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Old 06-05-2014, 06:35 PM   #1
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Gauge: Why both sts and rows?
Why does a pattern swatch specify both stitches and rows?

Seems as though there are two dependent variables (stitches per 4", rows per 4") and only one control variable (needle size) once the yarn has been selected. Both of the dependent variables are simultaneously affected by the needle size. In other words, not enough degrees of freedom.

If the swatch stitch count per 4" is correct how can I then affect rows per 4" without changing needle size?

Seems that a designer need only specify stitches per 4" for gauge and the number of rows would then automatically follow, unless rows can also affected by something other than needle size.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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As hard as it can be to get the correct stitch count in a gauge swatch, row count is harder. I don't know why, someone else undoubtedly does. I've gotten stitch count and but not the row count more than once. Stitches/inch are certainly higher priority than rows/inch. If a pattern gives measurements (it might say to work 4" from the cast on edge) row gauge is less important. I much prefer patterns to give a measurement to work with.

ETA Some patterns say to work x rows and the length is based on the row count. I really dislike this in armholes and sleeves, a measurement would be much more accurate.
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Old 06-06-2014, 05:34 AM   #3
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Yes, row gauge is a given once you have gotten the correct stitch gauge. I'm inevitably off on row gauge but not too badly. The only time I really pay attention is on raglan sleeves. In that case, if the row gauge is off, I adjust the frequency of the armhole decreases to fit the length of sleeve.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:02 AM   #4
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I don't usually pay any attention to row gauge unless the specifically says important. It's easy enough to control length by knitting more or less rows in various places on the garment or project.

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