Gauge question -- my first attempt at a sweater

Hello, all!

I am ready to start my first-ever knitted object that’s not a scarf or enormous afghan :cheering: … but now I have to deal with gauge.

Knitted a gauge swatch for the cardigan I want to start. They want me to have 10 stitches = 4 inches, and 13 rows = 4 inches. I ended up with 10.5 stitches = 4 inches, and 14 rows = 4 inches. Not worried about the rows so much as I am that extra .5 stitch horizontally.

Here’s the question: do I need to move up a needle size? Or should I just figure I’m “close enough” and plow ahead with the sweater? Or is there a way to sort of tinker with the number of stitches in the pattern to make up the difference?

Thanks very much for your help … I love this place, and someone smart always bails me out when I get baffled! :heart:

I would, because even .5 stitch can turn into whole inches on your piece, so, it would be really worth it, if you want it to fit.

Thanks, ContiKnitter! I will try another swatch with larger needles and see if I can get it right.

I’m assuming that if I size up on one set of needles for the project, I have to size them ALL up, right?

Project calls for 13 and 11. So I’d use 15 and 13?


That’s right! Always go down 2 needle sizes for the ribbing or edge.

a more accurate way to do a gauge swatch is to CO 26 stitches, k 3 rows in garter stitck (k every row) then k3 p20, k3 on the wrong side rows and knit across the right side ros… this will give you a square of st st inside a garter stitch border. Then measure your square to the closet 8th of an inch, and divide 20 by your measurement. If your square (exclusing the border!) measures 3 and 5/8ths of an inch, you’d divide 20 by 3.625 for a gauge of 5.51 stsiuches per inch.

if you have TOO MANY stitches in your satch, go UP a needle size.

If you have TOO FEW stitches, go down a needle size.

Thanks very much for all this handy gauge info. I sized up the needles this weekend and knitted a new swatch … and got EXACTLY THE SAME measurements I had on the smaller needles! Grrrrr.

So this morning I will try doing it your way, Hildegard, and maybe I’ll have better luck.

If I keep having to size up, it won’t be long before I’m lopping off tree branches to use as knitting needles! :teehee: