with black being the bulk of the project with 3 parallel white stripes wrapping halfway round horizontally. That's not my problem. I've working using DPN's never done it before and last night I sorta figured out working DPN, and got my cast on onto my 3 needles. My issue though is the sizing looks off. I followed the pattern for the cap using 108 stitches divided up between 3 needles, but it's looking a bit small.

Tonight I can post a pic of where it's currently at for some feedback as far as stitch spacing goes for casting on.

As always I appreciate your input.

Two things come to mind here.

First is, (and I only learned this recently myself) that your gauge can be different when you're knitting in the round like you would be for a hat than it is when you're knitting flat -- like a scarf. (Somewhere there's a recent thread on this very topic in fact.) Which is tangentially related to my next thought...

Second, when you knitted your scarf, you were making garter stitch -- knitting every row (no purling) But if you do the same thing with the hat (i.e. knit every round) you'll be making stockinette stitch which is considerably narrower than garter stitch given the same number of stitches. So 108 stitches in garter stitch is wider than 108 stitches in stockinette. So if you based the gauge for your hat on the gauge you got making your scarf, it would make your hat come out small. Even if you were using the same yarn and same size needles.

Finally, this may not be an altogether bad thing. A little bit small is what you're going for in a knitted hat because it'll stretch (sometimes a LOT) and if you make it bang-on the size of your head, it'll blow off in a good gust of wind. Not really what you want in a hat. So if you're gonna be off, it's better to be off on the small side.

UPDATED: Yup. I found the thread on round gauging (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111813), and there's an excellent shortcut in it from Suzeeq.

butlersabroad
01-23-2013, 12:42 PM
I'm doing a watch cap right now on four dpns and it's 112 stitches so not much removed from yours. I have heavy weight yarn (possibly Arran, it's hand spun and doesn't list the weight), and 3.5mm dpns. It's a k1p1 rib so will be very stretchy.

Best thing to check is yarn weight and needle size.

Antares
01-23-2013, 12:49 PM
Here are a few things to consider: 1) Are you stitches squished up on the DPNs so they won't slip off? If so, then you're not seeing the actual size of the hat, and 2) the hat will stretch, of course; that's what the ribbing is for, but it may very well be that it's too small.

You might want to knit a swatch in the round (video here: http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/circular-gauge-swatch) to check your gauge. HOWEVER, hats are usually such smallish projects that it's almost not worth knitting a gauge swatch because if you're unhappy with the size, you can usually start over quite easily. That's just me, though. You may find it more efficient and less frustrating to just go ahead and knit a gauge swatch and then do your hat based on it.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 01:00 PM
Something else just occurred to me, though it sorta falls into that "Is it plugged in?" category. But it occurs to me that with a scarf, checking gauge isn't all that important, so you might've skipped that step. But when you're trying to get something to be a certain size, you can't really do that. The pattern you're using will say 108 stitches, but that's predicated on a certain number of stitches per inch, and if you knit tighter or looser than that 108 stitches for you won't be the same size as 108 stitches for somebody else, given the same yarn and needle size. And the variations can be significant. (A lot more than you'd think.)

So you want to knit a swatch using the yarn you're going to make the thing out of, measure 4 inches and count the number of stitches you put into those 4 inches. Ideally you'll measure it in 3 or 4 different places and take an average (especially if you're just getting used to DPNs). For the sake of completeness, you'll usually check the number of rows (or rounds, in this case) in 4 inches, but that's probably as critical for this project.

Also, when the work is still on the needles, it's GOING to look smaller than it actually is. On the needles, your stitches are turned so they're perpendicular to the needle. Once they're OFF the needle, they're gong to rotate so they're in the plane of the fabric. And that's going to make the piece a LOT bigger (maybe as much as double, depending on the yarn/gauge).

Jan in CA
01-23-2013, 02:44 PM
The vast majority of hats I make I use US 7 needles, worsted weight yarn and I cast on between 72-80 stitches. Obviously that can change if I use a different weight yarn. That's why I asked about specifics as well.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 02:49 PM
The vast majority of hats I make I use US 7 needles, worsted weight yarn and I cast on between 72-80 stitches. Obviously that can change if I use a different weight yarn. That's why I asked about specifics as well.

