Help--Gauge Question

I’m working on the Hooded Vest from 2007 Holiday issue of Knitsimple. The pattern calls for 8 stitches per 4 inches. I’ve got the back done up to the armholes and I’m getting 7 stitches per 4 inches. Also, the back is supposed to measure 18 inches across and mine measures almost 21 inches.
Do I go up a needle size or down to begin again?
Thanks for helping!

Go down a needle size. That will make your stitches smaller so you get more per inch, and makes the same number of sts measure less so it fits. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a sample (usually called a swatch) in a good size so you know if you need to change needle sizes or knit a different size of the pattern.

Thank you for your answer. I did make a swatch with the US19 needles and it swatched at 8.2 stitches per 4 inches so I went with the 19s. Now I ripped it all out and cast on with US17s but I’m swatching at 9 stitches per 4 inches. I’m at a total loss as to what size needles to use.

If you want it to measure 18 inches, that’s what you should base your gauge on.

Take your number of stitches in the pattern directions and divide it by your gauge per inch and then see if that gets you 18".

Your tension can sometimes be slightly different when you start knitting a piece than the gauge. More width and a longer piece can change the gauge. Start the vest again with the 17s, I’ll bet they’ll be just about right. :wink:

Thanks Ingrid! That made so much sense to me. :inlove: