Gauge: Down to my smallest needle and still too many stitches!

Hello all. I’m getting a bit frustrated so hopefully you can help. The swatch calls for 20 stitches = 4 inches on a size 4 needle. Well I’m down to a 2! and still getting 4.5 inches. What do I do?? (Don’t really want to use toothpicks. hahaha)

Thank you.

What pattern is it? Sounds intriguing lol!

It’s a simple baby hat but I can’t get the gauge on a size two needle. Any suggestions? TIA!

I’m, this might have itching to do with it, but, just a thought, or two.
Have you checked if it is the US or UK sizing on the needles? (I don’t even know if this is what they are called and I am sorry if this is incorrect terminology.) I really don’t know much about it other than they are different sizes.
Also did you check the yarn you are using is correct for the pattern? Perhaps if it is thicker than the pattern requires then your swatch will come out bigger?

Otherwise, I think I’d choose a different pattern with needles you are comfortable with.
Hope you work something out.

This is the most likely reason, I think.

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Thanks for yr input!