Which only underscores the point about different folks having different gauges. When I made the Raspberry Beret, the band was 74 sts... on US 9 needles and two strands of worsted weight yarn. Which gave me about a 22" circumference. (Yeah, my stitches were... ahem... a little tight.)

suzeeq
01-23-2013, 03:04 PM
Actually you can get the same gauge on the same needle with different weights of yarn. I used double stranded lace weight on size 9s and got the same gauge as worsted on 9s. The thin yarn just makes a thinner fabric. Try it sometime - take some thin yarn and your size 9s and see if you get the same gauge as the doubled worsted (which would be a super super bulky so no wonder the sts were tight with 9s, needed an 11 or 13 for that weight).

dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 03:07 PM
Needles are size US 5 and yarn is #4 pattern called for those netting around 5 - 5 1/2 stitches per inch.

The actual pattern, https://sites.google.com/site/hbmprintablepatterns/cap

GrumpyGramma
01-23-2013, 03:56 PM
You might want to see if you can get at least a rough gauge count with the needles and yarn you're using. Those needles seem small for that yarn, at least to me. Maybe the yarn they're referring to is on the skinny end of the worsted range. I'm using US 6 with Lion Brand Pound of Love and getting about 5.75 sts/inch. This yarn is skinny compared to other worsteds I've used.

dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 04:05 PM
It is rather skinny, I believe if I space out the stitches I'm getting 6 - 8 per inch. Too small?

Again I can post pics tonight, as long as I do it before I start knitting. Once that happens I'm done for the night.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 04:15 PM
Actually you can get the same gauge on the same needle with different weights of yarn. I used double stranded lace weight on size 9s and got the same gauge as worsted on 9s. The thin yarn just makes a thinner fabric. Try it sometime - take some thin yarn and your size 9s and see if you get the same gauge as the doubled worsted (which would be a super super bulky so no wonder the sts were tight with 9s, needed an 11 or 13 for that weight).

I wouldn't get the same gauge now as I did then regardless. I've finally managed to teach myself how NOT to garrotte the needle... most of the time at least. But anyway.

What I was really getting at was Jan was using US 7s and worsted yarn and I was US 9 and bulky yarn and we were getting about the same number of stitches and probably working on about the same size hat. For Wendy (who's a very relaxed knitter) to match my gauge she'd have to drop at least 2, maybe 3 needle sizes from what I use given the same yarn. (And it used to be more like four sizes!)

I've also had at least one occasion where two yarns that were only slightly different (Plymouth Select and Cascade 220) gave me just enough difference in gauge that the same pattern fit in one yarn and not the other. And this wasn't just on the same size needles, it was the same actual needles. The Plymouth was springier and slightly thicker, and fit perfectly. The Cascade was just slightly thinner and came out too big. Not by much, but enough that we had to do some fidgie-widginess to draw it in a little. The lesson learned: Take Time To Save Time; ALWAYS Check Gauge! Maybe Mercury was in retrograde or something so it was a one-off, but...

dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 04:24 PM
Garrotte the needle seems to be exactly my problem, even with the scarf. The whole stitch uniformity thread was pretty much about that I just couldn't explain it as well as the word garrotte describes it. Same thing with this project I believe my stitches are just too tight and closely spaced.

I'll definitely post some photos of the cast on row, how far should I go past that to gauge sizing, a few rounds?

GrumpyGramma
01-23-2013, 04:26 PM
It is rather skinny, I believe if I space out the stitches I'm getting 6 - 8 per inch. Too small?

Again I can post pics tonight, as long as I do it before I start knitting. Once that happens I'm done for the night.

I'd say, yes. I'm horrid at math but if they're getting 5.5 sts/in. and you're getting 8 sts/in, there is an appreciable difference.

108 / 5.5 = 19.6"
108 / 8 = 13.5"

Thank goodness for calculators!

I see two options: Do more stitches and adjust the decreases accordingly or use larger needles.


To gauge your stitch count accurately you'll probably need to work several inches. There is a video here about swatching in the round but I can't find it now. I have a really hard time finding the videos I need here. I'll try again and if I can find it and check back to give you the link.

ETA: Found it! On youtube I could search to find it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivCho4KvB3g

mojo11
01-23-2013, 04:28 PM
It is rather skinny, I believe if I space out the stitches I'm getting 6 - 8 per inch. Too small?

Again I can post pics tonight, as long as I do it before I start knitting. Once that happens I'm done for the night.

Small alarm goes off here when you say "space out the stitches". I'm not sure what you're saying here. If you mean stretching the swatch, that's not an altogether bad idea when you're doing a hat, because it'll be stretched when you wear it. But if you're counting the stitches while they're on the needle, you're not getting an accurate count. They'll be oriented differently once you've gotten them off the needle and you might actually be closer to the prescribed gauge than you think.

Plus there's a big difference between 6 and 8 stitches per inch. And that difference has a bigger effect the bigger the piece is. At 6 sts/in 108 sts gives you 18" at 8 sts/in it's only 13 1/2". At 5.5 it's 19.6" and at 5 you get 21.6" so if you're actually at 6 sts/in, your hat is 3.6" smaller than it would be at 5 sts/in. That's a long way to stretch, even if the hat is ribbed.

If you take that same difference and scale it up to a sweater, you get a Frankensweater that will house a small tribe of pygmies from an obscure island nation in the Pacific Rim. (Ask me how I know. :teehee:)

mojo11
01-23-2013, 04:30 PM
I see two options: Do more stitches and adjust the decreases accordingly or use larger needles.

Larger needles. Definitely larger needles. :Dustin Hoffman:

mojo11
01-23-2013, 05:03 PM
Garrotte the needle seems to be exactly my problem, even with the scarf. The whole stitch uniformity thread was pretty much about that I just couldn't explain it as well as the word garrotte describes it. Same thing with this project I believe my stitches are just too tight and closely spaced.

It's a common difficulty, especially when you're just starting out. I think it must come from trying to hold all that stuff together and do all that other stuff at the same time. Plus, there's a natural tendency to wrap the yarn tight around the needle to make sure the stitch is the "right size".

What finally(!) worked for me was letting the working yarn rest in the "pocket" where the two needles cross and not trying to pull it any further beyond that point before pulling the needle tip through to make the stitch. And it was (and sometimes still is) HARD. I'd gotten used to that comforting "clink" (or "click") the needles made against each other when the yarn snapped through that gap and it was a little unnerving to not have that indicator that everything was were it was supposed to be. But once you've gotten that rhythm into muscle memory, and realize how much easier everything ELSE is because of it, you'll be a lot happier. Not to mention faster.

I'll definitely post some photos of the cast on row, how far should I go past that to gauge sizing, a few rounds?

Yeah, the cast on round won't tell you much as far as gauge goes. As for how many rounds you'd want to go... you'll probably get a different answer from everybody. I'd say at a minimum you need enough to get the fabric to lay flat so you can measure it. The "usual" gauge swatch is 4" x 4", but you're probably not too awfully concerned with the number of rounds per inch. If it's a little long, no biggie. Besides which, by the time you have 4" of hat you're almost halfway done with most hats anyway.

dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 05:09 PM
I could go larger, I don't have larger DPN's though and sorta had my heart set on doing that method vs working from a circle. I did pick up an interchangable kit at LYS wife wasn't too keen on that $90 later, but it does have the equivalent of 21 needles vs $10 per needle set.

Jan in CA
01-23-2013, 05:20 PM
I'm a loose knitter and a US 5 is too tight for me really with #4 medium weight yarn.

Yes, everyone's gauge is different, but if we know the basics of what you're doing it helps to diagnose problems. I'd measure your gauge and if its too many spi then try going up a needle size or two.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 05:22 PM
I could go larger, I don't have larger DPN's though and sorta had my heart set on doing that method vs working from a circle. I did pick up an interchangable kit at LYS wife wasn't too keen on that $90 later, but it does have the equivalent of 21 needles vs $10 per needle set.

You'd only need the DPNs when you were doing the very top of the crown, and (as has been discussed at length in another thread) you don't actually need them even then. There are other (and IMO easier) ways to do small-diameter circular work. I don't think even the hardcore proponents of DPNs for small diameter work would normally do an entire hat on them. Though you certainly could.

If you were keen on the DPNs just to learn the technique, you don't have to do a whole hat for that. I'd suggest trying both ways on a practice swatch and see which you feel more comfortable with. The results are the same either way, you just have fewer joins working with a circular needle. If you're dividing your stitches among 3 needles, that means three joins in every round as opposed to one (or two when you get to the top, if you do Magic Loop or use 2 circulars).

