Converting a pattern to the right gauge. A simple formula

Suppose you have a pattern written for 18 stitches/4 inches gauge and your preferred yarn is 22 st. And suppose you are a small size. In a general sort of a sense you might find that one of the larger sizes is exactly what is needed.

I have a way of working this out, but it is so complicated that whenever I try to explain it to anybody, they automatically assume that I am good at maths and that I’m explaining something difficult. When in actual fact what is happening, is like this….I’m hopeless at maths and there’s bound to be a simpler way.

So, I asked a friend recently who is good at maths and upon explaining what was required, he immediately came up with this:

Number of stitches. Eg I use some number at the main part of the front/back which is straightforward knitting. I figure borders, edgings, different sized needles, all those sorts of things that come into play at the start of a bottom up piece, are likely to be unreliable. Maybe this is completely wrong, I don’t know. Let’s say 90.

Gauge of the original pattern yarn gauge. Let’s say 18.

Gauge of the substituting yarn. Let’s say 22.

Take the number of stitches, divide by the original gauge, multiply by the substituting gauge.

Ie 90 divided by 18 multiplied by 22.

Look at the answer you get. If you can find the equivalent number of stitches (or close) in a larger size, you have arrived! That size should give you exactly what you want.

NB: if row gauge is important, I guess you do it the same way???? I didn’t ask.

Sue Loci, if you are reading this, you probably know the answer. Fill us in please!


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