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How to decide how many stitches to add to get desired size

Posted by: Megan (IP Logged)
Date: August 14, 2009 11:07AM

I'm knitting socks for my daughter. My pattern calls for worsted weight yarn but my yarn is superfine wool. I'm puzzled about how to obtain the correct number of stitches without using trial and error. Thanks in advance for any tips you may be willing to provide.

Posted by: Alex (IP Logged)
Date: August 15, 2009 08:24AM

The best idea, if they are standard socks, is to find a pattern for a much thinner wool. There are umpteen sock patterns available for free at www.knittingpatterncentral.com. Socks are usually done in fingering yarn, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something with a smaller gauge.

If your yarn is really thin, you might even have to double it to make a fingering gauge.

If your pattern includes a color pattern repeat or a lace repeat you can just put in the extra repeat(s) it will take to achieve the proper number of stitches.

Trying to adjust the stitches from a pattern with that big a difference in yarn thickness is asking for trouble when you get into shaping.

Posted by: craftsman (IP Logged)
Date: August 18, 2009 09:03AM

GAUGE (stitches per inch, rows per inch) is all-important, especially for socks, else they won't fit correctly. Working a swatch is always recommended.

You can find sock patterns by yarn weight at

If you want to join online, both Ravelry and the socknitters group on Yahoo offer patterns and advice for hand-knitting socks.