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Old 06-08-2008, 08:34 AM   #1
hartleystudio
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AARRRRRRGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!! Any thoughts?
First, let me say that I always knit to gauge. If the tag on the yarn says 7 sts per inch on #2, that's what I get. It's been really nice, until now.....

I'm beginning another pair of socks with Misti Alpaca (which is GORGEOUS) and the tag says 7 sts/in with #2 needles. I'm using an Ann Norling pattern that is written for several gauges and it says that for fingerling weight I should get 7 sts/in with #3 needles.

I am getting 9 sts/in with #2 and 8 sts/in with #3 and I don't want to go to #4's because I don't want the stitches to be all loosey-goosey. I have done several swatches in several different ways and the old saying is true "if you do what you always do, you're gonna get what you always got."

I'm really not experienced at adjusting patterns but maybe this is the time to start? Any thoughts? I had dreams about knitting gauge swatches last night! I'm really frustrated because I bought three skeins of this yarn and I love the colorways so much!

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:04 AM   #2
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If you have to go up to 4s to get 7 sts/inch, I don't see how that would be loose unless the yarn you're using is very much thinner than that in the pattern. You should knit to the gauge in the pattern; it may not always be the same as on the label. The label gauge is more of a classification system to show what range the yarn weight falls in. Though it can be a large range. Since the pattern has gauges for different weights of yarn, can you choose another one and see if you can get the gauge with it?
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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I don't have any on hand, but if I'm recalling correctly, Misti Alpaca is a thin fingering wt. yarn. So you may need to use a smaller needle. Like Sue said, the gauge on the label is for classification and comparison. Other factors I consider when knitting a sock from a pattern
--Does the pattern account for negative ease? I prefer socks that stretch out a bit as I pull them on to my foot. I want a sock to fit smoothly without extra fabric forming wrinkles.
--What's the style? Is the cuff suppose to be loose and lacy? Do I need a certain gauge in the cuff for the pattern to "pop"? I may need to use 2.0mm, 2.25mm 2.5mm or 2.75mm needle to knit the cuff. Do I have to change needle sizes for the foot?
--What fabric swatch looks and feels right? I prefer to wear socks with a gauge between 8.5-10 in the heel and sole portions, I drop to a 2.0mm (US 0) to achieve this. Any looser and I feel the bumps, tighter and there's no flexibility or stretch. Plus I like a tighter gauge so that they wear well.
--If I have to adjust the cuff sizewise, I may change the needle size, add a pattern repeat, or add in a pearl stitch if ribbing is involved. I do have to remind myself to write it all down so that I remember what to do on the second sock.
--What happens with self-striping/self-patterning yarn. Some of the commercially made yarns seem to be set for a specific number of stitches (usually 64) fiddling with the amount of stitches changes the patterning as you knit it in the round. So sometimes I do end up choosing a different stitch pattern or saving that yarn to knit for someone who has "perfectly shaped feet and legs".

Don't give up on your Misti Alpaca. It's wonderful yarn, dyed beautifully. Socks are a great knit item to experiment with making pattern changes on your own.

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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Okay, I have no better advice than what suzeeq and kaidydd told you, but one thing that helped my understand gauge a bit better was realising that there is no standard in gauge. The gauge a pattern gives is simply the gauge that the designer got, so that is how you will get the right size, by getting the same amount of stitches as them. You are very lucky if you always got gauge before, as every designer knits differently so their gauge would all be different.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
You are very lucky if you always got gauge before, as every designer knits differently so their gauge would all be different.
She wrote that she always gets gauge on the yarn label, which is a different thing than pattern gauge. Everyone knits differently, so even using the same yarn and needles as the pattern writer, a person may not even get close to the gauge in the pattern. Some will be looser, and some tighter.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:49 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone! I would like to say that I have made the mistake, I see now, of choosing patterns and yarn that have matching gauges. I had a disasterous project where I tried to mess with the gauge too much (wrong yarn size for that pattern) so I have tried to stay true to pattern. I'm going to knit up a gauge with the 4's and see what it looks like.

My next question,...if DO decide to add some stitches to the cuff, I'm doing a ribbed cuff, will that make any difference later when I do the heel? Or after? I suppose the heel wouldn't matter, it would just mean more decreases for the instep? Or not, then it would make that too small....AAARRRGGG!!! I have a kind of chunky calf so too tight in that area wouldn't fit.

My kids are scolding me for having the computer on the table at lunch time so thanks for helping me further!
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:56 PM   #7
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try a US 2.5 (3 mm) needle.
It sounds like it would get you just the right gauge. also, needle material can affect gauge. Slippery metal needles can make your gauge looser, and bamboo/wood can make it a little tighter. Plastic can be a little moderate depending on the finish. If you can, try out different needles. I know joann's craft stores carry inexpensive bamboo DPN as well as the susan bates metal ones (sometimes they also have the plastic -lion brand?- DPNs as well!) Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:43 AM   #8
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Misti Alpaca is, I think, what I got this weekend for a buck. It's NICE!!! I'm a little intimidated by it still. It's just sooooo fine.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:11 AM   #9
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Misti Alpaca for $1! Tell where, please. Online, locally...?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:17 AM   #10
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I happened into my lys (after forgetting needles that I needed at the other lys the night before) on Saturday morning and the chick was finishing up a $1 corner. I was the first to hit it and everyone after me got synthetic blends. hehehe I also got 11 skeins of Noro Hana Silk!!!
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