Hibiscus Cardigan Tutorial - Gauge........

Please note the change from "knit along" to "tutorial". I think what I'm writing here is a Tutorial and I'm putting it down here for myself. Obviously, anyone knitting or contemplating knitting the Hibiscus Cardigan design might find it of interest.


The gauge specified is 32 sts and 32 rows per 10cm/4in....

Here's my gauge swatch.

OK, ok, so I didn't do the 48 st gauge swatch -- so I don't have enough sts to count a full 4 inches.......but as 32 sts/4 inches works out to 8 sts/inch, 2 inches is what I'm going to measure on my swatch for gauge.

So, 8 sts/inch, 2 inches = 16 stitches. I like to use my long pins to mark off 16 sts first, then measure. This makes it really easy to see if you are getting gauge (or not) without having to do the tedious counting of stitches while holding your measuring instrument.

I love these small needle gauge things from Addi. They show on one edge a great 2" measurer.

So looking at my swatch, I'm getting 15 sts to 2 inches, that's 30 sts to 4 inches, 7.5 stitches to the inch. You can measure your swatch on each motif - you might find that your gauge is different depending on the motif.

I like to think of this as motif density - this is entirely my term -- if a motif has a lot of back and forthing from one shade to the other - it's dense - and likely to be naturally knit at a firmer gauge. If there is a lot of background and only a little patterning - it's more likely to knit up naturally at a looser gauge. It's all to do with the floats. This could be potentially problematic going from a dense stranded area to an area of plain knitting perhaps.

My row gauge is spot on -- so do I want to worry about that 2 stitch per 4 inch gauge discrepancy? No.....you don't have to worry about it as long as you KNOW about it. There are ways to handle it.

You can block the finished garment vertically severely to get required finished measurements,


You can do some math and figure out if you'd better adjust the size you are going to knit.

What size garment to knit?

When designed, I envisioned the Hibiscus Cardigan as a loose, boxy, cropped spring/summer jacket - to be worn over a t-shirt, or a sun dress..........recommended ease would be +4-6". +4" for the smaller sizes, +6" for the larger sizes -- the more you have in the front, the more ease you need LOL!!!

TCT - my chest measurement is 43" +6" ease = 49"

I think I'm going to knit the 49" size.

Find on the pattern where it tells you how many stitches are on the body of the sweater - ah, there it is, Row 10 of the two-color garter stitch bottom band.......393 sts in total.

(that's 4 steek sts, 1 edge stitch, 383 body stitches, 1 edge stitch and 4 steek stitches)

So, at my gauge of 7.5 sts to the inch - that is 51" circumference.

If I knit the 45.5" size, that's 365 sts in total at my gauge of 7.5 sts to the inch = 48.6"

OK, taking personal preference into this, and the fact that I wanted this to be loose and boxy, I'm going to go with my original plan and knit the 49" circumference size.


Per the schematic - the 49" size is 20" in length - that's perfect - so we're good to go!

I'll be casting on, and starting the two-color garter stitch checkerboard edging. DH has been conscripted to do some video clips of this for me -- all I have to figure out is how to edit them on my new Mac.....so this might take a couple of days LOL!!!

Happy Knitting


  1. Hi Anne, Yes, I would love to participate in your tutorial. Learning fair isle from the Master - this will be fun. My Hibiscus is well underway as I started it a few months ago.


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