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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay...I've finally "gotten" the purpose of knitting a swatch before a project...measuring, changing needles if necessary, etc. But I have some questions:

1. If the directions read "gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows equals 4", does that mean it's safe to presume that 8 stitches and 12 rows equaling 2 inches is also going to be the correct gauge?

2. What do you do when the stitch measure is correct, but the rows measure is not? I have the 8 sts in the 2", but only 10 rows in 2" instead of 12 rows.

Should I contine working the swatch until I have the 4" and measure for the rows and stitches again?

I'm intending to make the "skull beanie," in knitting worsted (per the materials list), on #9 circular needles (also per the materials) from my brand new Denise interchangeable needles.

I've come across this problem before (stitches ok, rows not, and vice/versa) and I still don't know what to do?

(p.s. I want to make this a bit bigger than a "beanie.
How many extra rows/inches do I need if I want a cuff to turn up?)

Please and thank you.
...gloria
 

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It's a rare day, indeed, to achieve both stitches and rows per inch.

Most of us just work to get stitches per inch; rows per inch is not often a problem. Yes, you are correct in assuming that you can cut the measurements in half and measure in 2 inches. I usually do that and then check the per-inch measurement too.

Most beanie/hat patterns are not long enough, it seems. Just make the ribbing as deep as you want and then double it. There are no rules. You can also make the hat (not counting the ribbing) longer than the pattern suggests.

I like Denise needles and use them for hats a lot.

Good luck.
 

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(1) That equates to 4 stitches to the inch.

(2) I never pay any attention to the number of rows. Unless a pattern quotes the number of rows I don't really see the point. If the number of rows is important you can do the math by figuring out how many inches the row count comes out to, and do your piece to the measurement. I almost always make things to the length I want, not what the pattern says, anyway. However, with a hat you do have to be a bit more careful.
 

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When you knit a swatch it is better to knit a large swatch like 6X6 and measure from the inside the 4 inches, it is more accurate. And yes your gauge should be correct when deviding it. The gauge you gave would be 4 sts = 1 inch. With a bigger swatch yoiu may find the row gauge is correct too. For the most part none of us worry about getting the row gauge. But if you ever decide to knit on the diangle, from corner to corner, or those cuff to cuff sweaters your row gauge becomes more important.

Glory Gee in CT said:
Okay...I've finally "gotten" the purpose of knitting a swatch before a project...measuring, changing needles if necessary, etc. But I have some questions:

1. If the directions read "gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows equals 4", does that mean it's safe to presume that 8 stitches and 12 rows equaling 2 inches is also going to be the correct gauge?

2. What do you do when the stitch measure is correct, but the rows measure is not? I have the 8 sts in the 2", but only 10 rows in 2" instead of 12 rows.

Should I contine working the swatch until I have the 4" and measure for the rows and stitches again?

I'm intending to make the "skull beanie," in knitting worsted (per the materials list), on #9 circular needles (also per the materials) from my brand new Denise interchangeable needles.

I've come across this problem before (stitches ok, rows not, and vice/versa) and I still don't know what to do?

(p.s. I want to make this a bit bigger than a "beanie.
How many extra rows/inches do I need if I want a cuff to turn up?)

Please and thank you.
...gloria
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the help. Best of all, it's what I wanted to hear!!!

I'm used to crocheting hats (I made several for newborns a couple of years ago), but this is my first knitted one, and with a "pattern" yet! I tend to be a "loose knitter" so maybe I should try a swatch with #8 needles? I'd rather be able to add rows and/or stitches if something isn't quite big enough. Easier to fix than if it's too big! Thanks again.
...gloria
 

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The gauge they offer in the patterns is usually one of two things, depending on whose pattern it is. If it's by a company or designer, this is standard gauge. It's what they figure the perfect knitter should do. And how many of us have perfect gauge like that? Get real. The other gauge you'll see in these patterns is usually (if they post it at all) done by other knitters on blogs. This is their personal gauge. If they're a tight knitter and you're a loose one, and vice versa, it's going to be off. If yours doesn't match, try different needles and try to match it up as closely as you can. When you knit for a while, you pretty much know what kind of knitter you are. I'm a loose knitter so I generally have to go down a needle size. With experience, you'll know how many stitches per inch you knit with certain needle ranges and certain types of yarn. I generally stick with sport or worsteds. If you get a new yarn, you're going to want to knit a swatch.

