Gauge - pattern vs. yarn vs. needles

I used to knit a lot in the past (moderate talent … at least back then) … I am trying now to use a pattern I have done a million times for a baby but, since it’s been so long, I am having trouble. I pulled out some yarn which I had used in the past for this pattern and ordered (hopefully) enough of each color to create another masterpiece! :wink:

The pattern calls for size 3 and 5 needles. The gauge on the pattern reads 4.5 sts = 1". I have started this 2x and it just seems too incredibly small! The band around the yarn (Berroco Comfort) and it’s gauge reads 4.5 sts = 1" (for #9 (18 sts)) or 5 sts - 1" (for 8" (20 sts)).

Would someone be able to help me figure out what needles I actually will need to use to make this sweater? (So much more older, but no more wiser…)

Thank you, in advance!

Welcome to KH!
The gauge given on ballbands is for some average knitter out there. Likely the same is true for the pattern and designer. Your gauge may differ and may change with time.
Best to do a gauge swatch to work out which size needles to use to get the pattern gauge. You can measure gauge with the needles you’re using on the part of the sweater already knit. Then cast on for a swatch (about 24sts) and knit for ~4 inches using a size larger needle. Measure across the middle 4 inches and see if that gets you closer to the pattern gauge.