Monday, April 03, 2006

Orangina Gauge Issues

First of all, I'd like to say "Great Job!" to everyone who has started Orangina by knitting a gauge swatch.

To the ladies that are holding their pieces up to their shoulders to measure the size of the garments, be sure to remember that this is a straight piece of knitting, and is sized to fit around your bust, and not your shoulders.

Holding it up to your shoulders can be misleading. For example, my shoulder measurement is 17 inches, and my bust is 40. So the knitted piece should stretch to measure 20 inches, which is WAY bigger than 17.

If you've got gauge issues, before ripping and restarting, please see the examples below, and take the time to do a quick calculation so that you can determine whether the gauge you're getting will give you the desired result.

I can't emphasize enough how important swatching is to knitting a beautiful, satisfying garment. It's so important to take that little bit of extra time to see if your gauge matches that of the pattern. If not, like many of the knitters who posted here, you won't be happy with the result, you'll have to rip out hours of work and start over (I think the max I read in the posts below was three times.)

You also have to be Very Careful about substituting yarns. If you choose to use a different yarn than that specified in the pattern, especially one with a different weight (the DK yarn, for example, is much heavier than the yarn called for in the pattern) you're going to get very different results. You absolutely *must* swatch in this case.

It's also possible that you and I just knit at a different 'tightness'...I may knit more tightly or more loosely than you do. In order to obtain the gauge that the pattern calls for, you may need to change needle size. That's just part of knitting, and why knitting a swatch is SO essential!

ALL of that being said. If you *do* swatch, and find that our gauges are just never going to meet and shake hands, this is a very simple pattern to adjust to ANY gauge. Even if you choose to use Lion Chunky and make a winter vest.

Here's How:

This lace stitch pattern is built on a basis of a multiple of 9 stitches plus 4.

DO A SWATCH. Measure how many stitches you get per inch. Multiply that by the bust measurement you'd like to knit, and divide by two. Find the nearest multiple of 9. Add 4. Cast on that number.

SWATCH gauge: 5sts per inch.
Bustline: 34 inches
5x 34 = 170 total stitches required.
170 / 2 = 85 stitches for front, 85 stitches for back.
The nearest multiple of 9 is 81. Add 4 = 85 sts to cast on for each piece.
SWATCH Gauge: 7 sts per inch.
Bustline: 44 inches
7 x 44 = 308 total stitches required.
308 /2 = 154 stitches for front, 154 stitches for back.
The nearest multiple of 9 is 153. Add 4 = 157 stitches to cast on for each piece.


Oblivia said...

The swatching definitely helped me, and I don't swatch normally. I still cast on what was noted in the pattern since most people have been saying that the cast one was too large. I figure if I am off a bit after finishing the first piece, I might have to adjust on the second piece. I wound up creating a spreadsheet to do the quick and dirty conversions from my swatch to the pattern though.

Thanks Glampyre for your tips on your lovely pattern.

Queen Lime Green said...

Thanks Glampyre! I'm really enjoying your pattern.

It's true, swatching is essential. I'm using chartreuse green sock yarn, and my multiple swatches told me that with this specific yarn and 3s I get 24 stitches/3" inches. I adjusted, and my Orangina is looking awesome!

Necia said...

After reading this post, I was compelled my 6" of progress. Thanks for chiming in Glampyre. It bothered me that my knitted progress seemed to stretch across my shoulders just fine, but when I put up against my bust, I was falling several inches short. I just frogged it again for the 4th time. Hopefully this will be my last frog, we'll see!


AimeeJessica said...

My lace is knitting up great, but I just swatched some ribbing for the bottom. And argh. At the gauge I swatched the ribbing, it's going to end up being 34" around -- the same as the bust! I don't know how that craziness is occuring, but it looks like I'm going to have to drop a needle size (or something more drastic?). So think about the ribbing too if you're swatching...