Knit these swatches more like a 6 by 6 inch. Measure these swatches in the middle of the swatch. If you measure on the ends or by the cast off and bind off edges, these stitches are tighter and you won't measure your gauge correctly. I like to use the Susan Bates metal knitting gauge to measure swatches. It has a handy L shaped window that you just lay over the work to get your gauge.

http://www.elann.com/commerce.web/product.aspx?catID=34&id=114466
 

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As to the beanies, I don't see much point in them. I'm sure they're fine if you're going to take a walk on the beach in California where the temps don't get that low. Here in the Frozen Tundra, they're useless. You want your ears covered. I know this sounds stupid, but I take a look at the picture of the beanie. I look at how far down the ears it seems to go and try to coordinate it with my own ear. I can then figure out how much lower I need to knit it. In general, I add an inch to an inch and a half. You then figure out how wide you want the cuff to be when it's folded up. Do you want it one inch, two inches, or three for added coverage over the ears? If you allow for a two or three inch cuff and your ear measurements are off a little bit, the cuff is just rolled a little less. Make sense? It's easier to do this with a top down hat pattern. You try it on and adjust it as you go. My adjusted hats measure 11 inches from the top of the hat to the cast on, with a three inch cuff. A plain beanie would be about 7-8 inches.Hope this helps.
 

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Here's what I thinkg about guage: I only worry about it if it matters to me about fit. If fit is important, then Linda6885 and CindyM are right about the 6x6 swatch. If fit is not really important, then I don't worry about even swatching.

To me a hat is like slippers--fairly generic is its fit. I guess you don't want to make it to fit a giant, but you can tell fairly soon if what you are knitting will be sized for a giant (or a gnome).

The guage will matter to the shape of the skulls though. If your row guage is off, the skull will be either skinny or fat. Probably not a big deal in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Colorado knits said:
It's a rare day, indeed, to achieve both stitches and rows per inch.

Most of us just work to get stitches per inch; rows per inch is not often a problem. Yes, you are correct in assuming that you can cut the measurements in half and measure in 2 inches. I usually do that and then check the per-inch measurement too..
I had thought so. I mean, in nursing school I was taught to take a patient's pulse for a full 60 seconds, using the sweep-second hand that was required on our wrist watches. But once out in the real world, everbody just took it for 15 seconds, and then muliplied that by 4. It gave us the same answer.

I think I like the Denise needles, too, but I didn't have the 16" #9 circs. per the materils list, so I did the ribbing back and forth on the shortest cable that came in my set. I figured if I can do that for socks, why not hats? I knew once I had established a few rows, the stitches would spread out a bit and then I could continue in the rounds.

Thank you so much for your help. I just can't believe how speedy you knitters get back to someone!! And it's always spot on correct. Thank you again.
...gloria
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cindy M said:
My adjusted hats measure 11 inches from the top of the hat to the cast on, with a three inch cuff. A plain beanie would be about 7-8 inches.Hope this helps.
All of your advice is great, Cindy, I appreciate your taking the time to answer. The beanie/hat is for my son. At the yarn store, when they asked, "Will he hand was and lay flat to dry?" I said, "What makes you think he'll wash it????" He works on a maintenace crew for a number of condo complexes, and works alot outdoors. I think he'll really really like the skull motif. I'll suggest that he use a washer and dryer, but that remains to be seen! Thanks again....
...gloria
 

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Linda6885 said:
When you knit a swatch it is better to knit a large swatch like 6X6 and measure from the inside the 4 inches, it is more accurate. And yes your gauge should be correct when deviding it. The gauge you gave would be 4 sts = 1 inch. With a bigger swatch yoiu may find the row gauge is correct too. For the most part none of us worry about getting the row gauge. But if you ever decide to knit on the diangle, from corner to corner, or those cuff to cuff sweaters your row gauge becomes more important.

Glory Gee in CT said:
Okay...I've finally "gotten" the purpose of knitting a swatch before a project...measuring, changing needles if necessary, etc. But I have some questions:

1. If the directions read "gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows equals 4", does that mean it's safe to presume that 8 stitches and 12 rows equaling 2 inches is also going to be the correct gauge?

2. What do you do when the stitch measure is correct, but the rows measure is not? I have the 8 sts in the 2", but only 10 rows in 2" instead of 12 rows.

Should I contine working the swatch until I have the 4" and measure for the rows and stitches again?

I'm intending to make the "skull beanie," in knitting worsted (per the materials list), on #9 circular needles (also per the materials) from my brand new Denise interchangeable needles.

I've come across this problem before (stitches ok, rows not, and vice/versa) and I still don't know what to do?

(p.s. I want to make this a bit bigger than a "beanie.
How many extra rows/inches do I need if I want a cuff to turn up?)

Please and thank you.

