Posts tagged ‘knitting’

Knitting Gauge…….

Here is the handout from the class I teach on knitting gauge. If it is useful to you, please feel free to use it for your personal use as well as share and learn from it!


All About Gauge

What is gauge and why does it matter?
Gauge is the number of stitches and rows in a square inch of knitting. If you are following a pattern it helps determine, along with the number of stitches you cast on, how big or small your finished product will be.

When you don’t get the gauge the pattern calls for with the specified yarn and needle size try:
1. Change the needle size. If you have too few stitches, your stitches are too big and you need to try a smaller needle size to make smaller stitches. If you have too many stitches, your stitches are too small, they need to be bigger so try a larger needle size. The brand and kind (bamboo, stainless steel, exotic woods) of needle can also affect gauge.

2. Change the yarn. If you have too few stitches maybe your yarn is too thick so you could try a thinner yarn. If you have too many stitches, you could try a thicker yarn. Generally, it is preferable to substitute yarns with the same properties as the original yarn. For example if the pattern uses a stretchy wool yarn, substitute another stretchy wool yarn. The fiber properties affect how the item will fit, wear and drape.

3. Change the pattern. If you like the way the knitted fabric feels and drapes with the yarn and the needles you have chosen and you do not want to change them then you can change the pattern gauge. You can recalculate the number of stitches to cast on for your pattern based on the gauge of your fabric. Sometimes you may find that either a size larger or a size smaller in the pattern will give you the finished size you want.

Just because you can get pattern gauge with a substituted yarn, doesn’t mean it will make a nice garment. Gauge is important but so is how the fabric feels!
The gauge and needle size suggested on the yarn label is a place to start. However, since knitting styles vary you may need to use a different needle size to get the suggested gauge.
When measuring a gauge swatch, treat your swatch the way you will treat your finished product. For example, if you are going to wash and dry your item, do that to your swatch before measuring.

Tips on Changing a Pattern
1. Look at the schematic of the pattern in inches, or calculate the number of inches based on the pattern gauge.
2. Multiply the number of inches by your stitches/per inch gauge to get the new number of stitches to cast on.
3. Adjust all shaping to your new gauge.
4. If the new gauge is significantly different than the pattern gauge you may need to account for row gauge. Generally measuring the piece in inches will work out fine.

Reinvention says: To re·in·vent: invent again or anew, especially without knowing that the invention already exists. remake or make over, as in a different form: At 60, he reinvented himself as a volunteer. We have an opportunity to reinvent government. bring back; revive: to reinvent trust and accountability.

“Women’s lives are about redefinition”, excerpt paraphrased from Anna Quindlen’s book,  Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. How does reinvention differ from redefinition? Maybe they are variations on the same idea or theme. It seems to me like it is about making something old anew.

Are we reinventing or inventing or creating or borrowing ideas from others or just doing what we do when we make things? Here is what I’m working on; I have all of this swirling around in my head, mixing together ideas, colors and techniques that I’ve tried and seen before. It pours out it in all these forms and somehow its related and makes sense.

TNNA, winter show in Phoenix

TNNA has been an amazing exhausting whirlwind experience. This is the second TNNA I’ve been to and I keep learning new things about the yarn industry. It’s so interesting to see the new trends (think sparkle, ruffles, cotton blends and the 1970’s) as well as meet young designers and other indie dyers. I’ve picked up some new ideas for rigid heddle weaving and knitting classes and ways to improve my business. I’m really excited about teaching weaving and hopI’ll  be able to inspire a few fellow knitters to expand their repretoire . I’ve crafted with yarn most of my life, and now working in the business has given me a new perspective. I’m still sorting out how I fit in and what my goals are. In the meantime it’s fun to be with liked minded people and imagine the possibilities.

Trunk Show at The Golden Fleece

In case you haven’t heard The Golden Fleece, 317 Potrero St, Santa Cruz, CA, has a new owner. Tomorrow (Sat, June 4) is the Grand Re-Opening Event. I’m thrilled to be a part of it and will be there with trunks of yarns and patterns from 12-2pm. If you are in the area, chase away the rain clouds and come on by. Its going to be fun.

Stashbusting time

I’m cleaning up … always seems to be an ongoing project around here. It’s the end of the year and I have to do a physical inventory of my business yarns as well as an accounting of what I bought from myself for personal use. It’s a BIG project!

I’m pretty good about keeping the business yarn separate from the personal stuff but …. sometimes the two piles get pretty close together and there is some skein jumping that goes on. Gotta get that all under control today! ( or at least by Jan 1)

I went through a pile of papers sorting out teaching notes, patterns, stitch ideas and project notes as well as a few random receipts. Here is my cowls class notes as a freebie for all of you trying to tame your sock yarn stash. 

Sock Yarn Stashbuster Cowls  look in the patterns section of my website for the download link.


I’m really enjoying knitting cowls. I still love socks but I’m taking a short break and knitting neckwear. Cowls are fun in that you just need to knit one, and they can be made with so many different weights of yarn and patterns. This one is in Silky Sock with a strand of commercial yarn run along. I used 1/2 a skein so I have enough to make a second one as a gift. Its the same pattern as the Salusalu Scarf just knit in the round. Fun and easy, perfect summer carry along project.

Summer Reading

My new favorite book is The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design and I am not even specifically a knitwear designer!  I just got this book earlier this week and I’m more than half way through it. I’ve picked up so many tips about doing business, social media, contracts and advertising I can’t wait to finish reading the rest.  After the second chapter I got up and joined twitter as Handwerksyarn   (just have to think of interesting things to tweet now!).

Sometimes a book just hits the spot and this one is doing it for me. I’d recommend it to anyone doing any sort of business in the textile/yarn/knitting world.  It has great information and is an accessable fun read.

Color Forecast

I find color forecasting so interesting. Sometimes I try to resist what the forecasters predict and purposefully seek out unpopular colors. But usually I succumb and actually want what “they” say I want! Here is what is forecast for Fall 2010 – just around the corner.


I’m dyeing yarns today and I’ll use this as a springboard for some new colorways.  I’ll have to put my own twist on them as the Rose and Gray is making me think of the 80’s.

Are you craving these colors?

Dyeing Workshop

5/21/2010 Today I was notified by the retreat organizers that the retreat has been canceled. I don’t know anything more about the situation but if you had signed up, contact the organizers directly.

5/20/2010 The workshop has been put on hold while the company organizing it deals with some issues. I’m waiting to see what the outcome is before I move forward with more plans.

I’m so excited to be teaching a 2 day dye workshop in Chicago, November 12-14. There is also a Ravelry group set up for the retreat with more information here Hand Dyeing Retreat.

There will be plenty of hands on time, dyeing yarns with different techniques as well as time for knitting with hand dyed yarns. We’ll be exploring methods of developing colorways, sources for color inspiration, and how to get the knitted results that you want.

The workshop is limited to 20 people.

Happy New Year

Seems appropriate to start off the New Year thinking about yarns! I’m evaluating my yarns and planning ahead for 2010!

It’s all about color. It’s how and why I got into dyeing yarns.  It’s what inspires me. It’s the primary reason people seem to be drawn to a yarn. I’d like to offer more colors in fewer yarns. That’s good news – a couple of fabulous yarns in lots and lots of mix and match colors.  I’ll still be sampling some new yarns but I’ll be concentrating on a couple of high quality, versatile yarns.

My New Year’s resolution: Focus on high quality yarn in more colors to choose from. Sounds about  right for 2010.

%d bloggers like this: