I have been working gauge swatches all morning and can’t get it right. I’m supposed to get 18sts and 24 rows for 4" on size 5. Well, I get about 15sts and 29 rows. So I went to up to size 6 and got 22 st and 28 rows. What do I change? I don’t think I can change the pattern (it’s a wool soaker with short row shaping and 2 color stranding), but I can’t figure out how to make my stitches bigger without making my rows bigger. Any help? There are several places in the pattern where I knit till X inches in length - could I just shorten in those areas to make up for the extra rows I’m getting?
You should have rather gone down a needle size. If you got 15sts on a size 5 and you need 18, you need more stitches per inch. To get more stitches per inch, you need to decrease your needle size so I’d suggest you try a size 4. So it’s not that you need to make your stitches bigger - in fact the opposite. If you make your stitches smaller by using a smaller needle size, you will fit more stitches into the same number of inches.
That makes sense for the stitches, but I’m also getting too many rows (less sts/more rows) would smaller needles help here also?
Stitch gauge is generally more crucial than row gauge. Especially if you are making something that needs to fit, like a sweater, if your stitch gauge is off you will end up with a garment that is much too wide or much too narrow. If you row gauge is off it is much easier to compensate by knitting more or less rows. This is why patterns often will tell you to knit for a certain number of inches rather than a certain number of rows.
That said, I suspect that once you get the proper needle size in order to get the right stitch gauge, your row gauge will be a lot closer to what it’s supposed to be as well.
Ah, that makes very much sense. Thank you much…There are alot of spots in my pat for inches rather than rows. In fact, anywhere I’m knitting several stockinette rows, it’s for X inches. I’m knitting happy now :happydance: