The single most important factor in determining the finished size of a knit item. Patterns will produce different finished sizes just by using a different needle size. Although gauge is not as important for flat, one-piece items, it is important to be able to determine how much difference a needle change will make, especially in clothing items, and when pieces are to be sewn together or when they must fit a certain area.

Since each one of us knits differently, there is no standard for knowing exactly how much a needle size will change the gauge or finished size. The tension you hold in the yarn will create loose or tight stitches. For smooth, even stitches, it is important to maintain the same tension. This means the gauge is the responsibility of the knitter and must be consistent throughout the entire item to assure an accurate finished size. It is always best to make a small swatch, about 4" or 5" square, using the yarn, stitch pattern and needles recommended. A simple formula for gauge is: Stitches/rows divided by measurement equals gauge.