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Old 11-12-2006, 08:36 PM   #1
Renee Ann
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obtaining the right guage
Although I have knitted numerous beautiful sweaters for little girls and they have all turned out really well, when I try an adult sweater for myself it's always flawed in some way. So I am trying one more time and going by the book... so I begin with a gauge (which I have never done before). I know - you must check the gauge for a good finished sweater. Anyway, I am trying again and here's the problem. I need 20st in 4" and I have 21 1/2sts it also says 7rows in 1" and I have 6rows. Now my problem is do I go to a smaller needle or larger??? I am knitting with Classic Elite Lush 50% wool 50%mahair. Any help will be greatly appreciated. I used a size 8 needle
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Old 11-12-2006, 08:45 PM   #2
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You need to go up a needle size. One way to think of it is that you're fitting too many stitches in the 4 inches, so they must be too small. A larger needle will make larger stitches.

Don't worry about the row gauge. That can be compensated for by the number of rows you knit. Stitch gauge for the width can't be. Most sweaters say to knit for a certain number of inches, anyway, so the row gauge isn't even a factor.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:11 PM   #3
Renee Ann
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Thanks and here's more questions
Thank you so much and I just realized I spelled gauge wrong... does that show how much I try to avoid the whole thing... when I showed the yarn to our local knitting store, I was told to use a size 5 needle to give the sweater more body. So my next question is this: is it possible that the pattern I want should be done with a different type of yarn rather than try to go to a larger needle?

My former sweater boo boo's were due to many different things... wrong pattern for choice of yarn, wrong needle size for yarn, not right sizing, so now I am determined to do this one right... so is a size 9 needle too big for a somewhat lightweight dk yarn... it looks really nice with an 8... what exactly happens to the size if you are off by as much as I am on the gauge? Can it be adjusted with choosing a different size?

I must appear to be really new to this but that isn't the case... knitting smaller sweaters, even making up my own patterns, and probably finishing over 25 in the last years... only a few have not lived up to what I hoped... why is a woman's sweater so much more difficult?
Thanks again for your help with the guage problem... oh I mean "gauge".

Happy knitting, Renee
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:16 PM   #4
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If 20sts/4" is the pattern gauge and you get 21.5sts/4".....

Say for example you have cast on 60sts. With 20sts/4" this would work out to a width of 12". With 21.5sts/4", 60sts would work out to barely over 11" of width. That is significant enough that you would want to change your needle size to make up for what would be lost inches. If not, your garment would likely be too small, or at least a bit tighter than you wanted it to be.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:22 PM   #5
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I always have to go up a needle size, but I do think that 9's, or even 8's are too big for a dk yarn. Usually a 20st/4 in gauge is a worsted weight.

You can attempt to make a larger size, but the problem is that there's no guarantee on what size you're going to end up with.

Here's a comparison. If you have 100 stitches on the needle at 5 st per inch, (20 st/4 in.) your piece will be 20 inches.

If you have 100 stitches on the needle at 5.4stitches per inch, (21.5 st/4 in.) your piece will be 18.5 inches.

It does make a difference.

If you want to get as close as possible to the sweater pattern and have the most chance of success, I'd go with a worsted yarn and a dead-on swatch, and a re-measure after you get started on the sweater itself.
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