Have you ever worked really hard on a project, only to have your hat (or mittens or, even worse, your sweater!) turn out waaaay too big? Or how about making something that ends up being entirely too small?! Well, that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t check your gauge before you start your project. Now, you may be wondering – what, exactly, is gauge?
Gauge refers to the number of knitted stitches in one linear inch of fabric. (It also applies to rows per inch, but we’ll chat about that another time.) Gauge directly affects the width of your knitted item and, if it’s off (even by 1/2 stitch per inch) can completely wreck your project.
Suppose the pattern you’re using states that gauge should be 4 stitches per inch. The pattern also tells you that you need to cast on 60 stitches. When you do the math, that calculates out to a piece o knitting that will measure 15″ wide. (Because 60 stitches divided by 4 stitches per inch = 15″.)
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