Gauge not coming out right

I am working on this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/patchwork-sampler-throw-l0603

A kind soul did the math for me and in a 4 inch gauge, she came up with 24 st/4 in (for square 1).

[ul]
[li]56 * 4=224[/li][li]224/9=24.888…[/li][li]24 st / 4in.[/li][/ul]

^^^ That is how she came up with it.

So the pattern says (for square 1) to use a size 8 needle. I went down two sizes and got about 17 st/4 in. So I went down 1 at a time until I ended up at a size 3 needle. :wall:

And my gauge is still only at 19 st/4 in. :hair:

So my question is…Did she do the math wrong or do I just need to find a new pattern?? :shrug:
Something else I just thought of…should I be doing my swatch in a cable pattern instead of stockinette? I read somewhere that if the pattern doesn’t specify, do stockinette but then I read somewhere else to swatch what you’d be doing in the pattern.

I don’t know about the math. I just make a 4" swatch and count the stitches.:shrug: Are you using a different yarn weight than the pattern suggests because that can make you’re gauge completely off.

The thing is…the pattern doesn’t say how many stitches are in a 4 inch swatch… it says “1 square = 9x9” I assume that’s the finished square for the pattern but how do I match that to a gauge?? I’m so confused. :wall: :???:

I’m using the same exact yarn. I bought it specifically for this pattern but I didn’t check the gauge the first time I did it and my square measured at somewhere around 11 x 24". :shrug: That’s waaay too huge…so I tore it apart and started over. I figured I should check this gauge this time around but the pattern is quite vague about this. At least to me?

Each pattern square has a different gauge. You can see that for a 9" square in some stitch patterns you cast on 56 stitches while in others, 35 or 40sts. That means that the gauge varies with the square.

Since the squares are knit separately, that’s not a problem but it does mean that you likely need to knit a gauge swatch for each of the 5 stitch patterns and that the swatches should be in the pattern stitch. You may find that you get gauge for all 5 patterns with the same size needle but better to know that for sure.

You can either work a 9" gauge swatch by casting on the given number or cast on half the stitch number and knit a 4.5 x 4.5" gauge swatch for each stitch pattern (Watch out for the stitch multiples when you do this though.)

It’s a gorgeous blanket and worth all this preparation to get it to work.

Salmonmac - So in other words… I need to make each square at the suggested needle size and go from there if it doesn’t work out to be 9"?

I guess when I think of a swatch, it’s a 4 inch piece of the pattern…not necessarily the entire square. It just seems so time consuming if it keeps coming out incorrectly and then to have to tear the entire thing up.

But …and correct me if I’m wrong… this is saying to just make the entire patterned square, if it doesn’t come out 9 x 9"…adjust your needle size and do the whole thing over again?? :eyebrow2:

You don’t have to knit the entire square. You can knit over half the cast on sts (that’ll be about 4.5 x 4.5") as long as you take into account the pattern repeat for some of the squares. You should always work a greater than 4" gauge swatch anyway so that you can measure over the center 4".

You only have to do this once for each pattern (5 different patterns), not each time you knit a square. It does take time but this way, you’ll be able to end up with squares that are about the same size (9x9") and easy to match up and seam.

Some of these patterns, like the cables are very stretchy so you’ll have to measure gauge over a moderately stretched swatch. Yes, start with the recommended needle size and adjust from there. If I need to change needle size, I just knit onto the new needle and keep going on the same swatch. Just mark where you changed needles.

So would you advise just doing the 9x9" swatch then? That seems to be more accurate?

And sorry, I didn’t mean to make it sound like I needed to make a gauge each time I did a copy of the same square. I was just saying that it seems really time consuming if it the gauge for …say square 1… kept coming out wrong and I ended up remaking the entire swatch 3x before figuring out the correct needle size. Making a smaller swatch seems less time consuming but maybe also a little less accurate? I guess I just have to suck it up and do it.

Well, getting it on the needles helps. You can do 9" but I think I’d try half the sts myself. It’ll likely be close enough given the stretch in some of the pattern squares. If you only get to work a couple of cables, for example, it’ll at least get you into the right ballpark for needle size.

Plus, you already know the needle size that gave you the 11" square so start with something smaller than that. Get the stitch gauge and don’t be too concerned about row gauge. Just knit to 9" in length.

Thanks so much! Sorry, this is the first advanced pattern I’ve tried and the first one I’ve really had to consider gauge… so I guess I have a lot of questions. :think: I don’t know any knitters in real life either so tackling something new is a bit challenging at times.

One last question and then I promise I’ll get to knitting! If I do the 4.5 x 4.5" …I do see what you’re saying about being careful where the pattern repeats so do I cut the number of rows in half as well?

Where it says: Rows 17-64: Rep Rows 1-16 three times, would this be done once maybe instead of 3x?

It’s good to ask questions and be clear where you’re going with patterns. We love questions here so don’t hesitate.

You don’t have to knit all the rows. 4- 4.5" should do it. And yes, probably doing row 1-16 will get you close enough. You really only need to worry about stitch gauge. On the actual square (not the swatch) if you don’t get through a full repeat of the correct number of rows, I wouldn’t worry about it. It’ll still be a lovely square.

Thanks so much! You’ve been so helpful and I really appreciate it! :hug: