What are rounds in knitting and how do you count the rounds?



What are rounds in knitting and how do you count the rounds?

A round in knitting means that you knit all the stitches from beginning to end, whether you are knitting back and forth or round on a circular needle.

If you knit back and forth, it is easy to know when the round is finished, but if you knit in the round on a circular needle, it is easier to keep track of the beginning of the round if you put a marker between the first and last stitch.

To show and talk a little about rounds in knitting, I think we start from a stockinette stitch sample piece that is knitted back and forth.

A stockinette stitch looks like a V from the right side (front).

If we look at the picture of the test patch, I have made markings both to the side and up.

The Vs marked upwards are the number of rounds and the Vs marked to the side are the number of stitches.

This is an important and fundamental part of knitting - being able to count rounds and stitches to determine the knit strength. In all patterns, it is stated which knitting strength you must have in order to get the right size of the garment.

The stitch strength is usually indicated in number of stitches and number of turns per 10 cm.

As an example, we can look at the pattern below:

Here, the knitting strength is 20 stitches x 26 rounds on needles 4.5 mm in stocking stitch. Then we measure out a 10x10cm square on the sample sheet. There is a fantastic tool for this that you put on top of the test patch, a stick strength meter. If you don't have one, you can measure with a tape measure or ruler.

Before we measure, we should wash the sample patch in lukewarm water, which we squeeze out thoroughly and then lay it flat to dry. Wet tension or block, as we also say. This is so that the sample patch will behave in the same way as the finished garment when we have washed and flat-dried it.

So.. Now that it has dried, we are ready to measure our test patch, i.e. count how many stitches and rows there are in 10cm.

If it is correct, just lay it on and start knitting, but if it is not correct, you can knit a new test patch with either thicker or thinner needles until you get the right knitting strength.

TIP: Take a photo with the phone and use the drawing tool to mark the stitches, as I did above and also in the first picture.

If it is not correct and you, for example, have too many stitches and rounds, you need to use a thicker needle, and if you have too few stitches and rounds, use a thinner needle.

It can make a difference with just changing half a number on the needle. On the white swatch here, I have started at the bottom to knit with needles 4.5 mm and after about half way change to needles 4 mm.

I have measured the mesh density here with a fancy manik - Maskmealer. A transparent ruler with stitch density printed on in the form of stockinette stitches, so you just place it on the knitting and see the stitch density when it matches the printed stitches. The stitches are marked in both black and white so that, regardless of the color of the knitting, you will have sufficient contrast so that you can see the gauge on top of the stitches.

The white sample patch has a stitch density of 20 stitches at the bottom and a density of 22 stitches at the top.

See in the pictures how easy it works. 

It only has an even number of stitches from 12 - 32, so if you should have a stitch density of e.g. 21 stitches, you can make an estimate between 20 and 22.

The stitch marker also doesn't measure the rounds through its printed stitches so it's a ruler on the side of it. Therefore, I have switched to saying stitch density instead of stitch density, where we also count the rounds.

Measuring the knitting strength, i.e. both stitches and rounds, is recommended especially if you are going to knit a larger project, such as a sweater. 

It's not so much fun when it's not right... ask me...

I learned this the hard way by knitting a sweater WITHOUT making a swatch, it became a tent and is now scratched and so far not knitted again.

So nowadays I always knit test pieces for larger projects.

Hug / Pernilla