Help! My gauge changed while knitting

My gauge has been changed while knitting…

The pattern says the gauge is 21 stitches with 4mm needle, and with double threaded of silk mohair yarns

I thought my swatch was 21 stitches (im using 5 mm needle. I knit tight i guess) but then while knitting the actual sweater, Ive measured the gauge again on the actual garment, choosing the regions where the stitches are not affected by the needles
and it gave me 22 stitches!

Guess i was knitting a bit more tighter when I was actually knitting (which hasnt really happened before)
and I am not sure how much this 1 stitch difference can cause the overall size of the sweater.

Anyone has had the same or similar issues? The sweater is half through already to decide to knit from the start over again…

Hi jenny0507,
Did you make a swatch that was larger than 4inche s?
I usually cast on an extra 10 or so stitches than suggested because the edge tend to distort.
Another reason for gauge changing is as you knit you may relax more.
Not sure I’d want to start again either,knitters choice!
Hope it fits whomever it’s intended for

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I am wondering then, if it is okay to knit the rest of the pattern in bigger size? (lengthwise or number of stitches you increase for sleeves?)

In general:

  • When changing needle size both stitch count (in 4 inch) and row count (in 4 inch) will change, but mostly row count.

  • When changing yarn weight both stitch count (in 4 inch) and row count (in 4 inch) will change, but mostly stitch count.

So by going further up in needle size your row gauge might change too much… so it would be good and more safe to make a new swatch piece to see what effect it has on your knitting and if the look of the stitches is changing too much.


While I agree that gauge is important, to an extent, it is not crucial – unless you are going for a specific size. Is one extra stitch going to make a huge difference? It will be larger, true, but by how much? Is it going to matter.

The thing about knitting is that is very flexible. It will fit several sizes, and be okay. So maybe it won’t matter too much. I don’t know, because I don’t know what you are making, or what size. Only YOU know that!

When you are making the swatch, you MUST make it larger than the 4 inches… someone suggested at least 6 inches. I agree. And it should be knit as you will the project… I mean, is it flat or in the round? That will make a big difference too! Small points, but very important!!

When we work the swatch, sometimes we are more anxious and can be a little more tense. That makes for tighter stitches. We tend to relax once we are several inches into the project, and our ‘tension’ does change. It also depends on how our day has been going… so many things will affect our knitting!! Take it all into account. Don’t get yourself stressed over small changes!! But learn to relax, and work as consistently as possible. It will come the more you do it.


Any possibility that you have picked up a needle size different from the beginning? Check that out, eh? I always keep a needle gauge handy by. Noting the pattern specs, make sure the needle is still matching…

I found some years ago that needle sizes vary somewhat between brands and countries so be careful when swapping out needle numbers, eh?

Good luck and happy knitting!!

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