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Old 10-23-2007, 10:06 PM   #1
akWillow
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help with gauge
I am making my first cardigan. I am not using the yarn that is in the pattern, but same weight (sport) and it is made from 100% baby Alpaca (as the one in the pattern).

The gauge calls for 14 sts and 17 rows=4" (stockinette sts)

Size 11 (pattern says to use this) gives me a bit more than 4" and I feel it doesn't look very good. Very loose.

Size 10.5 gave me 3", but it looks better to me.

Not sure what to do here. I have a tendency to knit tight stitches, so I didn't do the size 11 loose or anything. It just seemed to be too big for the yarn weight.

Can anyone give any advice?

Oh and I should of course mention that the patterns calls for using double strands of yarn, which I have done on my gauge tests too (says to do that also).

Last edited by akWillow : 10-23-2007 at 10:10 PM. Reason: forgot to mention the double strand use
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
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When you do a gauge swatch, rather than knitting 14 stitches and measuring, you should cast on more stitches--about 5 inches worth. Then you can measure the stitches on 4 inches rather than including the edges, which won't be a true measure of your gauge.

If you still can't get gauge with the smaller needles but prefer the fabric, maybe you can make a larger size. Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee how much the larger size and tighter gauge will affect the size...at least not that I know of.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:22 PM   #3
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Ok, I'll try that. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:28 PM   #4
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The thing is that you want the gauge to match exactly. If it doesn't, the cardigan will be a mess and you may run out of yarn. The problem is that US sizes jump, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why. That is, size 10 is 6mm, size 10.5 is 6.5mm, and then size 11 is 8mm! It's hard to find 7mm, but not impossible; Brittany Birch and Crystal Palace both make them in wood, and Aero has them in metal or plastic. The other thing to try, is the 10.5 and 11, but in different materials. Different woods, metal, teflon coated, plastic, bone and glass will all give you different gauges.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:20 PM   #5
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The gauge doesn't have to exactly match; if you like, you can do a different size. There's far too much difference between 10s and 11s, and when I knit years ago wished there was a size in between. I learned about metric sizes a couple years ago when I started knitting again, and love using 7 and 7.5 mm needles. They're perfect for in between sizes and you'd probably get gauge on the 7mms.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:21 PM   #6
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I didn't think of that; that there is a jump between size 10.5 and 11 like that. Hmm.
I am using knitpicks wood needles. The ones where you can change the cords.

I was like just tad over 4" on the size 11. Very close to 4.
I am thinking that I might just start the cardigan and see what I think.


This is the cardigan I am making by the way.

Last edited by akWillow : 10-23-2007 at 11:36 PM. Reason: adding picture
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:30 PM   #7
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That's an idea. That way you can tell how it looks in a larger piece.

About the needle sizes - 10s are 6.5 mm and 11s are 8 mm. That's a really big difference. Wonder why the US needle makers decided to skip the 7s's?
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:41 PM   #8
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Yes, that is kinda interesting.
I am a metric person myself. I am from Sweden originally. Live in the US now though.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:12 AM   #9
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Well, after starting the cardigan with the size 11 it really didn't look good so I restarted with size 10.5 and went up a size instead. I really hope it turns out ok.

Thanks everyone for the help!
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