How to Convert Pattern Gauges

KIDOODLES LESSON 1

HOW TO CONVERT A PATTERN FROM ONE GAUGE TO ANOTHER GAUGE

In this lesson we will attempt to teach you how to take a written pattern and convert it to YOUR yarn and GAUGE.  The original pattern text will be in black and the new gauge information will be in blue.  We will take each line and work it up to the new gauge in a step by step lesson.

The most important fact to know is how to make a swatch to get an accurate gauge for your new yarn.  The larger the swatch the more accurate you will be.  We will use 100 stitches x 100 rows.

Determine the garment feel and what tension you wish to use.  Cast on some stitches 3-4" works.  Knit several rows starting at a tension that is fairly low but will still knit the yarn smoothly.    Lets use tension 5 as our example starting point.   Knit several rows.  Knit 2 rows tension 10 or use 2 rows of contrast yarn.   Now change to tension 6.  Knit several rows.  Knit 2 rows at tension 10 or contrast.  Repeat this procedure until you see that the stitches are getting too loose and the fabric feels flimsy.  You may change the tension by 1 click of the dial as 5.1, 5.2 on up and proceed instead of turning the tension up a full number.   Remove from machine.  FEEL the swatch.  Decide at what tension setting you like the feel of the fabric best.   Lets say we like the feel at tension 7.

SWATCH:  At the tension you choose, cast on 100 sts. and knit 100 rows.  Bind off.  (You may wish to waste CO / BO.)   Roll the fabric into a tube and pull gently.   Wash and dry the swatch.   I prefer to gently steam the fabric to unroll the edges.  Let lay flat for several hours.  Now measure the fabric swatch.

Let's say our swatch measures 12.5" across and 9" long.  To determine your STITCH gauge, divide 100 by 12.5 (12.5 inches wide) = 8 stitches per inch.  To determine your ROW gauge divide 100 by 9 (9 inches long) = 11 rows per inch.

So, your new yarn produced a gauge of 8 sts. and 11 rows per inch. 

Remember, the original gauge will be in BLACK, the new gauge will be in BLUE and the instructions on how we made the gauge change will be in RED.  This lesson we will only do the SMALL size and let you fill in the information for the MED and LG. 

We usually do not make a separate tension swatch for ribbed bands, but follow the rule that if the tension is 2-4 numbers lower than the garment tension and it will work well.  If you prefer you could make a rib swatch and calculate the ribbing as well.  We will just use the same rib from the old to the new since the gauge is not that different.

The KEY: Take the rows or stitches and DIVIDE them by the OLD gauge, then take this figure TIMES the NEW gauge.  This is give you the rows or stitches to use for the NEW gauge.

Crew Pullover Pattern

STYLE;    CREW PULLOVER  30" aprox.

YARN;      Mayflower or Softball Cotton

Yarn:         3/15 (example only)

