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How to Use a Knitting Calculator

16th January 2019

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How to Use a Knitting Calculator

knitting calculator

Have you ever wanted to knit something but not known how many stitches to cast on? Or wanted to change the length of a garment but not known how many rows to add? This handy tool can do all of this and more!

Measuring Tension

Let’s say you want to knit a simple baby blanket. You’ve chosen your stitch pattern and you’ve knitted a swatch, about 15cm square, that you’ve washed and dried in the same way as you will wash and dry your finished blanket. To measure your tension, lay your swatch down flat on a table and pop your stitch calculator on top, so you can see the knitted fabric through the window in the middle. Line up the vertical line with a column of stitches to make sure it’s sitting straight. All you need to do now is count the number of stitches and rows along the straight edges as indicated on the stitch calculator. For this example, we’ll say you have counted 22 stitches along the horizontal line and 28 rows along the vertical line.

No More Maths!

You now just have the easy task of using your stitch calculator to work out how many stitches and rows to work for your blanket. We’ll say you want a blanket that is 60cm wide and 80cm long. To find out how many stitches to cast on, point the slider to your stitch tension number, which is 22. The number that appears next to 60 is the number to cast on – 132. You then do the same for your rows. Point the slider to 28 and read off the number that appears next to 80 – 224. Depending on your stitch pattern, you may need to round this number up or down to fit your pattern repeats.

You can use this same principle to adjust an existing pattern to fit. If the sizing table of a garment shows that the sleeves will be too long for you by 4cm, simply find the row tension given in a pattern and point the slider to that number. The number next to the 4 on the slider will be how many fewer rows you should knit to achieve your desired fit.

Don’t forget that Issue 98 of Knit Now magazine comes with a 3-in-1 stitch calculator. We hope you love using it!

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