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When row gauge is important

Nov 2, 2011


    
Francesca, from Knitting off the Axis
I'm not one to worry about row gauge too much, and that's a bad example to be setting, because sometimes row gauge is crucial, especially when knitting side-to-side garments.

Here's what Mathew Gnagy, author of Knitting off the Axis says about the importance of row gauge.

"In sideways knitting, gauge plays a much more vital role
than in standard bottom-to-top construction. Whereas stitch gauge is of primary importance and row gauge can be largely ignored in most vertical knits, the opposite it true for sideways knits. When knitting sideways, you can fudge stitch gauge a bit toward the small side as gravity will stretch the garment somewhat within a couple of wearings. You cannot fudge row gauge.

For sideways knitting, you must knit a generous swatch that is at least 30 stitches wide and 40 rows long. Knit the swatch with the needles you plan to use and in the various stitch patterns specified in the instructions. Measure the number of stitches and rows, including fractions of stitches and rows, in 4" (10 cm) and divide by 4 to get the number of stitches and rows per inch (2.5 cm) of knitting. Keep in mind that the success of your garment depends on accurate gauge measurements. Don't hesitate to change needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge. The size needle you use is immaterial if you get the correct gauge."

—Mathew Gnagy, Knitting off the Axis

I've made several new friends from Mathew's book. Remember Marielle? I love that girl. And my newest buddy is Francesca; she's so swingy and fun.

Seriously, though. I have a feeling I'm going to knit my way through this book. What first drew me to Francesca is the stitch pattern. I love the diamond pattern mixed with ribbing and garter stitch. The collar can either stand up or lay flat, and I love a short-sleeved jacket. I have several and I can't wait to add this one to the mix.

    
Merielle, my other buddy from Knitting off the Axis
I have some light brown Cascade 220 in my stash that I think would work well for this because it's light enough to show off the pattern. I do love the pumpkin color of the sweater shown in the book, though, so maybe I'll have to see what oranges Cascade has to offer.

The diamond pattern is really so attractive, I think. Here's the stitch pattern—why don't you try it? This is the diamond pattern that Mathew gives for swatching, I'm going to try it tonight at my knitting group.

Diamond Pattern for Swatching (multiple of 6 sts + 1)

Row 1:
(RS) P1, *k5, p1; rep from *.
Row 2: (WS) K1, *p5, k1; rep from *.
Row 3: K1, *p1, k3, p1, k1; rep from *.
Row 4: P1, *k1, p3, k1, p1; rep from *.
Row 5: K2, *p1, k1, p1, k3; rep from * to last 5 sts, p1, k1, p1, k2.
Row 6: P2, *k1, p1, k1, p3; rep from * to last 5 sts, k1, p1, k1, p2.
Row 7: K3, *p1, k5; rep from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.
Row 8: P3, *k1, p5; rep from * to last 4 sts, k1, p3.
Rows 9 and 10: Rep Rows 5 and 6.
Rows 11 and 12: Rep Rows 3 and 4.
Rep Rows 1-12 for pattern.

I know I'm going to love my new gal-pal Francesca. I think I'll knit Francesca before Marielle. She looks a little easier than Marielle, and will be a good way to get my feet wet with Mathew's sideways knitting technique. Get your copy of Knitting off the Axis today and start expanding your circle of friends!

Cheers,


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Comments

MaureenH@5 wrote
on Nov 3, 2011 2:35 AM

Kathleen,

While it is true that a knitter may simply add more rows to achieve desired length in typical horizontal construction, it's important to note:

If a knitter gets more rows than called for in a pattern's stated gauge the project will require more yards of yarn than stated in the pattern. Thus the knitter may run out of yarn before the project is complete.

So row gauge matters. Yes it does.