Guage Problem

I’m trying to start a hat only I can’t seem to get the correct gauge. I’m on my 5th swatch to measure the gauge but it seems like the closest I’ve gotten is 2 stitches too many and not enough rows. I’m getting completely frustrated with it. Gauge is supposed to be 16 sts and 32 rows = 4 in. Because my gauge counter shows 2 inches I’ve been just getting 3 inches and measuring 2 then doubling the results. Also I’m just undoing the test cloth and using the same section of yarn to do another gauge test, can that be messing it up? I’m going to go get some different size needles to see if they help me get the correct gauge but what do you do if you don’t get the exact gauge?

But how many sts per inch do you get? You should aim for 4sts/inch or 8 in 2".

There are various ways of fixing gauge issues, but – assuming it’s a relatively non-complicated pattern (i.e. not a lace pattern or solid cabling) – you can just adjust the math.

The gauge is 4 sts per inch. Take the number of stitches it tells you to cast on; divide by 4 to get the number of inches you’re casting on. Figure out how many stitches per inch you’re getting in your swatch, multiply that by the number you got before, and there’s your CO number.

You may also have to do some fudging when it comes to decreases, since you’ll have a different number of stitches to decrease, but some patterns that’s fairly easy.

…vertical (row) gauge doesn’t usually matter so much, since a lot of patterns do “knit for 6 inches” rather than “knit for 24 rows”, and so you can do however many rows that takes. (so if you find a needle+yarn combo that hits the horizontal gauge [stitches per inch] but not the vertical gauge [rows per inch], go with that and don’t worry about it.)

On size 8 needles I get 6 sts per inch.
On size 6 needles I get 7 sts per inch.
On size 3 needles I get 7 sts per inch.

I’ve also done it on size 10 needles but it was too many.

You’ve got to think backwards with needle size and gauge. You see that the smaller you go, the more sts you get? So you need to go larger; how many sts/inch do you get on 10s? If you get 6 per on 8s, then maybe you get 5/inch on 10s. So you may need to go up to size 10½ to get 4/inch. Or if you’re using a thicker yarn than in the pattern, you may have to forget gauge and just knit with the needle size that won’t make it too stiff, figure out your sts/inch times the head size and use that for the CO number of sts.

I get 5 sts on size 10. but I need to get 8 so does that mean I’d go smaller not larger. What I’m confused with is that I get 6 on size 6 and size 3’s… That doesn’t seem right to me.

You need to get 4 sts, not 8; 8 sts is over [B]2[/B] inches not one. Forget your gauge counter, use a ruler. CO about 24 sts and measure 16 sts in the middle of that piece. You should have 16 sts in that 4 inches, or 4 sts per inch.