I have a question about substituting needles to achieve gauge in this pattern (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/rainbow-dress). The gauge instruction says "22 stitches and 30 rows over 10cm (4 in) in stocking stitch using 4mm (US6) needles". I've swatched and to get the gauge, I have to upsize to a size 7 needle.
The pattern has you start out making the bodice in garter stitch using 3.75mm (US5) needles and then move to 4mm (US6) to make the skirt in st. stitch. Since I had to upsize to US7 needles to get the gauge in st. stitch, I'm thinking I will need to upsize from the US5s as well to get correct gauge for the garter stitch bodice but I don't know to what size I need to go as there is no gauge specified for that needle. My first thought was that if I needed to go up one needle size for st. stitch, then I should probably just go up one needle size (to US 6) for the garter stitch section as well, even though the difference between US5 and US6 is .25mm and the difference between US6 and US7 is .5mm. Additionally, I am concerned because the pattern states:
[I]There is a great deal of negative ease to this pattern particularly in the garter stitch bodice, this is what gives the dress its slim fitting nature and guarantees a good fit.
If you are a particularly loose purler, I would suggest swatching both in the round and flat. You may find you need to knit the bodice on a smaller size needle if your flat swatch has less stitches per inch.[/I]
I did my swatch flat and in the round (which is how the entire dress is made), so I am comfortable that the skirt will be at gauge but I am concerned about the bodice section since no gauge is given for the 3.75mm needles the pattern states to use for the bodice section and there are no finished chest sizes provided either.