Help for new knitter: gauge and swatch

I am a brand new knitter and am attempting my first project that is not a rectangular dish cloth. The instructions for gauge say to knit (in ribbing) 24 stitches by 18 rows = 4". After creating my swatch as instructed it measures 5" wide by 3" tall. Since I am one inch too wide & one inch too short, I am not sure how to go about adjusting my needle size in order to create my project.

Any help would be appreciated!:shrug:

Gauge can be confusing for everyone, so don’t feel alone! If you look on this site, you’ll see lots and lots of references to gauge questions!

'Nuf said. In your case, your swatch is too big. That means you need to go down in needle size at least one step, and possibly 2 sizes. Rework your swatch with needles that are 1 size smaller and see what happens. If the gauge is still too big, try it again with the next smaller size.

Now, that being said, here is a tip: When you are doing a swatch to test for gauge, don’t just work the number of stitches given. Instead, work at least 10-12 extra stitches. Then, when you go to measure for gauge, measure from the center of your work. This will give you a truer idea as to what your gauge really is. Also, when determining gauge, don’t get too hung up on the length. After all, you can always work a couple more rows to get the length!

Good Luck!

When I am knitting a swatch, I cast on 2 extra stitches than the “gauge” is.

For example, if “gauge” is 18st=4"…I cast on 20st. Then I measure the middle 18st. Not the end stitches. And BTW, to keep the swatch from curling up real bad, I KNIT the end stitches on both sides. This create what is called “an edge stitch”.

Your STITCH GAUGE (width) is more important than your ROW GAUGE.
[U]If you have to chose one or the other[/U], chose to get PERFECT STITCH GAUGE.

You didn’t mention what you are knitting. If you are knitting a sweater, you can make up for ROW GAUGE that is a teensy bit too short when you follow the pattern directions to “knit until the piece is XX inches”. Just keep knitting until you satisfy the length required.

And I agree with everything that Spokaloo said! [B]Good advice![/B]

I just thought I might add my personal 2 cents!:wink: