Posing a Query

albert's picture

No, I'm not taking a new photo of myself- it's this: does anyone know of a rule of thumb regarding gauge for Aran knitting, for instance, if you know your gauge for a certain yarn in stockinette, can you simply add X% more stitches for knitting a heavily cabled/ribbed item and come out reasonably close to the desired measurement? Is there a general rule for this?


Kenny's picture

At the latest Men's Spring

At the latest Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, I took a class about cabling and they said that you should cast on 1/2 more stitches for each cable. so for example, if you have a 4x4 cross, you would cast on 4+4+4 = 12. Helps?

ronhuber's picture

I should have gone to the

I should have gone to the next step with my recommendations. The size of the sweater when finished might not be what you want but remember an aran is basically just a big piece of ribbing. When you have washed it, pin it out to the size you want. This will open up the cables and ribbing and make your wonderful design take on a new life. Often cables are placed in a field of reverse stocking stitch but it is never seen until it is stretched out. If you still have your swatch wet it and pin it out to the size that is most pleasing to you and that will be your true measurement. The purl 2 k 2 rib should give you lots of play in the sizing. I would feel that cables are the only non flexible part of the sweater and, therefore, extra stitches to take care of that.

KnitteryNinja's picture

I had been told, or read

I had been told, or read somewhere, that you add ten percent to your total stitches swatched in stockinette for Aran designs. I didn't trust that, so when I designed an aran sweater for myself using handspun Lincoln wool, I swatched each of the design elements. I even washed the swatches, then added all the stitches together,adding a few more seed stitches to the side panels to make sure I had enough. AND it was STILL too small when knitted up. Sigh. Handspun, Designed, and Knit by me...but my daughter got a lovely sweater.
I still don't know what I did wrong.

albert's picture

I knit what I considered an

I knit what I considered an adequate swatch, 88 stitches, 4 pattern repeats for four inches in legnth. I took my gauge from that, and based on that, I should have had a 49 inch sweater body. After two months of knitting, and almost done with the body, I measured (I know, I know). Somehow my 49 inch sweater had become 40 inches. I still have the swatch, and it's still giving me the same answer!!

daveballarat's picture

Albert I know where you are

Albert I know where you are coming from ... it's like sex in the dark...you know what you want and roughly where everything is so feel your way and hope the end experience is exactly what you hoped for...

I have an aran on the needles at the moment... I couldn't get the gauge right. Nothing seemed to be exact. Rick suggested I just go up needle size and hope for the best. I don't want big and bulky aran, I want fairly slim... it seems to be right ... but when I put the seams together in a month or so... will see...
Istanbul, Turkey

albert's picture

Sex, I remember that. I

Sex, I remember that. I hope you have better luck than I've had- with your Aran, I mean.

ronhuber's picture

I have always added 25 % of

I have always added 25 % of the stitches in a cable. For example if you are doing a 2 x 2 cable you would add one stitch (25% of 4 is 1) a 3 x 3 you would add 1 1/2 stitches (25% of 6 is 1.5). So if you were knitting a sweater in stocking stitch and you had 200 stitches and wanted to run 6 cables up the front that were 2x2, you would add 6 stitches to the 200. Is this as clear as mud?

Thomasknits's picture

I second this opinion.

I second this opinion. Also, I would guess that the best answer is that you just have to swatch swatch swatch. Poopy right?

albert's picture

It's clear, but what about

It's clear, but what about for ribs? The pattern I was doing had 14 repeats of a 4 stitch cable bordered by two p2, k2, p2 ribs, followed by 12 rice stitches. The cables were crossed every 9th row for a "slow" cable. The swatch says one thing, the (frogged) sweater, another. I am perplexed and a little verklemp!

paulhenry's picture

that sounds a nice and easy

that sounds a nice and easy way of working it out, as I said before when Albert asked, you really only need to add a few extra stitches with aran.So as the cable will be the areas of compression , sounds good @ronhuber

albert's picture

Did I ask about this before?

Did I ask about this before? Cripes, not only can't I get the blasted thing to work, I'm getting daft as well! I'm going to try again, Paul- I must have miscalculated something, somewhere.