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McKnitty
05-21-2008, 11:10 AM
PLEASE help me! I am starting a sweater and my gauge swatch is driving me crazy. I really like the pattern and I really want it to fit.

The gauge should be 3.5 stitches per inch on 10.5 needles. My gauge varies from 3.5 to 4, so I tried size 11 needles but got the same gauge (3.5 to 4). Size 13 is too large.

Here is what is confusing to me. The top portion of the sweater (which is really the only part that needs to fit well) is knit in garter stitch. However, the pattern calls for the gauge swatch to be knit in stockinette stitch. Does this matter?

I think I may knit a little tighter in garter stitch, so do you think it is safe to stay with the 10.5 needles since the gauge is close? Or I was wondering if I should start with size 10.5 needles and then switch to size 11 after a few rows. I heard that you usually relax and your knitting gets looser after a few rows.

BTW - I am trying (!) to knit the Juliet sweater from Zephyr Style.
http://www.zephyrstyle.com/catalog/item.cfm/2367447/4944404

Knitting_Guy
05-21-2008, 11:38 AM
It sounds like the gauge is close, so I'd say go ahead and start it. Once you've knit a few inches check your gauge in the actual garment to make sure it's coming out reasonably close to what it should be.

I have found out the hard way that the gauge in a swatch and the gauge in the actual object don't always match.

McKnitty
05-21-2008, 12:28 PM
I have found out the hard way that the gauge in a swatch and the gauge in the actual object don't always match.

This is why I usually stay with projects where gauge isn't important. I really love dishcloths!

Luvmyrottnboy
05-21-2008, 01:13 PM
I agree with Knitting Guy to go ahead. Just measure as you go.

Juliet is knit top-down so you can try it on as you go too.

ArtLady1981
05-21-2008, 01:37 PM
Hi McKnitty!

I received your PM, and did post a lengthy reply!

The short answer is: cast on 20 stitches, using the US11...and knit for a full 5". Then, measure the center 14 st. If they are less than 4" wide...the US11 is too small. (yes, cast on 20 st because knitting more stitches 'sets' your 'hand'...and more stitches may work best to get the BIG PICTURE)

And you must achieve 'gauge' on a st st swatch, not garter.

Also, this pattern has vertical design as well (in the bottom portion)...so row gauge is a factor. So, lay your ruler over top of your swatch, mark 4" in height...and count the number of rows within that 4" space. But, Row gauge is not a critical as stitch gauge.

Back to stitch (width) gauge:
If your 14st is measuring, let's say, 3.75"...that means that every 14 st you knit, you are losing 1/4" in width. This can severely impact the sizing. For example: if a sweater is 160 st around in total...and you are losing 1/4" for every 14 st...that garment will be about 3" too small around.

If you can't get gauge with the US10.5 or US11...then consider making the size up. For example: if the size SMALL with US10.5 needle is gonna be 3" too small around...knit the size MED! It will end up being a size SMALL with the US10.5.

I agree, the US13 would not work. Some yarns just don't like it when you use a bigger needle on them. Certain yarns just like certain sizes of needles best. Together they deliver a nicer appearance, a prettier stitch, not too holey, not too compact like a braided rug.

McKnitty
05-21-2008, 02:10 PM
Juliet is knit top-down so you can try it on as you go too.


Good point. I've never knit a top-down before, but I've heard that one of the benefits is that you can try it on as you go to check the fit.

McKnitty
05-21-2008, 02:15 PM
Hi McKnitty! I received your PM, and did post a lengthy reply!

Yes, I did get the PM. Thank you ArtLady, you're the best! I appreciate your advice and encouragement. Your beautiful sweaters are an inspiration to us all.