Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Achieving the Right Gauge for the Exeter Gansey Cardigan

Exeter Gansey Cardigan by Annie's Crochet

When you make a garment, whether you are knitting or crocheting, achieving the right gauge is a crucial component of the preparation process. I did a Facebook LIVE on Sunday, Nov 3 and talked a bit about the gauging process for the Exeter Gansey Cardigan we are making together starting November 17th. (You can click here for the details.) However, I was waiting for a response from Annie's Creative Team about what the appropriate gauge swatch should be. I have received confirmation from them, so I feel confident in going forward with gauge training for our sweater.

On Sunday, I mentioned that we need to be more concerned with our width gauge than our height gauge. That was confirmed through Annie's, as the sweet lady that responded said exactly what I said about the instructions for achieving the right measurements within the pattern. The pattern merely tells us that we will work to a given length in the established pattern finishing after a certain row or on a certain side of the work. These kinds of instructions are very easy to "fudge" a height gauge for. Because you will be working to YOUR measurements, not the gauge you achieved when you did your swatch. The swatch wants you to go through row 21. I have never achieved 4" working to row 21 regardless of which hook I used. So, I was grateful when I learned from the representative that the height gauge was not as important.

If you would like to practice gauging, chain 20 and then follow the Pattern Stitch starting with the Basketweave and go through row 21.

If you would like to watch the first video, click here: Bizzy Crochet LIVE Gauge Video- November 3

Here are my samples:
I started with an F hook instead of the H the pattern calls for just so I would have a base to work off of. I usually use an F hook when I use #3 Light yarn

Then I tried a G hook, still not quite there.

Finished my trial with an H hook. Right on the dime with an H hook. But, here's where I am seeing a potential problem. I'm very comfortably at 4"- might I get too big as I get even more comfortable with the pattern? 

The one thing that Annie's representative did mention was making sure to wet block my gauge swatch. I, personally, achieved an exact gauge match to the recommended hook size in my width. However, I am going to go down one hook and then do a wet block to see if that doesn't work better. Here is why- I would rather be a 1/2" off on my gauge and be able to block my sweater to the finished size than to be right on with my gauge, in the beginning, maybe loosen up when I get comfortable with the pattern, and possibly end up with an overly roomy sweater in the end. I don't want this thing dragging behind the person that's going to wear it. I want it to be an attractive, finished garment.

Hopefully the #7/4.5mm will be the charmer...

So, I will do a LIVE demo of how to wet block your gauge swatch this Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Make sure you join me @ 7:00 pm CST on the Bizzy Crochet Facebook page!

My next blog post will be about WHY we will need to block our cardigans to achieve our best work!

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