Besides, you have that keen interchangeable set :thumbsup: might as well make it earn its keep. And depending on the way the cables are set up, you might have MORE than 21 sets there. Some sets come with (or have available as an add on) connectors that will allow you to join multiple cables together to make a longer cable. Figuring out how many sets that makes is more math than I wanna do in my head. But it's a lot.

suzeeq
01-23-2013, 05:38 PM
Yeah, unless you're a loose knitter, that seems like it's going to be too tight. If you are getting 6 - 8 sts per inch, it's much much too small. If you use a size 6, that should get you the 5 sts per inch the pattern calls for - 22 sts/4".

I don't know why you seem to want to use the size 4s with the #4/worsted weight yarn. You would normally use a size 7 to 9 with that yarn. The hat is knit denser than normal, so using a size 6 would help.

And if you do tend to knit tight (garrote the yarn) then a size 8 would probably do better. Don't pull on the yarn after you've made the new stitch and pulled it through the old one. It'll probably seem weird and loose to you, but making the next stitch will tighten up the previous one. Practice this on some other yarn or with your gauge sample. Tight stitches make it hard to get gauge and is very hard on your hands after a while; knitting should be easy and relaxing, not tense. Even stitches will actually happen when you relax your tension after a little practice, then washing the finished item evens them out further.

mojo11
01-23-2013, 05:59 PM
I don't know why you seem to want to use the size 4s with the #4/worsted weight yarn. You would normally use a size 7 to 9 with that yarn. The hat is knit denser than normal, so using a size 6 would help. And if you do tend to knit tight (garrote the yarn) then a size 8 would probably do better.

I'd probably start with 8's too. The pattern says US 5's, which I think is what he was using, but that's way too small for my comfort. Even a 6 would be pretty tight. That's what I used on the Hockey Chicken, and it had to hold in stuffing.

I had a tendency to give a little extra tug on the yarn post-stitch (and still catch myself doing it on purls), but my bigger problem was pulling the yarn down tight before pulling the stitch through. By the time I did that, the die was cast, so it really didn't matter if I tugged on it after the fact or not. I've managed to pretty much conquer that one, and the difference is nothing short of astonishing.

Antares
01-23-2013, 06:09 PM
Here's another thought: What cast-on method are you using? Some are tighter and less flexible than others. Of the common cast on methods, the long tail cast on is, I believe, the most flexible.

Antares
01-23-2013, 06:13 PM
ETA: Found it! On youtube I could search to find it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivCho4KvB3g

Uh, ya, I posted a link to this earlier in this thread.

Jan in CA
01-23-2013, 06:43 PM
I almost always use long tail. For hems I use a provisional cast on and for something that needs to be super stretchy I sometimes use German twisted. 99% of the time I use LT though.

GG I used the search box at the top in red to search circular gauge and the video was at the top of the results.

dudeKnit
01-23-2013, 07:52 PM
I'm stitching for cast on, I've tried the long tail and it doesn't seem to work well for me.

Here is my DPN round cast on row. About 9 sts per inch.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj595/g0bshite/IMG_1068_zpsbbf56143.jpg

I'll be redoing this one no doubt.

And the infamous scarf.

http://i1269.photobucket.com/albums/jj595/g0bshite/IMG_1069_zpse56ce311.jpg

fatoldladyinpjs
01-23-2013, 08:03 PM
I don't know how some of these yarn companies set the yarn thickness. Lion One Pound says worsted weight, but it's more like a sport weight. Knit Picks Wool of the Andes was supposed to be a worsted weight, but ended up being a light worsted weight, whatever that is. It's more like a sport. I grabbed two Red Heart Supersavers the other day. Both worsteds. The solid color is thicker than the variegated. Sheesh! All I can say is, you've got to swatch, swatch, swatch anything you're not familiar with.

The needle you use depends on if you're a tight or loose knitter. The general range in this pattern is #6-8 needle depending on your personal gauge. I did notice a problem with this pattern also. I would say to only do one straight stockinette stitch row after each decrease rather than the two called for in the pattern. Mine turned out rather tall and pointy like an elf hat.

suzeeq
01-23-2013, 08:04 PM
Okay, you can't get proper gauge from just the Cast on as stitches are tighter there than they will be when you knit them, they would measure about 80% of what the finishes stitches will. And one row won't be accurate either, you need at least a couple of inches.

