Saturday, March 05, 2005

Which Yarn to Buy?

Several people have asked about yarn - the different patterns all call for different yarns.

Look at the pattern you are using and see what the gauge says - it will be something like "4 stitches to one inch" which is the same as "16 stitches to four inches."

You will need to find a yarn that has the same gauge as the one called for in your pattern.

And then you will need to swatch (i.e. knit a square at least 6" x 6" to see what needle size will give you the gauge used in the pattersn.
The pattern will suggest a needle size to start with, but that is only the size needle the designer used to achieve that gauge. The designer may be a very tight or a very loose knitter.

You MUST swatch to decide which needle size to buy - many yarn stores allow you to do that at the shop.
And because you will be knitting in the round, you should swatch in the round...i.e. carry a long strand across the back of the work rather than knitting back and forth - your gauge may be different in the round vs. flat.

To do this, cast on enough stitches to make 6 inches of knitting.
Knit to the end of the row.
Instead of turning, drape the yarn LOOSELY across the back and start knitting from the beginning of the row again.

Don't worry if you edge stitches are a bit wonky - you will measuring your gauge in the center of the swatch.

If you are buying your yarn at your local yarn shop, they should be willing to help you with gauge and needle size questions.

Remember - if they are not nice to you - find another yarn shop :-)

Rae added a P.S. - use a smooth, plain type yarn - it will be much easy than lumpy, fuzzy, flashy yarn :-)


Jenni said...

I wanna join!!! I am making the Neck Down Cardigan for Women.

10:07 AM, March 07, 2005  
erica said...

Me too :-)

10:15 AM, March 07, 2005  
pbarnett said...

I want to join! I will make the Summer Cardigan

2:24 PM, March 08, 2005  
Becky in Iowa :O) said...

I just got my yarn fot my sweater yesterday. I got some Bernat Soft Boucle in Moss Shades. I've been searching in my stash for the right size needles but siae 8 seems to be giving me a nice fabric. The wrapper on the yarn says size 10. I may be making my swatch too small. I'm only doing 20 stitches wide. This is the first time I've done swatches. LOL

Becky in Iowa :O)

1:49 PM, March 15, 2005  
elsha said...

Would Homespun yarn be ok to use? Unfortunately I have to switch yarns. Plymouth's Encore Colorwaves isn't giving me the correct gauge.

3:54 PM, March 15, 2005  
erica said...

You can use whatever yarn you want as long as the gauge is correct :-)

8:59 AM, March 17, 2005  
Valerie said...

Is this Knit along still open? I would like to join, if I may.

9:50 PM, April 02, 2005  

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