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April 23, 2007

Worth the Re-Knit

I faught the Battle of the Bulge and won.  No, slim-and-trim reader, I did not loose 5 pounds, but I did get the edging on nona-niece-the-youngest's blanket to lie nice and flat.  It was definately -- most definately -- worth the rip and re-knit.

My first attempt at the blanket's vertical yellow borders rippled and bulged dramatically.  So much so, that I immediately frogged the darn things and set my gray-matter to work on sleuthing out the problem and a solution.   If you're curious in the results, read on...

The Problem
Ripples and bulges are a clear indication of too many picked up stitches.  In general, it takes fewer stitches than rows to fill an inch.  The difference between the stitch gauge and the row gauge is called the stitch-to-row ratio, which for stockinette stitch is typically 3-to-4 (or .75).  This is why many patterns instruct you to pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows.  When I initially worked the vertical border, I didn't think -- my first mistake -- and blindly picked up 3 stitches for every 4 rows -- about 208 stitches.  This was obviously too many stitches.

The Solution
I needed to calculate my own stitch-to-row ratio based on the stitch gauge of the 2x2 Basket Weave used for the blanket's edging and the row gauge of the 2-Color Star Stitch used for the blanket's body.  The stitch gauge -- 21 stitches in 4 inches -- divided by the row gauge -- 36 rows in 4 inches -- is the stitch-to-row ratio -- 21 / 36 = .59, which I rounded to .6 (6/10).  So, I needed to pick up 6 stitches every 10 rows or 3 stitches every 5 rows.  Following this ratio, I picked up 164 stitches and produced a well behaved, flat border.

The Moral of the Story
Different stitch patterns have different stitch-to-row ratios.  Take the time to calculate your ratio before embarking on the pick up.

April 23, 2007 in It's Done!, Knitting for the nona-nieces | Permalink


It looks wonderful,now! Such a simple solution, too. I think I would have had to spend a considerable amount of time scratching my head and thinking, "now, why on earth isn't this working???" before I came up with the solution. Thanks for the excellent advice and illuminating example!

Posted by: susubee | Apr 23, 2007 4:45:57 PM

Thanks for the great tip! I learn so much from knit blogs :-)
I usually just blindly pick up 3/4 or some such thing. Who knew there was a method to the whole thing?!

Posted by: Brenda | Apr 23, 2007 4:48:10 PM

Fantastic! I LOVE the blanket!

Posted by: Cara | Apr 23, 2007 5:33:14 PM

Of course! Thanks for the theory behind the technique.

Posted by: colleen | Apr 23, 2007 5:47:41 PM

Wow. I truly appreciate seeing your math on this! Thank you

Posted by: Linda | Apr 23, 2007 5:58:04 PM

The blanket is beautiful. Definately worth the extra effort, indeed.

Posted by: Brandy | Apr 23, 2007 6:34:09 PM

Oh my, and we thought we are wasting our time in those math classes :) Beautiful!

Posted by: Rachel | Apr 23, 2007 6:35:28 PM

now that the baby blanket is done, how's that ripple one coming? I'm playing in the pit for our high school's production of Oklahoma!, and with the spare hours of sitting around waiting for cues, i have reached the point where my blanket is no longer just a thick scarf, but a real lap warmer. I'm anxious to see how yours is coming too!

Posted by: amy | Apr 23, 2007 6:56:35 PM

SO worth it. It looks fantastic, polished, chic, and fun. Time well spent!

Posted by: Mary-Heather | Apr 23, 2007 8:06:21 PM

Ahh, one of my favorite things about knitting -- the math! Beautiful blanket with its nicely nonbulging edges. ;)

Posted by: Laura | Apr 23, 2007 8:59:31 PM

It turned out beautiful! What sort of yarn did you use on this project? It looks like a varigated with white; I love the color and stitch definition.

Posted by: gina | Apr 23, 2007 10:12:56 PM

NOW I'll remember to calculate before I pick up stitches, I usually can't be bothered. Anyway, it looks beautiful! I'm curious, how big is the blanket? I thought it's quite big but then again with only 200+ edge stitches...

Posted by: yuvee | Apr 24, 2007 2:27:24 AM

Thanks for the stitch to row explanation. I had just read that term somewhere and didn't know what that meant. I came across your blogs this year and love both of them. Keep on knittin'!

Posted by: Heather | Apr 24, 2007 6:07:56 AM

Great job, nona. Its looks great!

Posted by: pennie | Apr 24, 2007 6:57:47 AM

So beautiful Nona! Thank you for the formula - that is the type of math I can appreciate. The colors are so wonderful, that Claudia's sure is wonderful stuff!

Posted by: Sonya | Apr 24, 2007 7:33:27 AM

I swear, you write some of the most helpful posts in the world.

Posted by: Claudia | Apr 24, 2007 9:39:16 AM

I swear, I learn so much by reading your entries! That blanket is beautiful! It's so nice to see a picture of it in it's entirety. Great choice in colours! Is "frogging" a term for ripping out?

Posted by: Natalie | Apr 24, 2007 11:08:51 AM

Just beautiful... both the colors and your work. And thanks for the ratio tip. I know none of us relish ripping and re-knitting, but you've shown how it's well worth it in the long run.

Posted by: Anne | Apr 24, 2007 1:14:36 PM

Very pretty blanket!

Posted by: Asa | Apr 24, 2007 2:40:42 PM

Beautiful blanket! Great lesson, too. I was perusing Barbara Walker's Treasuries last night, not an unusual thing for me, and I kept coming across stitch patterns, thinking, "Oh, there's one that nona knit!" I like seeing your renditions in color. I better get me to the online BW site. Great blanket! I am sure your niece will love it and appreciate the lack of bulge.

Posted by: Brenda | Apr 25, 2007 9:50:53 AM

As always, I enjoyed your knitting theory behind it all, and My Gosh! That blanket is just plain gorgeous!

Posted by: Faith | Apr 26, 2007 1:21:13 PM

That's a pretty big beautiful swatch!

Posted by: Angie | Apr 26, 2007 6:18:41 PM

Awwwww Nona. You love the math dontcha????? Calcualting shmalculating! Someday I might be that kind of knitter! Math.....I think I am still pretty innumerrate. :(

Posted by: kathy b | Apr 27, 2007 5:27:37 PM

Thanks for your thoughtful knitting and sharing! Wonderful.
By the way, what is the pattern name for this lovely blanket?

Posted by: Ruth | Apr 27, 2007 6:50:31 PM

An interesting discussion of the value of advice. I think the best is to write on the subject of additional, it may not be a taboo subject, butusually not so personal presentations. To the next. Cheers

Posted by: rick vaughn uniform | Aug 17, 2011 12:29:53 AM

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