Converting Stitch and Row Gauge in Knitting

“Knitting THAT sweater in YOUR Yarn”

How many times have you found the perfect sweater pattern in a magazine or pattern book, and then have been unable to match the stitch and/or row gauge? You know, that doesn’t mean you can’t knit it. All you need to know is the “Conversion Formula”, and have an accurate tension swatch in the yarn you wish to use.

When determining the gauge of your swatch, use the same factor as the written pattern, i.e. stitches/rows to 1″, stitches/rows to 4″, stitches/rows per cm, or stitches/rows to 10 cm.

A simple hand held calculator will be very helpful to calculate two necessary “Conversion Formulas”. You will use one or both of these to re figure your pattern.

The Stitch Converter
Take your stitch gauge, divide it by their stitch gauge and the answer is the Stitch Convertor. Use up to 2 decimal points. For example; say you are getting 29.5 stitches to 4 inches and the pattern calls for 28 stitches for 4 inches. Divide yours (29.5) by theirs (28) and the answer (stitch convertor) is 1.0535714. We’ll round that to 1.05 (2 decimal points is enough)

How do we use it?
If the pattern calls for 140 stitches, multiply their # (140) by the stitch convertor (1.05) and the answer is 147. Because the pattern uses an even number, we’ll round up to the next even number, 148. So you’ll cast on 148 stitches.

The Row Convertor
Take your row gauge, divide it by their row gauge and the answer is the Row Convertor. It is used the same way as the Stitch Convertor.

Shaping is not so simple, but by using common sense, and a few basic rules, you’ll be fine.

Just remember, round necklines are shaped by “most first, then less, less and less”.

V neckline shaping is a smooth line, with about 1 inch unshaped before the top of the neck.

Sleeves are narrow at the bottom and shaped rather evenly up the length. The shaping of a set in sleeve is more complicated, but use your Stitch and Row conversions to work the math.

Click on the words below for a printable PDF

stitch and row convertor

So, does it make sense?  Will you use it?  Please let me know……

3 thoughts on “Converting Stitch and Row Gauge in Knitting”

  1. Thank you for the very timely information on stitch gauge. I have been suggesting at a famous store that it would be an idea to carry patterns for the gorgeous wool on their shelves. I just bought some more yesterday. Now all I need is some patterns. I
    love the wool.

  2. Wow!!! like Fran said, thank you for the time you have taken in putting this information together!!! I don’t own a knitting machine , have shared this information… as it can come handy in the future…

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