Gauge is math. All math. When I began my current WIP (work in progress), my stitch gauge created a few problems. I typically knit a bit tighter; therefore, having more stitches per inch than what the pattern requires (aka a smaller gauge). In order to come closer to the pattern's number of stitches per inch, I often first change my needle size. And so, I went up to the next larger needle size. It worked, but I'm not always lucky first time around! Here are some other things to try when needing to change your stitch gauge:
- Change needle size: For more stitches per inch go smaller. For less stitches per inch go bigger!
- Change needle type: Some find the material of their needles makes a difference in gauge. You can find needles made of all different materials. Experimenting with different needles may reveal your gauge differs slightly (enough to change your gauge) without changing the needle size!
- Change yarn weight: This is not my preference as I typically knit a project with a specific yarn in mind. But if you're working a project and yarn is not the priority, try experimenting with a heavier or lighter yarn when fussing with gauge. Heavier weight yarn will give you less stitches per inch. Lighter weight yarn will give you more stitches per inch.
But what about ROW gauge?!?!? My stitch gauge was spot on but my row gauge was not! I have yet to figure out how exactly I can manipulate just my row gauge without effecting my stitch gauge, and do it in such a way that is consistent from roe to row. I don't think it's possible! I have typically never worried about row gauge as most of my patterns have me knit a specific number of inches rather than a specific number of rows. Not this time! This WIP is a tunic tank top and the body decrease was a specific number of rounds 😦 and so here comes the math…
Now 5 rows might seem like nothing, but had I not altered the pattern slightly, those extra 5 rows would've added nearly an inch to the tunic.So, next time you think a row here or there doesn't matter, think again! Your tunic just might end up a dress 😉