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Old 02-26-2008, 10:41 AM   #1
Judy M.
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First sweater gauge woes!
What is it with gauge?! I swatched for my first sweater on straight needles and got gauge. So I happily cast on to my circular needle and proceeded to knit away until I realized the sweater was looking kindof big. I took it off the needle and sure enough, it would fit a large (or even XL) and I'm a medium. I swatched again and still got gauge. Hmmm. I decided to wait for my new needles as the Denise's were a bit sticky for this yarn and work on a different sweater. Very different yarn, bigger needles, bigger gauge. I got gauge right away, using my circular, but knitting flat. So I proceeded to cast on, joined for working in the round, but by the time I had about 4" done...too big again. My gauge goes off by about 2 stitches over 4". Should I be swatching on my circulars and if so, how do I get enough length to judge whether or not I'm going to get bigger. It seems to happen gradually. Is this just a learning curve? Or is this something that happens commonly with circular knitting? Should I automatically drop my needle size if I'm knitting on circs? If so, by how many sizes? My straight knitting is consistent! I want so much to knit a sweater in the round, but am feeling a little discouraged...advice anyone?
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Old 02-26-2008, 10:54 AM   #2
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You may knit looser than you purl, so when you knit flat, the purl sts make up for the looseness of the knit st which doesn't happen in the round. You can swatch in the round... using your circular needle CO about 30 sts, knit across the first row, don't turn, slide the sts across to the other end, carry the yarn loosely across the back and knit across them again. Repeat. This mimics the way you knit in the round - knit every round - so it should help give you the same gauge. If it's too big that way, go down a needle size (you don't have to start over, just keep knitting) and check that after several rows. If it's still too big, go down another size.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:11 AM   #3
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I'm the type of person who needs to know the *why* of things; so thank you for your explanation as to why this is probably happening to me. Also, your instructions on swatching in the round were very clear and will really help me out. Going down in needle size, but just keep knitting will be a real time saver, too. Thanks so much for the reply, Sue.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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You're welcome!
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:37 PM   #5
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What a great idea, Suzee! It's like a big i-cord.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:30 PM   #6
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My gauge is completely diff straight to circ. I tend to be a loose knitter but on circs, for lack of those P rows!, I have to go up a couple ndl szs get gauge. Weird.

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Old 02-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #7
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Well, turns out Suzee was right. I swatched on my circular needle as per her instructions in post #2 of this thread and I had to go down 2 full needle sizes! I will certainly be using her instructions EVERY time I need to swatch for circular knitting. So, I'm the opposite of you, cam - my knits are looser than my purls. Thanks again, Suzee!

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Old 02-28-2008, 10:49 PM   #8
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You're welcome; I'm only passing on suggestions I've heard...
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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Creating a flat swatch in the round
If I follow the above advice and get a flat swatch on round needles with threads hanging off the back, is it possible to wash and block that with the threads across the back? Or is another technique used? Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:02 PM   #10
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Sure, just wash it by hand and dry flat.
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