Friday, August 27, 2010

Do the math

I'm not very good at gauge conversions because I do them infrequently. I prefer to find yarn that meets the correct gauge for the pattern than adapt something. Yes, I know I could take steps to resolve the problem by knitting gauge swatches, but I can be stubborn.

Here's where I need your help. I've made the Seaman's Cap pattern plenty of times, but I've also tended to knit each one with the same type of yarn (Cascade 220). The problem is that the yarn I bought in Minnesota is different. It's still Cascade yarn, but it doesn't have the same gauge.

The pattern's gauge:
20 stitches and 26 rows = 4" in stockinette with US 7 needles.
Cascade 220's gauge:
18-20 stitches = 4" in stockinette with US 7-8 needles.
I've used US 7s to make the hats. (This means I'm using 20 stitches for US 7s, right?)

Cascade 128 Tweed's gauge:
3 1/2 stitches = 1" in stockinette with US 10s
3 stitches = 1" with US 10 1/2s.
If I understand this, I will use a half stitch more for each needle size I go down. So, if I drop down to US 7s--three needle sizes--will I be getting 5 stitches per inch and twenty stitches per 4"? That doesn't seem quite right since this yarn is classified as bulky whereas what I normally use is worsted weight.

As I write this I'm confusing myself more and more. Can you make heads or tails of it?

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At 11:55 PM, Anonymous LittleWit said...

For this one I wouldn't change your needle size, I would change the number of stitches you are knitting with. If you make your hat 23" around at the widest point then you will only need 80 sts for the size 10s as opposed to the 115sts you would need if you got the same gauge as the pattern.

Basically, grab your pattern, go through all the stitch counts and divide them by gauge (5ts/in) to get your inches. Then take all the inches and multiply them by your new gauge (3.5sts/in) and ta da! You will have converted the pattern for your new gauge. :)


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