Gauge help with sock pattern please

Ok - so I did a gauge swatch for the Knitty Thuja Socks

the pattern calls for
22 sts/36 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch (5.5spi / 9rpi)

on US 6 needles.

the pattern also says

Sized to fit a man’s foot 9-11 (for snugger fit, simply go down one needle size)

so I did my gauge swatch on size US 3 needles.

I got 24 sts / 32 rows = 4" (6spi / 8 rpi)

so while I think that my spi may be fine - may be I am not sure!

I don’t understand why my rpi would be less than what they’re saying to get using a larger needle?

my logic is that the bigger the needle the fewer rows per inch. and the smaller the needle the more rows per inch.

however, I’ve gone to a smaller needle and still aren’t getting as many rows per inch as they say I should get?

thoughts anyone?

  1. do you think the gauge I’m getting is fine since I’m using US 3 needles?

  2. why am I getting fewer rows per inch than the pattern calls for even though I’m using a size smaller needle?

The pattern calls for US 6 needles - I think your eyes picked up the “4” from either the number of needles to use, or the mm size. But, that is moot as the needle size in a pattern is only a [I]suggestion.[/I] A 1/2 stitch difference in gauge can add up over the width of a project and can equate to a substantial amount of too many/ too few stitches on a larger project but perhaps in socks t’would be ok as they’re not very wide. As far as your row count is concerned, I am reminded of EZ’s comment on row gauge: “…I’ve yet to find a good use for a vertical row gauge, since vertical measurements are much easier to handle in inches.” Hope this help!

Ugh you are right - that is the 2nd time I’ve goofed on reading the needle size!