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Old 05-14-2007, 10:44 AM   #1
RuthK
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gauge: flat vs. in the round
So, for Mother's Day I treated myself to a set of Options (woo hoo! finally!) and enough shine sport to make MagKnit's ballet camisole. I've never made a garment before, and I enthusiastically cast on, using 6's, for a gauge swatch. Apparently I'm a loose knitter, because I got 4 stitches/inch instead of 5.5 as required, and the fabric is pretty see-through. No problem, I (a little less enthusiastically) cast on for a gauge swatch using 4's. Now I'm up to 5 stitches/inch, the fabric is a little closer to what I'd like, but still not there.

Of course, my Options needles only go down to size 4, and I'm not crazy about needing to buy a few more circular needles in order to do this top, without even knowing which ones I should buy to get gauge.

What should I do? Here are the choices as I see them:

I could order sizes 0-3 circular needles (in 24" size, I guess?) because I'll need a smaller size for the ribbing as well, and hope that one of those works.

I already need to make the smallest size top from the pattern due to my washboard boobs, so I can't really go down a size, but I guess I could try to adjust the pattern for my gauge (but did I mention this is my first garment? Ack!).

I'm even contemplating buying some shine worsted instead and using it, but I guess the drape would be very different.

Finally, I guess I should try a gauge swatch in the round instead of flat, because I'm pretty sure my purls are looser than my knits, and this top is knit in the round. How big should I make it? I'm really sure how to do that.

Thanks in advance for any help! I really hate to give on this before I start.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
SandraEllen
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i would definitely knit a swatch in the round. my purls are looser than my knits too.

how big to make it? I would cast on at least 28ish stitches. and knit for at least 3ish inches.

Really, you should probably cast on closer to 45ish so you should have something closer to 4 inches to measure... I'm impatient though and i wouldn't do it.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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You obviously need a smaller needle size, and I'm kind of thinking that if you like the options set then why not buy the smaller needles to add to it and you will use them for a lot more than just this project (especially if you're a loose knitter).

Or, if you tend not to knit small gauge items and think you might not use them very much, can't you just buy a smaller circ (not Options) for this project from the LYS or wherever?

I would advise that you not try to alter the pattern itself, especially considering it is your first garment. You want to be able to follow it step by step and get used to how a garment pattern is written without having to fiddle with numbers and math and calculations, etc.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll try an in-the-round swatch first with the needles I do have and see what happens. Time to learn magic loop!

Unfortunately, the options needles only go down to size 4, and I don't want to shell out LYS-type money for circs that may not even give me gauge. The only thing I can get here are addis for $15.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:38 PM   #5
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You can get options in size 3 and under. They're not the interchangeable ones but just regular circs. Less than Addis for sure...

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Old 05-14-2007, 05:19 PM   #6
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You can get circs at Michael's and Hobby Lobby for cheaper--esp if you use the 40 or 50% off coupon. Y0u can print the Hobby Lobby coupon from the internet! They both carry bamboo, plastic and metal circs.

Definitely do the swatch in circular, though! It DOES make a HUGE difference!
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:08 AM   #7
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GJ-- the michael's in your area carry circs in small sizes?

sometimes you can find a size 3 michaels, but i wouldn't expect it --ACMoore sometimes even has size 2's, but only in 16 inch lenght, JoAnnes sometimes has size 2's in 29inch length..

and none of these stores carry sock yarn any more --not Paton's Kroy or Lion Brand Stripes... (forget fancy sock yarn) they all have a selecton of wools, (ok not a big selection, but Paton SWS, or other wool blends) and the basic LB Wool and LB Fisherman's wool, and Paton's classic Merino.

i tend to buy needle with the coupons too, but i've had to go to a LYS when it comes to small sized circs.
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:38 AM   #8
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Unfortunately, I don't have a Michael's or other store close by - my easiest bet is a LYS by far. I think I'm going to order the smaller sizes from KnitPicks and just wait for them to show up and hope that something works out.

I did try a faux in-the-round swatch last night by knitting every row and loosely carrying the yarn behind. It wasn't much different, which surprised me. I'm starting to get frustrated and wonder if this top was just a bad idea.

Here's another question: I washed and dried my first swatch, then frogged it and have been reusing the same yarn for my subsequent swatches. Could that be causing a problem?

I'm just so surprised that I'm a loose knitter. It doesn't seem to fit with my personality.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:20 AM   #9
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This top is similar to the Picovoli which can also be found at Magknits. Maybe the pattern sizing will be better for you.

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