Saturday, November 10, 2007

Gauge In Seed Stitch May Be Larger Than It Appears

I finally sat down tonight with the almost finished back of my Seed Stitch Dress. You know, the one that was way too wide. I had the pattern from the book, my revised pattern, a calculator, and a measuring tape in front of me. For about an hour I checked and re-checked my calculations. I checked my gauge to make sure it hadn't changed after I'd knit the gauge swatch. I measured and remeasured various points of the dress back. I got to a point where I was frustrated because I couldn't find the error that led to my dress having a chest circumference that was 2 1/2" too big (which is a pretty significant amount on a little baby's chest). My math on my revised pattern was dead on - no mistakes. I figured out what the problem was when I noticed that the width at the last portion of stockinette stitch (right before you switch to seed stitch for the bodice/chest) was the right width. And the last row of stockinette also happens to be a decrease row, which I revised and knit without error. Yet the portion of seed stitch that immediately follows and makes up the chest area, is too wide. Do you see what I'm getting at? My gauge in stockinette is 20 1/4 sts = 4". The pattern in the book gives the gauge over stockinette stitch. However, when I measured my gauge on the chest which is done in seed stitch, it was 19 sts = 4". There you have it - a larger gauge in seed stitch gave me a seed stitch chest that was too large. And that means very good news for me. I don't need to rip back the whole thing, like I first thought. I just need to frog to the last decrease row right before the seed stitch bodice, and decrease more sharply to give me fewer stitches to accommodate my larger gauge in seed stitch. Now, I just have one question? Am I right in assuming that everyone would get a different gauge in seed stitch than they do in stockinette? I have no way of knowing if Debbie Bliss somehow gets the same gauge in seed stitch, because that gauge is not given anywhere in the pattern.


Knitcrazy said...

I don't know why but I always have a size problem with Debbie Bliss patterns ???

Nutella Nutterson said...

I know it's a year later, but I was just googling seed stitch vs. stockinette gauge and found your post, as well as this, from Knitting In Plain English:

Essentially it says that you might need to go down a needle size for seed stitch. :-)