For me, it is varying, quite varying in fact. I didn’t realize this until I started writing knitting patterns. I make it a point to measure my gauge for every sample I make for a pattern, even if I am using the same yarn I always use.
What this means is that I may have a pattern with a gauge of 11 stitches per inch and then have a pattern with 9 stitches per inch, and they both use the same yarn and needles. My state of mind greatly affects my knitting.
When writing my first knitting pattern, I know I was very stressed. I wanted to get it perfect. There really is so much to get right, or so much to get wrong writing a knitting pattern. I’m guessing that the stress I felt caused my knitting to be tighter than my original gauge taken when I first started using the type of yarn I was using for the sample. Recently I knit a sweater with the same yarn and the same needles. Now my gauge is looser than my original gauge. This is crazy, right?
So you can get a picture of how different my knitting gauge can be, here are the numbers. My original stitch gauge was 10 stitches per inch. The gauge I measured for my first pattern was 11, and the sweater I just completed was 9 stitches per inch.
The same pattern was used. Even though the fit is snugger with 11 stitches per inch, and looser with the 9 stitches per inch, all of the sweaters look fine in my opinion.
The great thing about knitting for dolls is that the projects are small and can be knit again quickly if you want to make changes to the fit.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the same pattern knit with a gauge of 11 stitches per inch and 9 stitches per inch respectively. As you can see, there isn’t a huge difference.
Happy dolly knitting! And don’t stress about gauge too much.