1x1 ribbing gauge for scarf and hat

I am knitting a 1x1 ribbed scarf and matching hat using a pattern that calls for a gauge of 18 r and 24 st per 4" using #6 needles in worsted weight yarn. The small size I am making for my son is supposed to be 5" x 36" and it says to cast on 29 st.
Well, 29 st do NOT make 5" in my knitting and I get way more st per in (if I’m counting the gauge right) for my gauge. So I tried #8 needles, I’m getting closer to gauge, still not 5" wide but I don’t like how loose the stitches look, I’m thinking of trying the #7 needles but I sort of like how the #6 looked.
The yarn I am using is Caron Simply Soft 4 ply worsted weight yarn. I’m not so worried about the scarf, I could simply cast on more stitches to get it as wide as I’d like, however it does match a hat and that is what I’m concerned about. Should I match what I use for the scarf so they look the same? What would that do to the fit of the hat? Will it be very obvious if I used different sized needles? The pattern says to use straight needles for the hat but I wanted to use circular since I’ve already done one hat this way for practice and other than being too short it turned out great. Would doing this hat in the round also make a difference in ribbing? How can I compensate for the smaller gauge? Sorry for the rambling questions, I’m just not sure how to handle this hat! :?? :help:

I have two questions. Does the pattern specify that you need a gauge of 24 st = 4" [U]in stockinette[/U]? And are you measuring your gauge in ribbing? Because if both of those are a ‘yes’, then you won’t get your gauge to match the pattern’s. Ribbing pulls in on itself, with the knits standing out and the purls sinking back. That’s why it’s used for the edge of hats and such, because it is tighter than plain stockinette - and therefor stretchier. You need to swatch in stockinette (if that is indeed what the pattern specifies) and match your gauge that way. Once you have the right size needles to match gauge, just trust the pattern. Also, as you begin to knit a scarf, the measurement appears skewed a bit. It’s not until several (like 8 or so) inches in that you can get an accurate measure on how wide it will be. In general, your cast on will pull the stitches in, making it seem as if the scarf is narrower than it will actually turn out to be. So take it from here and let’s see how it goes. If you’re still concerned about the hat, let me know and we’ll work it out.

The pattern does specify gauge for ribbing so that is what I’ve measured. I don’t remember how many st I got in 4" in but I know it was quite a bit more than 24. Common sense told me to count both knit and purl stitches but maybe I’m wrong there. I’m more concerned about doing the hat. I don’t really like the looser look of the larger needles so I’d like to figure out a way to make the hat fit using the size 6 needles if that’s possible.

Yes, you count all stitches. Did you stretch the swatch, or let it lie flat?

I let it lie flat, I’m knitting it on my circs so I pulled it down to the cord and just flattened out the cord (so it didn’t curve, ya know) :wink:

Ya know, just cast on about 4-6 more stitches. That ought to do it.

Thats what I figure I’ll do for the scarf but what should I do about the hat??

If the hat is all rib, or rib edge with stockinette on the head, add more sts too.

You ask a few different questions.

  • Your gauge will probably change when knitting flat compared to circular. So make the hat first, then swatch flat to see if the same size needles will make the scarf look the same.
    Adjust needle size and # of sts if needed.

  • It’s my experience that k1,p1 ribbing is more stretchy than regular stockinette. Remember that as you try to decide how many sts you need for the hat. Also, k1,p1 rib can be tricky to keep in pattern as you decrease. If you can match gauge to use your pattern that would be helpful.

I recently made several different hats and was surprised how stretchy the ribbed one was.
The skinny one on the bottom right and the light grey one with the stripes are made out of identical yarn. The skinny one is k1,p1 rib, compared to stockinette for the striped one. Dh tested them for fit.