Having trouble getting correct gauge

I am a relatively new knitter working on baby pants that uses worsted weight yarn (I have previously only done blankets and scarves).

The gauge is 20sts and 26rows = 4" in stockinette stitch with a #6 needle.

I tried this, and my 20sts measured about 5.5". I went all the way down to a #3 needle and I am still getting 4.75" for 20 sts! Using a #2 needle just seemed too small for a worsted weight yarn.

Am I doing something wrong? Why can’t I get 20sts to equal 4"??

:think: Are you sure your yarn is worsted weight? The gauge does seems way off. I know some people knit loosely, but this seems extreme. I can only think that the yarn may be thinner than worsted.

You may be using a thicker yarn than the original pattern. You might try dk or sport weight. BTW, to measure gauge, it’s better to CO more stitches, try 26 in this case, and measure the 4" in the center of it. The edge sts aren’t the same size and curl under so they’re not the same size as the middle sts. If the pattern does say to use worsted weight, then maybe you can make a smaller size of the pattern which has less sts and willl end up fitting.

Actually, I’m using the exact yarn that is called for in the pattern (same brand and weight), so I’m not sure what’s going on. I also did do swatches of 26sts (doing garter sts on the edges so it wouldn’t curl). I saved my 2 extreme swatches and here’s what I got:

Using a #3 needle:
20sts = 4.75"

Using a #8 needle:
20sts = 5.75"

I just can’t seem to get close to 20sts = 4". Also, I don’t know if I’m at the level of adjusting the pattern yet:help:

Something is off there, that’s just way off for worsted weight with those size needles.

To adjust the pattern just do the math. Figure the inches desired and the actual gauge you’re working and you’ll know how many stitches you really need to work with.


If pattern says gauge is 20 stitches for 4" and tells you to cast on 100 stitches. That gauge is 5 stitches/inch (20 divided by 4) so you’re casting on 20 inches (100 divided by 5).

Your gauge is actually 20 stitches for 5.75 inches you know that your gauge per inch is 20/5.75 = 3.5 (rounded off). So for 20 inches you need to cast on 20 times 3.5 = 70 stitches.

Clear as mud?

Knitting_Guy -

Thanks for the help. I think I got it now and I’m ready to go. Hopefully I can get these pants knitted before my baby enters college! Haha. I just read a few entries of your blogs - very entertaining and fascinating!