Help! I'm tearing my hair out in frustration!

I’d like to make the “Odessa” hat, which seems like a project I can master, but gosh, I just can’t get gauge!!! :hair:

I couldn’t find Rowan Cashsoft DK, so I bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, which is practically identical in fiber content and I believe it is identical in gauge (and boy, this yarn is just SOOOO YUMMY!!! I LOVE it!!!)

The gauge listed in the pattern is 26 sts x 33 rows = 4" on size 6 (4mm) needles in the hat pattern knit circularly.

Cashmerino’s gauge is 22 sts x 30 rows = 4" on size 6 (4mm) needles.

Whenever I’ve knit in the round in the past, my gauge has [I][U]always[/U][/I] been the same as knitting flat, so I never do a gauge swatch in the round–I’ll just do a gauge swatch in stockinette knit flat, and it’s never been a problem. I figured I’d just try doing a stockinette gauge swatch knit flat for this hat. Well, normally, I always have to go up a size in needles, so I’ll automatically try my gauge swatch in the next size up needles. I didn’t hit gauge using 7’s (4.5mm), and then I even tried size 8’s (5mm), and I still am coming up with my gauge swatch larger than 4"–how can this be??? The yarn is DK…I can’t imagine that using size 9’s (5.5mm) will be okay. Is it really possible that I’d have to use 9’s??? I mean, I knit a [I][U]little[/U][/I] bit tight, but not [I][U]that[/U][/I] tight!

Long story short, I guess my question is, do I [I][U]really[/U][/I] have to do a gauge swatch in the round, in the hat pattern? :ick:It just seems like it’s going to be a lot of time and work for just a gauge swatch. :verysad:

well…if your gauge swatch is coming out larger (more than the 4" for 22 stitches) doesn’t that mean you need to go DOWN in needle size? Or did I mis-read something?

Also, if it were me, I would do it in the round if the instructions specify that…but I tend to be overly cautious that way!

I understand how frustrating getting gauge can be! Don’t give up!

You can simulate a swatch in the round w/o actually doing it. CO enough stitches for the swatch specified (usually enough for 4") and knit across. Then instead of purling back LOOSELY drape your yarn across the back and knit across again on the RS. Continue in this manner till you have your swatch.

:?? yup–smaller needles, more stitches per inch.

Is [I][U]that[/U][/I] the case? I should go [I][U]down[/U][/I] in size? Boy, I feel so dumb–no wonder I can’t get gauge! :doh:I’m so used to having to go [I][U]up[/U][/I], I never dreamed I’d have to do this with [I][U]smaller[/U][/I] needles!

Jan, is what you’re saying is to knit the swatch like you do an i-cord, where that yarn is trailing behind the work? Because if it is, then I’m very happy I don’t have to do this in the round with dpn’s! So I can work that pattern the same way I would do it in the round?

Well, I hope I understood what you were saying correctly - let us know if you solve your problem by going down in needle size :think:

Okay…now I have a new question. I tried Jan’s method of imitating knitting in the round while knitting flat, and it looks great! But I’m unsure how to measure my gauge swatch since the knitting kind of slopes. I’m only halfway done with my gauge swatch, but I wanted to see if I was on track or not before I went any further. My rows seem to measure out great; I just don’t know how to measure my stitches across the swatch correctly (sorry my pic isn’t the best, but it kept curling up when I was trying to scan it).

One note–I did have to increase the gauge swatch to 30 stitches across rather than 26, because the pattern is multiples of 10, so it will be a bit wider than it should be at just 26 stitches.

Looks like you did it right, but I have no clue how to measure that one! :think:

I got it–actually, although the sides slope–upon further inspection–they are actually parallel to each other (it’s kind of like a parallelogram shape), so I just measured them that way, and guess what?

I HAVE GAUGE [B][U]FINALLY[/U][/B]!!! :woohoo::cheering::happydance:

Thanks everybody SO MUCH for all your great help! :muah:This hat is going to be for my very best friend–who like the hat’s creator–is also from Odessa, and I want it to be as perfect as I can get it so it’s a fitting tribute to her hometown and a great gift from friend to friend.