Measuring your gauge

To measure your swatch, smooth it out on a flat surface (your lap is not flat); a blocking or ironing board is good for this task. Pin the edges down if they're curling in — be careful not to stretch your swatch — and follow these steps:

1. Lay a ruler along a row of stitches and mark the beginning and end of 4 inches with pins.

If your second pin lands at half a stitch, don't be tempted to stretch or slightly squish your knitting to make the 4 inches end on a whole stitch.

  1. Note the number of stitches in 4 inches, fractions and all.
  2. Lay your ruler along a vertical line of stitches, aligning the bottom of the ruler with the bottom of a stitch (the bottom of a V), and put a pin in to show where the first stitch begins. Place another pin 4 inches up.
  3. Count the stitches between the pins and note the number of rows.

These steps give you gauge over a 4-inch (10-centimeter) square. Check to see whether your 4-inch gauge matches the one in the pattern. If it does, thank your lucky stars. If it doesn't, head to the next section.

Measuring gauge on highly textured yarns

With fuzzy or highly textured yarns, it can be difficult to see your stitches clearly enough to take an accurate measurement by counting stitches. In this case, the following steps enable you to measure your gauge:

To find stitch gauge (number of horizontal stitches per inch): Divide the number of stitches in the swatch by the width of the swatch in inches. This gives you the number of stitches per inch.

  1. Measure the entire swatch side to side and
  2. Make a swatch larger than 4 inches and top to bottom.

write down the total number of stitches and rows in your swatch.

To find row gauge (number of vertical stitches per inch): Divide the number of rows by the overall length of the swatch in inches. This gives you the number of rows per inch.

3. Use a calculator to plug your numbers into the formulas that follow:

To find your gauge over 4 inches, multiply stitches per inch or rows per inch by 4. For information on measuring gauge over cable patterns, turn to Chapter 11.

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