Confused about gauge (and changing pattern size)

Hi all, this post has turned out a bit long, so I’ve put helpful sub headings in to make it clearer what my questions are!

[B]Background:[/B]
I’ve been knitting since I was little but have never paid much attention to gauge until the last couple years when I started getting serious about knitting properly. I never learned about different wool types (4 ply, etc) because I tended to just pick one I liked and use my favourite needles and pray it worked out!

But now I’ve begun spinning and between all the different regional variations for names for yarn and imperial/metric measurements etc I am very confused!

I will be using my own homespun yarn so I will take a WPI measurement when its finished as I have no idea what “size” you’d call it.

[B]This is the pattern:[/B]

[B]Question 1:[/B] I want to knit a free pattern that has different sizes up to 24 months but I want to make it for a 4 yr old size. Should I try to double the pattern and hope that is big enough, or should I fork out the money to buy the bigger pattern?

[B]Question 2:[/B] I’ve just started to get my head around the gauge method taught on LBY’s website (measure 1 inch by 1 inch and count the total number of stitches) but I don’t get how to knit a gauge swatch for this: “29 stitches and 37 rows = 10 cm stocking stitch”

Do I knit 29 stitches (with a few extra either side) and do 37 rows in st st (again, a few extra) then measure the middle to see if its 10cm square?
What if its not? How do I adjust it, bigger needles if its too small, smaller needles if its too big or is that backwards?

Please bear with me if I am still confused, I’ll try to make sense of it!
(Wish we had worldwide standard measurements for everything sometimes!!!)

Also, I would like to do the 24 month version using some lovely 4 ply (NZ measurement) Alpaca, how does that relate to the yarn the pattern lists:

“Hifa 4-ply Superwash, 100 % worsted wool, 300 m per 100 g skein or Hifa Alv 100 % worsted wool, 700 m per 100 g skein, held double.”

This is my yarn: http://felt.co.nz/listing/57420/Lavender---100-Alpaca-Yarn---4-Ply---50-Grams

For myself, I would spring for the pattern for the 4-year-old. That said, the pattern is fairly simple and knowing your gauge with the yarn and the measurements of the child at say shoulders and chest as well as length from shoulders to above the knee (or whatever length you choose) should enable you to attempt it. Don’t spend time doubling the dimensions and hoping.
Do as you suggest for the gauge swatch: use the numbers given and add a few more sts on either side plus a few more rows. Measure the middle 4 inches. It’s going to be more accurate than measuring just one inch square. Avoid the edge sts as they are never quite straight.
If you have too many sts in 4 inches, try larger size needles. If you have too few sts in 4 inches, try smaller size needles (you’ve got that right). Also, see if the feel of the swatch is what you would like it to be. Too stiff or too drapey may not suit you no matter what the gauge says for the yarn.

Depends what weight the yarn is. You can use heavier yarn and larger needles to get a bigger size of the pattern. A 4 yo size isn’t much wider than 24 mo, maybe 2-4" more around the chest, but would be at least 4" longer. So doubling the sts would get you an adult size. Use the childrens/baby size charts to see the difference in measurements or figure out what finished measurement you need by measuring a dress or top you have that fits her. You can see what you get by knitting about 36 sts for 3" and measuring 4" across the middle. If you have too few sts, switch to a smaller needle; too many sts and you need a larger one.

The 4 ply alpaca would be about the same as the fingering weight used in the pattern.

Thanks very much! I’m about halfway done on the gauge swatch at the moment so stay tuned! :slight_smile:

Is 27 st & 34 rows in 10 cm close enough or should I try the next needles down?
Pattern says 29 st & 37 rows in 10cm.

Also, the pattern vaguely recommends a “small” 3mm circular. What would people consider small?
80cm (32 inch)? 100cm (39 inch)? Even smaller?

Maybe a 60cm/24" circ. I don’t think the dress will be much bigger than that.

The gauge you’re getting is larger than for the pattern, but since you wanted a bigger size, that might do it. Divide your sts per inch into the sts at the chest to see what that would measure - it could be fine.