GAUGE;   7 sts. 9 rows-1" MT; 7-9 RT; 3

GAUGE:   10 sts. 11 rows-1"  MT: 7  RT: 3

ADULT  SM  MED   LG

BACK:  RC:000  RT  CO: 151 163 173
We need to change the 151 sts. to the NEW gauge.  To do this, take 151 and divide it by the OLD gauge.  151 divided by 7 = 21.5" (INCHES)   This is the width of the back.  Now, take the INCHES (21.5") times the NEW gauge of  8.   21.5 x 8 = 172 sts. to cast on the the NEW gauge.
BACK:  RC:000  RT  CO: 172-(   )-(    )
Rib to RC:29. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT.
We will use the same tension for our rib so no change is needed here. 
Rib to RC:29. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT.
Knit to RC: 277 279 281
Now we need to change the 277 rows (length) to our NEW gauge.  Take the total rows (length) and divide by the OLD gauge.  277 divided by 9 = 30.7"   Now take the total length in INCHES and times that by the NEW gauge.  30.7 x 11=338 rows.
Knit to RC: 338-(   )-(   )
At the beginning of the next 2 rows bind off; 43 49 53 sts.
Now we need to determine how many stitches to bind off the shoulder in the NEW gauge. Take the shoulder sts. (43) divide by the OLD gauge (7) then times the NEW gauge of 843 divided by 7 = 6.1 then 6.1 times 8 = 49.
At the beginning of the next 2 rows bind off; 49-(   )-(   ) sts.
Remove remaining; 65 65 67 sts. onto scrap yarn/garter bar.
Now we need to convert the back neck sts. to the new gauge.  Take the 65 sts. and divide by the OLD gauge (7)  65 divided by 7 = 9.2" (width)   Now take the back neckline width and convert it to the new gauge.  9.2 x 8 = 74 sts.
Remove remaining; 74-(   )-(   ) sts. onto scrap yarn/garter bar.  Now lets verify what we have gotten.   Backneck-74 sts.  Shoulders are 49 sts. (2 shoulders=98 sts total. 74+98 =172. This number must equal your cast on.  OK!
FRONT; RC:000 Work same as the back to RC: 234 236 238
Now we need to re calculate the rows/length to the front neckline shaping.   Take the 234 rows and divide by the OLD gauge.  234 divided by 9 = 26"  Now take the 26" times the NEW gauge  26" x 11 = 286.
FRONT; RC:000 Work same as the back to RC: 286-(    )-(   )
This will recalculate the neck depth so the old and new are the same in inches. 
At the center, hold 25 sts. And all sts. opposite the carriage at 0.  Knit, wrap and knit back.  At the neck edge hold 3 sts. 2x then hold 2 sts. 2x then hold 1 st. E.O.R. 10x for all sizes.
Now we need to recalculate the neckline from the OLD gauge to the NEW gauge.  Lets take each set of numbers separately.  The center 25 sts. divided by the OLD gauge of  7 = 3.57"  Now take the 3.57" times the NEW gauge.  3.57 x 8 = 28.5 or 29 center sts. 3 sts. divided by the old gauge of 7. 3 divided by 7 = .04 then times the New gauge 8, .04 x 8 = 3.4 or 3 sts.  2 sts. divided by the OLD gauge of 7, 2 divided by 7 = .02 then times the NEW gauge, .02 x 8 = 2.2 or 2 sts.  Then we have 10 final sts to convert.  10 divided by the old gauge of 7 = 1.4" then times the new gauge of 8, 1.4 x 8 = 11.4 or 11
At the center, hold 28 sts. And all sts. opposite the carriage at 0.  Knit, wrap and knit back.  At the neck edge hold 3 sts. 2x then hold 2 sts. 2x then hold 1 st. E.O.R. 11x for all sizes.
Lets verify our neckline.  We know the center back has 74 sts and the front neckline is the same in width.   If we add up the front neckline sts. we should get 7429 center + 3sts 2x (6) + 2sts 2x (4) +11 sts, (don't forget to add in the 2nd front 1/2 of shaping 3sts 2x (6) + 2sts 2x (4) +11sts = 71Oops we need 74.  We are 3 sts off.  (This is because of the fractions. )  Since the neckline is divided into 3 parts, the center and 1 section of shaping on each side of the neckline we can evenly distribute 1 more stitch to each section.  Our shaping will now read.  
At the center, hold 30 sts. And all sts. opposite the carriage at 0.  Knit, wrap and knit back.  At the neck edge hold 3 sts. 2x then hold 2 sts. 2x then hold 1 st. E.O.R. 12x for all sizes.
