I am a beginner at knitting, did a guage test for a project using 4 mm needles - it should measure 10 cm x 10 cm (4" x 4") but measures 12 cm (W) x 11 cm (L). I was told to try a 4.5 mm needle instead but wouldn't that make my swatch even bigger????
Your swatch should actually be bigger than 4x4...you just measure a 4x4 area in the middle of it. If you have too many stitches per inch, move up a needle size; if you have too few, move down a size.
Here's a great article about gauge swatches: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/FEATswatchout.html
Thank you Julie - I was using the pattern instructions which told me that 23 sts and 35 rows should be 10 cm (4"). The yarn I'm using is Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly has puffy bumps in it - probably not the best to try for a beginner! Thanks for the link too!