...gloria
 

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Chrissy said:
Linda6885 said:
When you knit a swatch it is better to knit a large swatch like 6X6 and measure from the inside the 4 inches, it is more accurate. And yes your gauge should be correct when deviding it. The gauge you gave would be 4 sts = 1 inch. With a bigger swatch yoiu may find the row gauge is correct too. For the most part none of us worry about getting the row gauge. But if you ever decide to knit on the diangle, from corner to corner, or those cuff to cuff sweaters your row gauge becomes more important.
I agree with making a bigger swatch, I add 5 sts each side of number required, knit 4 rows and then a row or 2 of contrast. Work required number of rows, another row or 2 of contrast and 4 more rows. Then I drop the stitch either side of required number for swatch, this gives you a nice 'block' to get your measurements from.

Glory Gee in CT said:
Okay...I've finally "gotten" the purpose of knitting a swatch before a project...measuring, changing needles if necessary, etc. But I have some questions:

1. If the directions read "gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows equals 4", does that mean it's safe to presume that 8 stitches and 12 rows equaling 2 inches is also going to be the correct gauge?

2. What do you do when the stitch measure is correct, but the rows measure is not? I have the 8 sts in the 2", but only 10 rows in 2" instead of 12 rows.

Should I contine working the swatch until I have the 4" and measure for the rows and stitches again?

I'm intending to make the "skull beanie," in knitting worsted (per the materials list), on #9 circular needles (also per the materials) from my brand new Denise interchangeable needles.

I've come across this problem before (stitches ok, rows not, and vice/versa) and I still don't know what to do?

(p.s. I want to make this a bit bigger than a "beanie.
How many extra rows/inches do I need if I want a cuff to turn up?)

Please and thank you.

...gloria
 

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I discovered that keeping your swath handy during the knitting is helpful, so that I can compare your current stitches. This lets me know if I am getting looser of tighter than my swath, which I often do.
 

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good morning everyone. This is a great discussion. I'm going to start using the 6" swatch now. Makes sense to me.

Gloria I just made the skull beanie for grandson - he loves it.

:)

ps - it's snowing sideways here in Spencerport, NY.
 

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Good question. I've always ignored the rows for the swatch because mine are never right according to the pattern. Have learned to never ignore the number of stitches per inch, that can be disasterous. But will definitely start using a six inch swatch.
 

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The bigger the swatch the better and the yarn is not "wasted" it's always available for knitting up if you need it.
Row gauge can matter a lot if you are knitting something that requires decreases at a certain rate, armhole for a sweater, and it can also mean you will need more yarn for a project. Take those things into consideration when swatching.
Happy knitting, bet he's going to love his hat!
 

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Errr, are you knitting this beanie in the round? Cause that is a whole nuther kettle of fish when it comes to swatching.

EZ said in "Knitting without Tears" that she actually started hats to use for her swatches in the round. She would cast on about 96 stitches or so (I would imagine this to be a worsted on about size 8 or so needles) and proceeded to knit. That gave her the correct swatch for her project. Then, if she did not need the yarn to complete the project, she would just finish the hat.

Good luck and just jump in on the knitting,
Lynne
 

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Once you go to all the trouble of making a swatch or having a finished product, it is a good idea to keep a book and write down the type of yarn, the gauge and size of needles used. Also, you can even attach a small piece of the yarn in the book. That saves a lot of time for the next project.
You can add different gauges with different size needles under the same section for a particular yarn. If that yarn gets discontinued, you have a piece of it for comparison in thickness and body for a similar yarn as a reference point.
I keep a book with sections for handknittiing and machine knitting yarns and gauges.
 

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In knitting without Tears, Elizabeth Zimmerman said she saw no earthly reason to worry about row gauge. As one of our national (late) national knitting treasures, that's good enough for me. By the way, I think this is her centennial year. And her books are still selling.

Glory Gee in CT said:
Okay...I've finally "gotten" the purpose of knitting a swatch before a project...measuring, changing needles if necessary, etc. But I have some questions:

1. If the directions read "gauge: 16 stitches and 24 rows equals 4", does that mean it's safe to presume that 8 stitches and 12 rows equaling 2 inches is also going to be the correct gauge?

2. What do you do when the stitch measure is correct, but the rows measure is not? I have the 8 sts in the 2", but only 10 rows in 2" instead of 12 rows.

Should I contine working the swatch until I have the 4" and measure for the rows and stitches again?

I'm intending to make the "skull beanie," in knitting worsted (per the materials list), on #9 circular needles (also per the materials) from my brand new Denise interchangeable needles.

I've come across this problem before (stitches ok, rows not, and vice/versa) and I still don't know what to do?

(p.s. I want to make this a bit bigger than a "beanie.
How many extra rows/inches do I need if I want a cuff to turn up?)

Please and thank you.
...gloria
 

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Torticollus, what a great idea! Now I just have to impliment it! That means 1) remember to do it and 2)not be too lazy to skip it! I also like the idea of starting a hat with the yarn to make a swatch. Never thought of that.
 
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