The only problem you might encounter with this is if you want the neckline shaping to fall exactly within the number of rows for the neckline depth.  You will then need to distribute differently or change the neckline depth to match the number of shaping rows.   We did not do this because we have some straight knitting of rows after our neckline shaping to the shoulder with room to play.
Knit to RC: 276 278 280
Now we need to change the 276 rows (length) to our NEW gauge.  Take the total rows (length) and divide by the OLD gauge.  277 divided by 9 = 30.7"   Now take the total length in INCHES and times that by the NEW gauge.  30.7 x 11 = 338 rows.
Bind off shoulder; 43 49 53 sts.
Now we need to determine how many stitches to bind off the shoulder in the NEW gauge. Take the shoulder sts. (43) divide by the OLD gauge (7) then times the NEW gauge of 843 divided by 7 = 6.1 then 6.1 times 8 = 49.
At the beginning of the next row bind off; 49-(   )-(   ) sts.
Work 2nd half of front the same.
Work 2nd half of front the same.
Pick up evenly along each side neckline, 8 sts. (This is along the straight area after the neckline shaping and to the shoulder)  Knit 1 row over all neckline sts. in hold. Remove onto scrap yarn/garter bar.  (81 sts.)
Now we have to recalculate the 8 sts. from the old gauge to the new. 8 divided by the OLD gauge of 7 =1.14 then times the NEW gauge of 8 = 9.14 or 9 sts.
Pick up evenly along each side neckline, 9 sts. (This is along the straight area after the neckline shaping and to the shoulder)  Knit 1 row over all neckline sts. in hold. Remove onto scrap yarn/garter bar.  (92 sts.)
NECKBAND; RC:000 RT 1x1 rib CO:146 sts. Rib to RC:12. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT. Rehang neckline fronts/back onto these sts. Knit 1 row and bind off.
The back neckline has 74 sts and the front has 92 so we will need 166 sts. for our neckband.
NECKBAND; RC:000 RT 1x1 rib CO:166 sts. Rib to RC:12. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT. Rehang neckline fronts/back onto these sts. Knit 1 row and bind off.
SLEEVE; RC;000 RT 1x1 rib CO:71 sts. Rib to RC:29. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT. Increase 1 st. on each side every 4th row 38x. (147 sts.) Knit to RC:187. Bind off.
Now we need to convert the cuff from the OLD gauge to the NEW gauge.   71 sts divided by the OLD gauge of 7, 71 divided by 7 = 10.1 now take the 10.1 times the NEW gauge of 8.  10.1 x 8 = 81 sts.  Then we need to calculate the sleeve length from the OLD gauge to the NEW gauge.  187 rows divided by the OLD gauge of 9 = 20.7" then take the length of 20.7" times the NEW gauge.  20.7 x 11 = 228 rows.   Now determine the widest part of the sleeve from the OLD gauge to the NEW gauge.  147 divided by the OLD gauge of  7 = 21",  now take the 21" times the NEW gauge of 8.  21 x 8 = 168 or 169  Since our cast on is an ODD number your widest part needs to also be an ODD number because we will be increasing on each side, Each side (2 sides) 2 being an even number.  Now we need to determine the increases within the sleeve  The increases are done after the rib cuff so these rows need to be deducted.  228 rows minus the cuff rows (29) = 199 rows in which to shape.  I like to use the magic formula program.  But not using that, you take the widest part of the sleeve and subtract the narrowest part (cuff)   169 sts - 81 = 88   We will divide the 88 in half to get (44) since we will be increasing on EACH side.  This means you need to increase  stitches within 199 rows.  199 divided by 44 = 4.5 rows. Increase 1 st on each side every 4.5 rows.  Since this is not possible, to make it easy, we can increase 1 st. on each side every 4 rows OR use the magic formula which gives you: Increase 1 st. every 5 rows 23x then 1 st. every 4 rows 21x.  (23+21=44) on each side.  This is more accurate, so this is what we will use.
SLEEVE; RC;000 RT 1x1 rib CO:81 sts. Rib to RC:29. Transfer sts. to the MB. Change to the MT. Increase 1 st. on each side every 5th row 23x. then 1 st on each side every 4th row 21x (169 sts.) Knit to RC:228. Bind off.
FINISHING; Sew shoulders. Set in sleeves and sew seams.

If you have any questions about a step explained here, please feel free to email your questions.

Kidoodles*

                           

    

   Updated Friday June 09, 2006