How to Gauge Knitting Stitches

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Gauging knitting stitches, which is also known as the tension, is important to create the right size project according to the pattern, and using a ruler or knit check enables the knitter to count the number of stitches per inch. Calculate the tension of a knitting project with a demonstration from an advanced knitter in this free video on knitting.

Part of the Video Series: Knitting Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Allison from ImagiKnit in San Francisco. We are now going to talk about gauge or tension for your knitting project. Here I've completed a swatch, on the bottom half is garter stitch which is knitting all rows. On the top half is stockinette stitch which is knitting a row, pearling a row, and then alternating. Gauge or tension is one of the most important things in knitting. If you get that correct then the pattern that you make will come out the proper size. In order to measure your gauge or tension you want to have a swatch that's large enough, and you want to make sure that you're measuring not too close to the cast on the bind off edge. So that you can really assess the proper gauge. You can use a ruler or a knit check like this, place it on your knitting. If you're looking at stockinette stitch, you want to take a look at the Vs inside the box here. It's given over a two inch space so we'll count how many Vs. One, two, three, four, five and a half. So we have five and a half stitches in two inches, so that means that we will have two point seven five stitches per inch. To measure gauge or tension for garter stitch, you will go ahead and use your knit check or a ruler or tape measure, here we have a two inch box and we'll want to just look at the pearl stitches here and count how many are in the two inches. We have one, two, three, four, five and a half. So that means over a one inch space we have two point seven five stitches per one inch. Gauge or tension can also be determined for the rows and not just the stitches horizontally but the rows vertically. So to take a look at the rows here for our stockinette stitch area, you will also do the same thing, we'll place our knit check here, and we have a two inch space, we'll be back up here and we'll count the Vs. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight Vs in the two inches, so that means we have four rows per inch.

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