Confused on gauge for a scarf

I found a pattern online
The gauge says to 14 sts + 18 rows = 4 in. [10 cm] in Stockinette st (k on RS, p on WS).
I understand how to get the scarf pattern right, but how do I add or create the gauge. Do I create it before the scarf? Add in on later by sew it together? I have made lots of crochet scarfs but the patterns on adding what looks like a border are different.



A gauge swatch is what you do in advance of making the item. Knit a square of about 5" in the posted st pattern (stockinette). Measure your sts and rows to make sure they correspond to what the pattern calls for (in this case 14/18). If your sts and rows don’t match your scarf will end up larger or smaller. Not a big deal usually with a scarf but were it a sweater it wouldn’t fit. If you want your scarf exactly the size of the pattern, chg your ndl and/or yarn until you find the right match.

ETA: more info here:


You don’t add the gauge to your finished product. Rather, you do it beforehand to see what dimensions your knitted stitches and rows have. Gauge is a method of quantifying your tension, which, ideally, should match the tension indicated in the pattern, so that the fabric you produce will match the one intended by the pattern.

But all of this is kind of moot, because you’re knitting a scarf. Gauge is important when it comes to fitted items, sweaters and the like. When it comes to a scarf, you have a lot more leeway.

If you like, you can knit a gauge swatch, (but it probably isn’t necessary for this project). Cast-on 20 or so stitches and just knit and purl back and forth to create a stockinette sample. Then measure how many of your stitches add up to four inches. If it’s 14 stitches, then you’re right in line with what the pattern calls for.

The vertical gauge for this pattern is 18 rows, but really, vertical gauge is pretty irrelevant when it comes to scarf making, since all it determines is length. Just keep knitting till the scarf is as long as you want it, then bind-off. Done!

My advice would be to ignore the specified gauge, and just experiment with the yarn a little. Using those needles and the way you knit, does the fabric come out the way you want it to? Or is it too tight (in which case you can use a larger needle) or too loose (try a smaller needle)?

Once you find a tension you like, cast-on for the project and knit away. It’s a scarf, so “fit” doesn’t really matter, just the suppleness of the fabric.

thanks, one more question for the gauge how do you work in the verical gauge?.

Row (vertical) gauge counts mostly when you are making something with shaping. A pattern may call for a certain number of increases or decreases per a certain number of rows to shape an armhole or make a sleeve. If your row gauge is off then your sleeve/armhole will be off as well.

Many patterns will ask you to knit to “X” number of inches before doing something and in that case, row gauge isn’t that critical.

In a scarf it shouldn’t be too much of an issue – you follow the pattern until you are happy with the length or run out of yarn.

You will find that if you are using a yarn and needle size with a close enough gauge to what the pattern calls for you will get the row gauge pretty close as well. It’s when you change needle size to get the gauge with a different yarn that your row gauge gets all wonky.