Gauge question

Ok, I’m starting a sweater pattern and I actually decided to make the gauge swatch it suggested. Well, I’m glad I did because it’s coming up wrong. The pattern says the gauge should be 22 sts / 4" on size 5 needles. I’m using KnitPicks Merino Style for yarn. I knitted up a swatch on the size 5s and come way short of 4". On a whim I frogged and retried with size 8s (what I had laying around plus I was quite a bit short of the 4" with the 5s) and ended up getting the proper 4" with 22 sts. What I don’t understand is how my gauge could be 3 needle sizes off. I don’t think I knit all that tightly, it’s not hard to work with my stitches or anything. What should I do? The pattern is very mathematical and calculates the number stitches/increases/decreases based on actual body measurements, so I want it to be accurate. I REALLY don’t want to have to CO 300 some sts and work 40 rows before I figure out it doesn’t fit and have to frog.

Also, the pattern has ribs of 2 purl stitches throughout which pulled the wider knit sections together on the swatch. The directions say to lay flat and measure without blocking, so do I just flop it down and measure or can I flatten it so the purl ribs show? Does this make sense? Help!

If the 8s give u the gauge, you should end up CO the number of stitches needed. I have heard of people needing to move about 3 needle sizes. It may also be the type of yarn throwing off the gauge or maybe the pattern itself. I say use the 8s, but maybe someone else will have better advice.

:XX: april

First, it is very possible to be off by 3 needle sizes–the person who designed the pattern on size 5 needles might be a very loose knitter, right?

My concern would be with exactly what you’re supposed to be measuring.
Does the gauge instruction say to do your swatch in st st or in the pattern with the purl ribbing? If it is with the ribbing, don’t stretch it out to measure. If it’s not specific about the purl rows then I would check my gauge in st st.

It says to work the ribbing pattern over 22 sts with 2 sts on either end worked in garter st. I bought a bamboo circular needle ( i was using an aluminum Boye) so I’m going to try that as well.

MAke sure to knit your swatch at lease 5 x 5 too…your measurement will be more accurate that way.

Sometimes I think the recommended needle sizes on Knitpicks yarn are a little wonky. I’ve gotten several skeins of Merino Style that were almost as thick as WOTA, and knit up on size 8 needles, at amost the same gauge as WOTA. :??

Please help. I need step by step instructions on measuring stitch gauge. After I knit my swatch, I can sometimes get two different readings as to how many sticthes per inch. What is the most accurate way to measure?

http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring03/FEATswatchout.html

Here is a great article on guage.