Do I need to adjust the gauge?

Hello lovely ladies and gents! I’m getting ready to start my very first sweater (just in time for spring/summer, right??), but before I go ahead and purchase this yarn, I’d like to try and clear up some confusion I’ve encountered. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible!

Ok, the gauge of the recommended yarn (Lett-Lopi) is:
18 sts & 24 rows = 10 x 10 cm using 4.5 mm needles

The guage for the yarn I’d like to use (Garnstudio DROPS Karisma):
21 sts & 28 rows = 10 x 10 cm using 4 mm needles

I’m going to be knitting a fair isle sweater, with chest dimensions 89 cm, length to underarm 40 cm, and sleeve length 47 cm.

The pattern has a repeat of 8 sts around the yoke, and 4 sts for the body.

My question is what, if any, adjustments do I need to make to get the same size sweater with the thinner yarn?

Thank you all in advance!

What is the gauge given in the pattern you’re using? Since the Karisma gives you more sts/inch than the Lopi, you may be able to knit the next larger size and come out with the dimensions you want for your size.

The guage given in the pattern is 18 sts & 24 rows = 10 x 10 cm. The pattern book is Lopi #28 and I’ll be knitting the Riddari sweater.

Would it be worth it just to go ahead and order the Karisma and then just knit a few swatches?

I just have no idea how to adjust gauges, especially when working with a pattern, so if someone can explain the thought process of figuring that out, I would be ever so grateful! :slight_smile:


the other sizes are chest: 93, 98, 102, etc cm, if that helps.

The yarns seem to be fairly close. Order the yarn you want and knit a fairly large sample, be sure to do it in the fair isle pattern as a fair isle sweater is knit at a tighter gauge. Then wash and block it to see how close you are. If you’re really off, you could knit another size of the pattern so you get the finished measurements you want.

Ok, that’s what I’ll do then! Thank you :slight_smile:

Ok, I have another question regarding gauge for this sweater. I went ahead and bought a different yarn that was closer to the weight of Lett Lopi (DROPS Nepal) and knit and blocked a swatch for it. I guess I tend to knit tight, because the gauge I got is 19 sts = 10 cm for St st, and 19.5 = 10 cm for fair isle on 4.5 mm needles. I didn’t knit in the round for my swatch, though. Will my gauge be different when knitting in the round?

Yes, your gauge will be slightly different when knitting in the round versus flat.

Easiest ex: Most people tend to knit tighter than they purl. So, when working stockinette in the round one would knit every row. The swatch will be smaller than if one worked the stockinette flat and purled every other row which would make it looser/bigger.

The opposite is true for Garter stitch.

Any other pattern varies dependeing on the knitter and technique (Fair isle oftten comes out looser when worked flat and tighter when worked in the round, especially a small round).


I just whipped up a swatch in the round and it was indeed tighter! :frowning: It looks like I’m going to have to knit a large instead of a small, the way I knit. I’m really afraid that it’s going to turn out HUGE on my boyfriend and I’ll have to frog it and start all over. This will be my first sweater ever, so I’m very nervous. I really want to start it though, so I guess I’ll just give it a try!

Is it actually possible that I would knit a size large with a slightly heavier yarn and get a size small sweater? The gauge of the yarn I’ve got now is 17 sts and 22 rows = 10 x 10 cm, and I’m getting 20 sts = 10 cm… My knitting doesn’t look tight - in fact it’s quite stretchy. Am I doing something wrong??

The gauge given on a yarn label is to put it into a weight class; that’s useful to compare yarns, but you need to go by the pattern’s gauge. The pattern might use a larger or smaller needle than on the label anyway. Fair isle knits up tighter than it would if just using one color too.

If you’re knitting fair isle and you knit tight be careful not to pull the floats on the back too tight or the fair isle will be all bunched up and won’t lay smooth.