Having trouble with guage(Easy Tank Top by Lorna Miser)

Hi All, I was so happy to see that my order came in today and decided to try knitting the Easy Tank Top by Lorna Miser. It was a free download but I can’t recall where I downloaded it from. The pattern reads, Guage—14 stitches=4inches in St st. I am using Knit Picks Comfy Worsted which is 75% pima cotton and 25% Acrylic. So far I am on a 5mm needle (size 8 I believe) I am getting 14 stitches in about 3 1/2 inches. Do I try to go up to a size 9 needle? How big of a swatch is necessary to make? also do I just lay the swatch down and gently flatten to measure or do I stretch it out a bit? Maybe there is a video I can review somewhere. Otherwise any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

After writing the above I read an article about making a swatch. It mentioned that the swatch should be knitted with some of the pattern repeats in it. The above pattern is ribbed for the entire tank but it says 14 stitches = 4 inches in St st. not ribbed. will this matter?

lol OK now I realize the yarn I am supposed to use is bulky not worsted. Oh well I will pick another pattern for now.

It sounds like you’ve pretty much answered your own questions but these are some helpful videos for gauge. Scroll down to that section and also take a look at the video on blocking your gauge swatch.
It is good advice to knit the gauge in pattern but since rib is so stretchy, the pattern gives you the equivalent gauge in stockinette. I do what the pattern says and knit the swatch in stockinette.

for what it is worth, i can almost NEVER match the gauge of patterns. I haven’t a clue why.

I finally sort of gave up and found some shareware on the internet that you type in your gauge and it will spit out a basic sweater pattern. then you can embellish it if you want to add cables etc. that works for me when I can’t match the gauge