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Old 02-19-2006, 08:00 AM   #1
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Not smart enough to follow a pattern, need help
So hey, I really am not able to understand patterns and I am a new knitter. Making my first sweater, possibly badly. It just occurred to me to measure the gauge, which I was sort of doing by eye. I'm knitting for a toddler size 3-4 and found some measurements for this online. So I'm doing the math based on gauge and these measurements I got, and now I'm confused. I'm using one of my daughter's larger sweaters as a guide.

On straight needles, working in stockingette, I've got 4st=1in. Okay, and then I've got 42st=10.5 inches currently. (Not bad working by eye.) The sweater I'm measuring against is 11in front, 11in back WIDTHWISE (?) (is this measurement supposed to be LENGTH?).

Here's my questions:
-I knit, knit, knit. How do I know how LONG a piece should be? How many ROWS do I figure, or should I just measure as I go? (Is there an easy mathematical formula?)
-Can I achieve this all on STRAIGHT needles? I think that circular turbo super needles scare me.
-I've got all these measurements in stitches that I converted to stitches. These are all width? Length?

This is a knitting experiment that so far looks pretty. But its harder than I imagined. LOL Mant thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:00 AM   #2
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First off, it's not a matter of smart, and don't be surprised if someone changes the title of your thread. Your learning a new language here, and smarts has nothing to do with it. It's just a matter of experience.

First of, there is stitch gauge and row gauge. Stitch gauge is the width--how many stitches per inch you get working across. This is the important one.

Row gauge is length--how many rows you get per inch vertically. You can adjust this by knitting fewer/more rows, so as long as your stitch gauge is ok, you can fiddle with the other.

Most patterns have you knit for X amount of inches, so just go with that on the length.

Straights are fine, many people use the circulars as straights. You wouldn't knit in the round on circs unless you want a tube, which I don't think is the case.

You're doing fine, hang in there.
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:49 AM   #3
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Just take it one row and one stitch at a time. YOu seem to be doing well and you have something to measure your work against (which can help.) Ingrid gave you some great advice. Just remember, don't worry about the whole pattern. Just do the next step as you get to it.
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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I figured it out. Not the pattern stuff, but the math. So what's getting me through is this site and the forums, because I can research what it is I am doing before I do it and as I do it. I learned a few things doing a scarf at the same time as the sweater, so I figure I can have sort of a practice thing going on at the same time as a real project.

Thanks, guys.
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