So here's what you do since you're going to redo it anyway --
CO about 24 sts to just one needle, knit across it, then slide the stitches back to the beginning of it (which you probably won't need to as they'll pretty well fill it up). Then leaving the yarn from the end of the row loose across the back (very loose) knit another row. Repeat for about 3". This method mimics knitting in the round but lies flat so you can get a good measurement on it. The stitches at the edges are going to be very very loose, so don't use them at all, just measure 2 or 3 inches across in the middle. That should be enough to tell you what your gauge is.

suzeeq
01-23-2013, 08:08 PM
I don't know how some of these yarn companies set the yarn thickness. Lion One Pound says worsted weight, but it's more like a sport weight.

Are you confusing Caron's One Pound which is a full worsted, with Lion's Pound of Love though it does seem to be a thinner weight.

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes was supposed to be a worsted weight, but ended up being a light worsted weight, whatever that is. It's more like a sport. I grabbed two Red Heart Supersavers the other day. Both worsteds. The solid color is thicker than the variegated. Sheesh! All I can say is, you've got to swatch, swatch, swatch anything you're not familiar with.

WoTA is like a worsted to me, but RHSS is more of an aran, especially the 25 year old variety I'm using now, it's like a light bulky. You're skipping over dk which comes between sport and worsted and is sometimes like a thinner worsted.

GrumpyGramma
01-23-2013, 08:13 PM
Your scarf looks OK! The stitches do look tight, but as I understand you're using a very small needle for the yarn and you do the garrotte thing. As pointed out, you need several inches to get an accurate stitch count. Do yourself a favor and work on loosening up a bit.

GrumpyGramma
01-23-2013, 08:20 PM
Are you confusing Caron's One Pound which is a full worsted, with Lion's Pound of Love though it does seem to be a thinner weight.



WoTA is like a worsted to me, but RHSS is more of an aran, especially the 25 year old variety I'm using now, it's like a light bulky. You're skipping over dk which comes between sport and worsted and is sometimes like a thinner worsted.

My LB Pound of Love label states: Super Soft 4 ply knitting worsted weight. Yes, it is much thinner than Caron's One Pound. RHSS is something of a crap shoot IMHO; the variegateds almost always have some very, very thin and really thick parts and it seems to me that the colors are connected to the variations; one color will be fatter than another and some are much softer than others. Currently I've decided I like the RH With Love. I've not used a lot of it but so far it's soft and I've not seen the thick-thin-medium-very thin-very-thick stuff going on.

dudeKnit
01-24-2013, 10:29 AM
The scarf is not so bad, for that it's a number 4 yarn and I'm using either number 6 or 7 needles, my stitches for that feel just right and I actually didn't choke the needles to death.

I didn't work on the hat last night. I spent a bit too much time working on the scarf, got that red section finished and started on the next purple segment. I'm averaging about an inch to an inch+ per week night on it.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-24-2013, 10:42 AM
I don't think I've ever seen a dk weight in my area stores. But yes, I have used both Caron One Pound and Pound of Love. You're right, there's a big difference. Question? Does dk weight have a number, like a 3 or 4 in the standard symbols? Is this somewhere in between the two?

fatoldladyinpjs
01-24-2013, 10:49 AM
As to the needle size, #5 is way too small for a worsted weight yarn. I used to make convertible mittens this way a few years ago. The pattern called for it and I didn't know any better because I was still a novice knitter. You can do it, but not without a lot of cranking to actually knit the stitches and a few curse words thrown in. I now knit these on a #8 and have modified the pattern to suit me. If you're getting 6-8 stitches per inch, this is more along the lines of a #1 to a #3 needle. Six stitches per inch is about what my LYS recommended for knitting socks on a #3 needle with thinner sock or fingering yarn. This would be about a #1 or #2 in the weight classification on the label.

Edit: Reminds me, I need to finish the convertible mittens I'm doing. The ones I made several years ago have worn out and my son asked me to knit another pair for his girlfriend.

suzeeq
01-24-2013, 11:06 AM
They usually put DK in the 3 class I think as a lot of it is thinner than worsted, though I've had some that's as thick as a worsted.

Some patterns will call for worsted knit on a size 5 or 6 to make a really dense knit, like for socks or mittens, even hats.