Gauge Help!

I’m a new knitter, though I’ve been crocheting for years. My first knitting project was a lace shawl so I didn’t have to gauge. Now I’m wanting to knit gloves for my husband but when I did the number of stitches/rows that were supposed to make a 4 by 4 square it was a full inch too big!! I am normally a tight crocheter so I dont even know how this is possible- and I dont know what to do with such a big overshot. I was knitting on 5’s so to change needle size I would have to go teeny tiny, and using worsted weight yarn, which I would like to keep for their warmth in making gloves.

What could have caused me to be soo far off?

First off, you need more stitches than given in the gauge to accurately measure. The goal isn’t to make a 4" square, but to find out how many sts are in an inch or 4". Size 5s and worsted is really tight, and I’m not sure going to a smaller needle would help, theres a certain point where the yarn won’t squish down further. You could use thinner yarn and the same number of stitches; you could try a different way of holding your yarn, or finally you could use a different number of stitches with the needle size you’d like for them. Calculate the measurements according to the correct gauge as given in the pattern, then work to those measurement in your gauge.

Hi, Courtney13. I’m also a very experienced crocheter and a pretty new knitter.

Gauge and tension are very different in the crochet and knit worlds. As you (and I!) experienced, a tension which in crochet feels “just right” is “too tight” in knitting. You’ll want to use a larger knitting needle and loosen up quite a bit before getting back to the gauge swatch for the gloves. In fact, it might be helpful to make a very loose neck scarf as a transition project between the crochet items you’ve made and the knit gloves you plan to make. (Too bad you didn’t check gauge for the lace shawl, but it’s not too late: just knit a 5"x5" square using the needles & yarn recommended, and see where you are relative to the desired gauge. The more data in, the better conclusion you can draw.)

I received this advice only a couple of weeks ago, if that tells you where I am in the “learn to knit” process. The way my hands interpreted knitting tension, it felt almost sloppy relative to crochet tension. And at that precise moment, my one-on-one mentor said, “That’s right! Just like that!” to my utter disbelief.

So that’s my suggestion: use a larger needle, maybe two or three sizes larger, and lay down maybe 7 or 8 inches’ worth of stitches in your cast-on. Then knit in whatever pattern (garter? all knit sts) (stockinette? knit one row, purl the next; repeat) is easiest for you, disregarding the 4-inch gauge idea. What you (and I) are looking for is springy, bouncy yarn a couple of rows out from the needle.

Very s-t-r-e-t-c-h-y stuff.

Best wishes on learning to knit!


It’s also possible you’re using a heavier yarn than the pattern calls for. If you can link to the pattern that would be helpful.