Tag Archives: techniques

Is Knitting Gauge Static or Varying?

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.

“A Nostalgic Christmas”

Hello everyone, from snowy Illinois.  It snowed all day on Sunday!  We ended up breaking a record for getting this much snow during the first December snow (or something like that).  With even colder temperatures arriving, this white stuff will stick around for a while.  I’m not sure how I feel about that . . . so far so good though.  I’m surviving!

Yes, Alice is here again to show you something new.  Nelly’s dolls have a muted rosiness that I notice above their eyes; it’s kind of a vintage look.  The colors in this ensemble are perfect with her coloring, so she gets another chance.  I love how all the artists paint the Little Darlings a bit different.

I wanted to photograph my newest outfit this past Sunday.  I think I fussed around with the photos all day.  The Christmas tree seemed so busy and the color wasn’t as pretty as I wanted it to be.  Finally, my husband gave me some tips (he was probably tired of hearing me complain–lol).  He had me put a different lens on my camera, so I could stand back and zoom in on Alice.  I also put Alice farther from the tree and opened up my f-stop as much as I could.  The result was that I got a somewhat blurry tree with Alice all in focus.  My favorite photos were taken when it was around 4:00 in the afternoon!  It was quite dark in the room, but I had the tripod set up and Alice stayed as still as possible.


This isn’t a typical Christmas print for a Christmas ensemble, but it kept calling to me to be made into one, so I did.  The colors in this ensemble are shades of mauve, a little deep red, warm pink, salmon.  They all go together beautifully because all the colors are neutral, nothing is bright.  I even added a little bit of plumminess with the organza ribbon used for the sash and present.



The embroidered motifs, are all slightly different compositions, both on the sweater and cuddle cap.  I used four shades of floss to shade the roses.  Ecru colonial knot buds add a bit of bright and the perfect shade of green foliage ties the blossoms together.


Alice’s sweater is knit with Peruvian Highland wool and her 1950s style cuddle cap is knit with a wool/angora blend.  Her scarf is knit with a lighter shade of mauve, also in Peruvian Highland wool.




Isn’t Alice a beauty?  You can see how this ensemble compliments her coloring and personality perfectly.

Alice enjoyed watching the first snowfall too.  What a daydreamer she is!


Alice’s “A Nostalgic Christmas” ensemble will be available tonight (December 6, 2016) at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

A Lesson for Knitters: Changing Yarn and/or Needle Size

Say you have a pattern for a doll dress or sweater, but you want to use a different yarn than the one specified.  Or, you want to use a smaller needle size than the one specified.  If I want a denser fabric I will go down one needle size.  You can refigure the pattern for your new yarn or needle size change.  I recommend small changes to begin with.  My yarn changes are usually very minimal and needle changes are up or down one size.

I almost always start knitting from the top down (neckline), so that is how I will explain this example to you.  The first pattern change you will need to make will be the cast on number.  Here’s a quick overview of what I do.

To start, you’ll need the gauge and the cast on number for the original, so write that down on a piece of paper.  You’ll also have to figure the new gauge using the new needles and/or yarn that you’ll be using.  I use 1″ for measuring gauge for doll clothes even though 4″ is used in the industry for human sized clothes.  So, knit a swatch (larger than an inch) and figure out your new gauge and write that down.  Hopefully you already know how to swatch and figure gauge.  Staci at Very Pink Knits has a You Tube video about figuring gauge here if you need a refresher.

Here is an example using made up numbers for refiguring the number of cast on stitches.  Your original pattern gauge is 10 stitches/1″.  The pattern says to cast on 30 stitches for the neckline.  You need to figure out how many inches the neckline needs to be.  This is the equation:  30 (cast on number) divided by 10 (stitches per inch gauge) is 3″.  This means you’ll need to recreate 3″ with the new yarn/needles.  You have hopefully figured out your new stitch gauge and it is (for example) 12 stitches/1″.  (FYI, when you get more stitches per inch, the stitches are smaller because more stitches fit within 1″, so your fabric will be stiffer and denser.)  Take the new stitches per inch (12) and multiply by the inches you need for the neckline (3″).  12 x 3 =36  You’ll need to cast on 36 stitches with the new yarn and/or different needles to get the 3″ for the neckline.

Figuring rows uses the same equation.  If you’re going in the reverse direction, larger needles and/or yarn, the same equation will work.  Sometimes you will need to round the stitch counts or row counts up or down.  Usually it is close enough as knitwear stretches.

Here’s some homework for you:  Answer is below.

Original pattern gauge is 14 stitches per inch and cast on 60 stitches.  Figure new cast on number.  The yarn you want to use has a gauge of 13 stitches per inch.  Your new yarn is a bit bulkier and you are getting less stitches per inch.  How many stitches should you cast on?




Answer:  About 56 stitches  (60 divided by 14 = 4.28″; 4.28 x 13 = 55.64)  You can make the decision to round up or down, depending on if you need an even or odd number of stitches.  In some cases it doesn’t matter.