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View Full Version : A little rant about gauge


chixdilla
02-22-2012, 02:32 PM
So I'm knitting a placemat using linen stitch and was unsure of how many stitches to cast on for a 17" wide placemat. So the good little knitter that I am, I made a gauge swatch and counted my gauge at 11.25 stitches in 4". That's about 2.81 stitches per inch. 2.81 x 17 inches = 47.77 stitches, right? So I decided to cast on 46 instead of 48 to make it just a tad bit shorter, maybe around 16". So tell me why I'm about 1/4 of the way done with the placemat, and the width is somehow measuring at 14".

:noway: :noway: :noway: :noway:

And my gauge is exactly the same!!!! I've been measuring the width since I started, and somehow it's gone from 15.5" to 16" to 15", and now it's at 14". :hair: And yet my gauge IS THE SAME!!!

:wall: :grrr: :!!!:

suzeeq
02-22-2012, 02:48 PM
You swatched in the linen st pattern, right - and knit more than a couple of inches...? This stitch is one that may pull in more the larger the piece, so I think that's it rather than gauge. Try about 52 sts and see if that works for you.

Jan in CA
02-22-2012, 02:51 PM
Normally I'd say that gauge lies, but it's the best method we have to actually get a garment to fit.

It's possible you measured your gauge wrong originally or your gauge changed in the process of knitting. That's pretty common. Your gauge tends to react to how you are feeling..stressed it gets tighter, relaxed it gets looser.

If your gauge is truly the same then possibly the fabric itself changed as you put more stitches on than the swatch.
:shrug:

chixdilla
02-22-2012, 02:56 PM
You swatched in the linen st pattern, right - and knit more than a couple of inches...? This stitch is one that may pull in more the larger the piece, so I think that's it rather than gauge. Try about 52 sts and see if that works for you.

Yep, I swatched in the linen stitch, and I knitted about 8 or 10 rows or so. I definitely don't want to rip it out and start over though, I wanted this to be a quick project because my table is in dire need of placemats. I think I might just do a crochet border around it to make it wider.

It's possible you measured your gauge wrong originally or your gauge changed in the process of knitting. That's pretty common. Your gauge tends to react to how you are feeling..stressed it gets tighter, relaxed it gets looser.

That's what I thought too, but I measured my gauge twice on the swatch, and I've measured it once or twice on the bigger piece, and it's the same! I'm guessing it just "shrank" like Sue said. How annoying!

suzeeq
02-22-2012, 03:14 PM
For a stitch like this, an inch or two worth of sts won't show what the stitch does with more length to it. So yeah, just put an edging around it and call it a modification.

Ingrid
02-22-2012, 03:47 PM
It's possible that blocking will help it to relax a bit, as well.

Antares
02-22-2012, 04:05 PM
I second the blocking idea mentioned by Ingrid. Many times you can block something and get it to come out pretty close to your intended results--especially if your project came out SMALLER than intended. This means that as frustrating as this is, you're in a good spot!!

So after you cast off and before you crochet the border, try washing and stretching it, and then letting it dry.

Jan in CA
02-22-2012, 04:17 PM
If you're using acrylic it may not block as well as wool. It can be blocked though and according to this info it's permanent. I haven't tried it yet.

http://beadknitter.blogspot.com/2009/03/you-can-block-acrylic.html

BTW..I printed out the information. If you find it useful you may want to do the same. I've had experience with disappearing patterns and other info on the internet so I didn't want to take the chance.

suzeeq
02-22-2012, 04:52 PM
If it's acrylic or a blend, no it won't block out much, but I've found putting things in the washer and dryer will help relax the sts so it could grow a little. Try that first, then steam with some stretching.

GrumpyGramma
02-22-2012, 05:25 PM
If you're using acrylic it may not block as well as wool. It can be blocked though and according to this info it's permanent. I haven't tried it yet.

http://beadknitter.blogspot.com/2009/03/you-can-block-acrylic.html

BTW..I printed out the information. If you find it useful you may want to do the same. I've had experience with disappearing patterns and other info on the internet so I didn't want to take the chance.
I've done that. I didn't know it was blocking. LOL It was the first sweater I knitted using acrylic yarn and I wanted to try evening things out. It worked.

Here's a demo on a crocheted afghan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Srm4BKqUY8k&feature=relmfu Her steamer looks a lot like mine.

Antares
02-22-2012, 06:02 PM
If it's acrylic or a blend, no it won't block out much, but I've found putting things in the washer and dryer will help relax the sts so it could grow a little. Try that first, then steam with some stretching.

Actually, I've had very good luck with washing acrylic (and blends, too) and blocking them to the correct size, so I guess it depends on what kind of yarn you're using!!

chixdilla
02-23-2012, 05:20 PM
Yeah, the placemat is acrylic (RHSS, everyone's favorite! :teehee: ). I've actually used the method in that link that Jan posted on one of my other things. I'll try the wash and dry thing and then steaming out and see what happens. If that doesn't stretch it out to my satisfaction, I'll just add a crochet border to the edges, and TA-DA!