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Old 11-25-2007, 08:25 PM   #1
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Newbie questions... counting rows? gauge? switching needles?
So if I lose count of how many rows I've done, how do I count them? Does the row on the needle count as a finished row? So I count the number I can see plus the one on the needle? I'm fairly sure I'm making this harder than it needs to be. In stockinette stitch or ribbing it's fairly easy to count the knit stitches, but in garter I can't figure it out.

When you're checking gauge, do you do a swatch, bind off and then count the gauge? Or can you count the gauge while it's still on the needle?

The pattern I'm working on says "Change to larger needle and k1, kfb to end of row." Does that mean I have the work on the smaller needle, and just work the next row with the larger needle? Or do I need to slip the stitches onto the larger needle before working the next row? I had a heck of a time working kfb with a 4 in one hand and 7 in the other, but I think part of that is that I knit really tight.

Speaking of... how tight should I be knitting? Out of habit (from crochet), I keep my working yarn fairly tight, so my stitches don't have a whole lot of room on the needle... working on bamboo, they don't slide freely at all (I really have to work to slide the stitches with my free hand). Looking at the gauge I'm getting though, that's much tighter than is expected in this pattern, at least. (expected is 18 stitches, 26 rows per 4 inches of stockinette on 7's) Definitely not giving up... but I suspect this diaper cover is going to wind up preemie sized instead of small.
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #2
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I don't know the answer to most of your questions b/c I too am a newbie to knitting. But, a friend told me when knitting with bamboo needles, it helps to wax them. Just take some wax paper and rub it up and down the needles, it helps yours stitches slide better.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:05 PM   #3
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I don't count the row on the needles as done, because they're not done yet. If I've knit 10 rows so far, the ones on the needle will be the 11th row, but I only count 10 as done.

To count garter, you can count each ridge and multiply by 2, or count each ridge and space between them as single rows.

You can check gauge on the needle, just make sure there are enough stitches so that the needle isn't affecting them. I often will start the sleeves of a sweater and use them as a guage swatch.

When you switch needles, you can knit them over. No need to slip them.

Your tension will come. I agree with the comment about the bamboo needles--stitches will slide more easily on metal; but make sure you don't pull on your stitches to tighten them at all. We all knit at slightly different tensions--that's the reason for gauge measurements. Personally I have to go up a needle size for most patterns, too.
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