Category Archives: Avoiding Errors

All About Gauge

Part one in a series (the other parts haven’t been written, so no links yet).

Gauge is very important, yet it isn’t important at all.

Gauge determines how big your finished project will be. That’s probably what most knitters think of.

But gauge also determines the feel of the fabric: how it drapes, if at all. Projects worked very tightly will have much less drape than those worked more loosely. That means tight-gauge garments will be stiff and less body-conforming when worn. On the other hand, tightly worked projects make good tote bags. Continue reading...

The Needle Size to Get Gauge

Please, oh please, do not feel compelled to get gauge using the needle size listed in the pattern or on the yarn’s ball band.

This is one reason to keep extensive notes of your projects. You’ll be able to look back and see that for worsted-weight yarn, you almost always use a size 4 needle to get five stitches per inch in stockinette stitch (which is what I almost always need, even though most projects and ball bands recommend size 5 to size 8). If your next project in worsted-weight yarn suggests a size 6 needle to get 5 sts/in in stockinette, you can be pretty confident that your trusty size 4 is what you’ll really need. Continue reading...

My Favorite Cable Needle

I like the U-shaped ones best, as long as the legs are different lengths.

I hold the long side of the U while I slip the stitches onto the short leg, then I slide the stitches into the curve.

I move the cn to the front or back as needed, and since the stitches are in the middle of the U, I make the pointy parts point straight down, which means they’re out of my way. Continue reading...