GQ - Gauge Quest

OK, here we go.........

The label reads 20-22 sts, and 24-28 rows per 10 cm (or 4 inches)on recommended needle size US 5-6 (3.75 - 4.00 mm).

What this gives us, the knitter, is a range of stitches and rows per 10 cm that the manufacturer recommends this yarn be knit at. They (the manufacturer) feel that the yarn performs best at this gauge.

It's up to the designer to either design at this gauge, or if they are trying to do something different (lacier, thicker, whatever) they can set their own gauge.

Why do you have to know this? Well, if you wanted to knit a design but couldn't find the original yarn called for -- you need to know the specs of the original yarn, compared to the gauge called for in the pattern -- then you'd be in a better position to substitute if necessary.

In my Gauge Quest, I'm going to figure out what size needles I'd need to knit this
the Tomales Bay Cowl from the Simply Shetland 4 book......

The pattern calls for 22 sts and 30 rows to 4" (10 cm) on US 6 (mm 4.00 mm).

Looking at the label again -- 20-22 sts, and 24-28 rows per 10 cm (or 4 inches)on recommended needle size US 5-6 (3.75 - 4.00 mm).

Since I was aiming for 22 sts and 30 rows, I decided to start swatching with a 3.75 mm needle.....and here's what I got....
23.5 stitches to 10 cm.......and 33 rows to 10 cm!

So that's too 1.5 more stitches, and 3 more rows than I need.

The swatch shown was sprayed with cold water and gently blocked.

Next swatch -- 4.00 mm needles!

Happy Knitting!


  1. Hey Anne- What's that cool gadget you got there?

  2. Me, too - I LOVE that gauge measuring device!

  3. Oooooh, neat caliper. Where does one get such a nifty device?

    Great to see you today. Thanks again ;)

  4. I like that device too!
    I can see how not swatching would lead to disappointment with that pattern... m :)

  5. Must. Have. Digital. Gauge. Thingie. (Then I might actually knit swatches - maybe...)

  6. Gee, someone else that actually blocks their gauge swatch. What a concept! Now, as far as the caliper, that is ingenious! My eyes cross when trying to count stitches and my knit stitches start going upside down. A picture is a great method as well. Thanks for the suggestion.


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