What's your RGR?

Source: NatalieDee.com
"In knitting, the word gauge is used both in hand knitting and machine knitting; the latter, technical abbreviation GG, refers to "Knitting Machines" fineness size. In both cases, the term refers to the number of stitches per inch, not the size of the finished garment. In both cases, the gauge is measured by counting the number of stitches (in hand knitting) or the number of needles (on a knitting machine bed) over several inches then dividing by the number of inches in the width of the sample."
- Wikipedia

I was recently re-reading the Yarn Harlot's book Knitting Rules! (very funny) and the chapter on gauge and swatching had me thinking - she says "you have to look at what your relative gauge risk (RGR) is and decide just how seriously you're going to take gauge, swatching and their attendant hysteria with each individual project." (p82)

As someone who knits lots of accessories, I don't often see the need to swatch or worry about gauge - as long as I like the 'fabric' of my scarf or shawl I don't really care if I knit to the same gauge/tension as the pattern. My RGR is therefore low on most projects. When making clothing items, they are most likely to be for the children, and I prefer to make things a bit bigger than necessary (to allow for rapid growth) and try them on as I go (they are generally top-down, one-piece) so again, it's not something that I worry about too much. I can easily increase or decrease where necessary. Low RGR again. Perhaps I'm a lazy knitter. 

Tell me, what do you like to knit and what are your personal RGR rules? 

14 comments

  1. I like to gauge swatch for garments. I recently made a cardigan for a friend's little girl and had I knit it according to the pattern it would have fit her until she is 7 and she's only 2 A bit of growing room is fine but 5 years worth is a little too much! I'm also making a cardigan for myself using yarn from a cone that has stretched quite a bit when I washed the swatch so I have gone for a size down, which means less knitting! I don't bother swatching for accessories though.

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    1. 5 years!?!?!? That's extreme! I'm happy if something lasts 6 months! :)

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  2. I don't have the patience to gauge! I am so gung-ho by the time I have got a pattern and the yarn to make an it I NEED to knit it straight off. I am positive this will be my undoing at some point!
    xxxx

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  3. I make swatches for blouses, tops and sweaters, but for accessories I don't bother. Gloves, mittens, cowls, scarves... it'll fit ;)

    Fortunately I've never been bitten by this.

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  4. I'm exactly the same as tickety boo (above)! Which is why I'm a big fan of making blankets, shawls and kids' sweaters... I doubt I'll ever make a proper garment for myself, it would never turn out right!

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    1. I've made a few, but always tried on as I've made it so it's been low RGR. I think this is why I like top-down one-piece so much! :)

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  5. I tend to cast on a few stitches, measure and if it looks okay when compared to the recommended gauge carry on! However I should know better as I am on a re knit for a sweater I made for my self which turned out huge on completion. I also knit some mittens for my son-in-law at Christmas which provided much amusement to the whole family! So maybe I need to rethink my slapdash gauging!

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  6. Zero RGR!! I know if I drop a needle size guage will come out ok so never bother with a swatch anymore. Also tend to knit accessories etc so less of a need. Suppose I might if I had spent a lot of money on project.

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  7. I am rubbish at any kind of prep, I don't iron before I sew, I don't sand back before I paint, it turns out I don't block before I seam....there is no hope for me really!

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  8. I'm definitely a hat knitter. I usually don't make hardcore gauge swatches so I may knit some on the needles and measure the fabric. But I have learned I should wash and pin it.

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  9. I usually knit without a pattern. So I knit 20 stitches a few centemetres high. Than I measure at a piece I like and just start knitting. Sometimes I have to frog, mostly it's okay. I take the risk of frogging anytime. I've become pretty good at feeling the right amount of stitches ... :-)

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