Gauge when not using the pattern set yarn

Hello all,

I am currently knitting ‘Smocked lace scarf’ by Veronik Avery ( The pattern recommends using Fiddlesticks Knitting exquisite (50% merino wool, 50% mulberry silk, 547 yards/50 grams), however this yarn which looks fabulous is not available in the UK and not online with UK shipping either, so I had to adapt.
I am usually ok at doing so but this one has been more problematic. I chose Artesano Alpaca 4 ply (408.0 yards (373.1m) 100% superfine alpaca), a lovely yarn and have knited a lace shawl with it before with great results. The recommended knitting needle is US2 (2.75mm), I changed to 3mm.

The gauge say 36sts and 39rows =4’’ (10cm).

When I knitted my sample swatch for the gauge it seemed fine, but I am now not so convinced and wonder if I should be using a bigger kneedle like 3.75 to make it lighter and so that the pattern is clearer.

I was wondering what you thought?

Thank you all for your help. :grphug:

Have you tried blocking your swatch to see what the lace will actually look like when finished? Blocking will give you a better idea of the lace pattern with your yarn. Alternatively, you could also do a swatch on the larger needles and block that as well to see which you prefer.
What a lovely pattern and scarf!

Yes, I think your yarn is a little heavier and maybe you should go up a little on the needle size. With a shawl the gauge doesn’t have to be exact, but you don’t want the sts or pattern too dense. Block what you’ve got first, see if it’s open enough for you, then decide if you want to use a larger needle. You may even want to go up to a 4mm.

Thank you girls :-). I have changed needle size! :woohoo: