Help with swatch

I did a swatch for the tank I am going to knit. I had the guage absolutely perfect before I blocked the swatch. I am using 100% peruvian highland wool ( Wool of the Andes) by knit picks. The pattern is Butter by Melini Melini Designs. The pattern calls for 6 stitches per inch and 7 and 1/2 rows per inch. After I blocked it I am still right on for the 7 and 1/2 row per inch but the stitches are only 5.5 per inch. that 1/2 a stitch difference per inch seems extremely minimal to me as it means I would be out less than one millimetre per inch. But when I figure it out over all with casting on 180 stitches it would mean that I would be about 15 stitches too big after blocking.

Now if I go to a bigger needle will it wreck the 7 and 1/2 rows per inch? I am not sure if this part matters so much as it says stitches per inch are more important to fit correctly.

You need to use a smaller needle, your stitch gauge grew (less sts per inch means the sts are larger). Even if your row gauge changes it won’t be enough to affect the lengths which are usually given in inches anyway. You knit to 12" say, whether you have 7½ rows per inch or 7, use the tape measure instead of counting rows.

oh thank you, I would have mistakenly knitted a new swatch with a bigger needle. I did very well in math at school so I can’t believe how much of a goof I made on that one! Well on a good note that means I get to try out the harmony needle sample of size 6 that I bought! thanks so much for straightening that out for me. We are very fortunate to have a site such as this as I can imagine how frustrating things must have been years back when the ability to solve an issue wasn’t available at the touch of a button.

Yes, it’s pretty easy to get answers. In the ‘old days’ before the internet, we mostly just messed around with the yarn and needles and figured it out.

I am now wondering if I should just knit the tank with the size 7 needles anyway. The reason is that I feared the tank would be too big at 5.5 stitches per inch. Now I know it is the opposite. The tank is supposed to hug the body. I am about the size of the lady in the picture and often times smaller. (my weight goes down more than up) It says that it is very easy to try the tube on so I am wondering if I should start knitting it and just try it on after a couple of inches, almost treating it as a swatch. If it is too snug then go to bigger needle and start over. How does this sound?

A couple of inches might not be quite long enough to get an accurate measurement. You’re thinking the wrong way again - at 5½ sts per inch you’d get a larger size. The size 6s at 6 sts per inch would make a smaller one. Or you could work on the 7s and make a smaller size.

If you don’t mind frogging a bit if necessary then go for it. :thumbsup: What kind of yarn are you using? Which pattern? I think this is the link. I still can’t seem to wrap my head around stitches and sizing at the moment, (backwards mind I guess) so I will definitely do the size 6 swatch. It is better for me to trust the numbers then what my own head comes up with! Like a pilot trusting to his instruments to let him know he is right side up even though his mind is telling him he is upside down.

ok I finally wrapped my head around it! When I make something else I better reread these posts or I might do the same thinking next time!

It takes a while to realize smaller needles = more stitches so the size is smaller, and vice versa. I get confused too, and have to really think it out sometimes.

It helps sometimes to convert your st gauge to the actual size it will produce when the sts are cast on. At 6sts/", 180sts gives a measurement of 30"; at 5.5sts/" you get 32.7". The directions in this pattern make a similar point in the paragraph under Cast On, since fit is critical.

I am understanding it better now. I am determined to get the gauge just right before I start the tank. I definitely don’t want to make something that I will not wear so I have started a new swatch.

I am concerned though about eventually taking on a pattern that is mistakenly mixed up. I came across a sewing “tutorial” that actually wasn’t a good tutorial at all. The designer claimed the top took only 30 minutes to make and was so simple. I hadn’t sewed in a while so it seemed like an easy project at the time but as I went along I realized she didn’t take the time to actually explain measurements, size of material or much else. I was left to just eyeball the cuts. It was called a pillow case top. Of course hers looked fantastic. I was making one for my daughter and it didn’t turn out at nice at all as I had to do so much guess work. I have an idea how to make it better(hopefully) but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I would hate to take a month knitting a pattern that someone just " threw together".

Most patterns are pretty explanatory, use common terms and tell you what to do and when. You can always have one of us look through it to check, just provide a link to the pattern if it’s online, or one that we can reference somewhere. If you’re not sure about something in it, you can post a few rows of it to ask for help.