Come chat about knitting, crochet, weaving, felting, and any other fiber arts that make a fun complement to sewing.
Help me enjoy knitting again
4 years agoLinda @Knitting1
For best results, make your swatch about 6″ square. This allows you to measure out a 4″ square to count your rows and stitches more effectively. The reason for not just making a 4″ square swatch is that the edges will be uneven, making it difficult to count precisely. Even being a few stitches out can affect the finished size of your garment. For example, let’s imagine you were knitting a fitted cardigan and your pattern says the gauge should be 24 stitches per four inches, and you had three stitches too many. That means for every four inches of width you have an additional half of an inch that you shouldn’t. Therefore if the bust measurement size you chose to knit was 36″, your actual finished garment would end up being a size 40 and a half inch bust (36″÷4=9. 9xhalf inch=4 and a half inches. 36″+4 and a half inches= 40 and a half inches.) So way too big after all that work knitting it! I know it seems such a drag to knit a tension square but it is nothing compared to the time and money you invest in a garment, and then not to have it fit. I never used to do tension squares but learnt the hard way. Now I ALWAYS do one and it really doesn’t take long- but make sure you knit the square big enough ie 6″. There, now we’re back to where we started before I rambled on and on and on…hope that helps.4 years agoRebecca W @craftalittle
Thanks Linda! This is helpful. I usually do a smaller swatch (varies in width, but probably closer to 4 inches in length) and then count stitches for an inch and multiply. It sounds like that may not be the most accurate way of doing thing. 🙂 I am entirely self taught (via internet and a stitch book that I have) so I am often guessing and doing trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t. It is always good to get advice from experienced knitters!4 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
Linda is spot on. The only thing I would add is that some yarns are inherently very firm and some grow/bloom in counterintuitive way so also block your swatch. Even a half or a third of a stitch off (in width — row gauge is better handled in inches, I think) can add up so much more quickly than it seems it should.4 years agomeleliza @meleliza
Did I mention math is one of the things wrong with knitting? Too much math.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been knitting for years, just a lot less once the kids got bigger. Because sewing is more practical, useful and faster too. I mean, people just don’t wear hand knits. Even when it all works out perfectly, I never end up wanting to wear stuff.
However, yesterday, I did actually for once have a child free hour to go to the LYS. I bought two skeins of tosh DK holi festival for baby girl. I mean, how could stuff that looks like birthday cake possibly go wrong? I’ll make her a cozy scarf and hat for next winter.
4 years ago
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by meleliza.
I always cast on 50 stitches and do 5 garter stitches on each end, and a few garter rows to begin with. When I cast off, it keeps my swatch from curling. Especially in Stockinette. I recently learned the value in swatching…usually I don’t mind, as I knit stuff for DD so if it’s bigger, well she can wear it longer or next season. But this particular pattern I was translating from French to English, then from Adult to DD’s measurements! It was an eye opening process! (not just the swatching!) But I’m a believe now!4 years ago
Oh, and I always take my swatch and measure in 3 different manners: 1: Unblocked
2: Steam Blocked
3: Washed/Dried (however I plan to care for it)4 years agoLinda @Knitting1
Sarvi is right- I should have mentioned that. You should always block a tension square and THEN count stitches and rows. Row count is often harder to achieve to match the required gauge, so if you can’t get the row tension then go with whichever gauge gives you the correct stitch count. From your post it sounds like you know how to block, but if not let us know.4 years agoSarvi @Sarvi
That’s such a fun and pretty yarn!4 years agoTamara @justsewit
For someone who doesn’t usually knit and doesn’t consider herself a knitter, I have embarked on a project I hope to finish rather fast. Time will tell. But I have always wanted to have a knitted baby dress so I am making one for Chloe. I actually signed up to ravelry and that has inspired me to knit also. There is this beautiful dress I’d love to make but I don’t know if it would be too difficult. Just learning new abbreviations like psso is enough for the time being.
As a result I spent a fortune on wool yesterday so out of this will be possibly one knitted garment per year for the next few. And if not, then it will be for my “nanna’s hope chest”.
How long would be an appropriate length of time to allow to knit something small anyway? I am making something from the Patons Heirloom collection in a six month size. You see people churn them out so fast so I’m wondering how much time would be the appropriate minimum. How long do people spend knitting in a week. Do they work a few rows at a time or go until they finish a side?
This pattern has a pattern so I am thinking that working it so that (in this case its 16 rows) a pattern is worked and not put down in the middle. That would help ease the potential pain of getting mixed up and not picking the project up again don’t you think?
I am not the fastest knitter but I figure doing 16 rows in every sitting with knitting (yes sorry it rhymed) would enable the joy to continue and maybe I might be inclined to keep going – I hope!4 years agoroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl
Tamara, that is exciting – and the answer of course is, “it depends.” In my most prolific (pre-kids) knitting days I could finish a hat in two days, and an adult sweater in two weeks. But I spent hours per day doing it. Now it takes me forever to finish anything – I may knit up to an hour a day when I am very smitten with a project (but I’ve been working on the same baby booties for months and I only just finished the first one). A little baby dress shouldn’t take too long especially if you do 16 rows per sitting.4 years agoTamara @justsewit
Well I started the pattern part of the dress yesterday and after two rows have already stuffed it up. I “yarn forward” ed the wrong way! So I will start again I guess. For some reason I ended up with five stitches at the end instead of three so I will use something as counters when I cast on to make sure the number of stitches is correct. Then it will be seven rows of garter stitch and then I can start on the actual pattern part again.
I might do the casting on now while Chloe is having her early morning nap and then do the actual rows later on.4 years ago
Which pattern are you knitting? Mostly so I can go stalk lol.4 years agosahmcolorado @sahmcolorado
Perhaps you should take up embroidery, Meleliza. I’m so enjoying all of the cute patterns from Wild Olive and Shiny Happy World. No math required! Anyone here enjoy hand embroidery?4 years agomeleliza @meleliza
Oh yes, I love embroidery and cross stitch too. Nothing can go wrong, you just unpick the stitch if you don’t like it. And simple looks good too. In fact, I liked a cross stitch I did so much I had it framed and hung it in our newly renovated vestibule. I’m working on a Christmas red work one, but I I end up putting it away out of season so it may be a while before I finish it. I’m also working on some embroidery for Kitty’s room.
But there’s just something about knitting that keeps bringing me back… It’s enjoyable when it’s not soul crushing.4 years agosahmcolorado @sahmcolorado
Ah, well I’ve never experienced the soul crushing myself.
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