Saturday, August 6, 2011

The No-Sweat Guide to Gauge

In an earlier post I commented that I'm a slacker when it comes to doing gauge swatches. There are times when knitting a swatch is useful and even necessary. However, yesterday at the final session of the Perth Cardi KAL at Janie H. Knits, I reminded the group that when knitting a top-down garment, you can cheat a little and get away with no swatching. Here's how.
1. Guestimate, based on yarn and needle size which size to start working on. The differences in neck measurements aren't huge, so if you're off by a size, it's no biggy.
2. After you've knitted around 4 inches, check your gauge. If you're off, figure out how many stitches you need in the body to end up with your desired size based on YOUR gauge.
3. See which numbers in the pattern correspond to that size and simply make the switch. You'll just keep increasing until you reach the back number for that size. If your sleeve numbers are very slightly off, don't sweat it. When you get to the sleeves, just work with the stitches you have and decrease down to where the sleeve feels right for you.
Don't forget, since it's a top-down garment, you can try it on at any time and make any necessary changes along the way. You're in control!
On my way to Janie's yesterday, I took 20 minutes to stroll through beautiful downtown Perth.

                                Here's the Rideau Canal as it goes through the town.

And a great old house by the mill.

On the way back into Kingston, the Friday afternoon cricketers were practising in front of the courthouse.

    After all, they were here.