Gauge... a favorite topic, for sure!

:?? I’ve looked in the other threads but can’t seem to see where this question has been answered before. I’m either not searching by the right term or too mired in details to understand what I’m reading… or it’s a really silly question and I should swatch it<G>.

I have worsted weight yarn that says 18 stitches for 4 inches on US 8. If I go up in needle size to say an 11 or 13, does the number of stitches per linear inch (the width) change? What I"m tryong to get to is whether I need to adjust the number of stitches I cast on.

I can see how the row count to reach a 4 inch swatch would be lower.

Is there a method to calculate / estimate how going up in needle size would impact the gauge on the width or would it?

Yes it does change - larger needles make larger stitches so there’s less of them in 4". Smaller needles produce smaller stitches and there’s more of them in 4".

The gauge and needle size on the label is mostly to fit a yarn into a weight class and so you can substitute yarns easier, you might not actually get 18 sts in 4" yourself on size 8s, you may get 17 or 20. And a pattern with the same yarn might not use the same needle, or have the same gauge so you’d use whatever needle matches the gauge in the pattern.

The best method to use is to knit a sample and see what you get, there really isn’t a formula. CO about 20 sts with the 11s and see how many stitches you get in an inch or 4". I usually get 3 sts per inch with worsted on 11s, you might get more or less depending on if you knit tighter or looser than I do.

You’d need less stitches, so if this is for a sweater, you’d have to figure out which smaller size you need to knit to make the finished measurement come out the size you want. If it’s a hat or scarf, multiply the width you want times the sts per inch to see how many sts you need.

Knitting a swatch and playing around with different needle sizes is a great way to see what happens to gauge. It also makes it all much easier to remember.

I have just recently started logging my gauge information, yarn type, and needle size on Ravelry. I hope to some day have a fairly accurate bank of gauge information for the types of yarn I use. Of course, your gauge can vary somewhat even when using the same yarn/needle, but at least I’ll have some idea of where to start with a particular yarn.

Does anyone else do this?

I don’t write it down, but pretty much know what gauge I get on different needle sizes. I usually knit a little sample though when I start something, just to make sure.

I also have a similar question. I am working on this pattern:

They say 17sts in 4" on US 11 ie 4.25sts per inch. I am having 3sts per inch on number 11 needle. They have asked to Cast 96sts.

Howmany sts should cast on more to get the same measurement (16" circumference and 20" long)

I dint make a circular swatch. This is my 1st project where I am going to knit in round and thats why I am not sure?

I’m so far from knowledgable that I’m almost afraid to reply with what I’d try first.:aww:

I think the idea is to get as close the the pattern gauge as you can, if the size of the object matters. So if you have fewer stitches per inch that the pattern says on the 11s, my first try would be to go down one size on the needles to a 10.5 or maybe 10 until you get the gauge called for.


Get out the calculator… 96 sts at 4¼ sts per inch is actually 22". So for the same 22" you’d need 66 sts - 22x3.

However, at 3 sts per inch you’re going to have a fairly loose knit which you may not want. You could try a 10½ and see if you get closer to the right gauge, then you wouldn’t have to change the stitch numbers.


Thanks everyone. So when they calculate total sts they mean to match with the 96 cast on sts.
Then how did they get 16" circumference. Cos 96/4.25 is 22.58"…

There’s not a direct correlation between the gauge in this pattern and the cast on sts. That’s because the gauge in done in stockinette stitch and the pattern is a k4p2 rib. The rib is going to pull in the sts and give you more sts per inch. So you can either drop down in needle size in stockinette stitch til you get 17sts/4 inches or you can re-do your gauge swatch in k4p2 rib and see if you get 24st/4inches (that’s 96sts/ 16inches).
Very cute pattern but it’s one that makes me remind myself that I’m knitting the cocoon and not the baby.