How much can you stretch your sweater during blocking

Hi, I’m making a 100%merino wool sweater for my husband. I’ve only knitted about 6inches of the front and it’s starting to look too small. my gauge was right on, so I’m confused and wondering if when I go to block my sweater, if it is too small, can I stretch it to be larger???

Please help, I don’t want to keep knitting if I really need to just unravel it and start over :frowning:


How much too small? The gauge on a swatch sometimes ends up being different than when you actually knit the piece. Measure what you have done and see if it’s still the same gauge. Measure the whole piece widthwise and see if that’s going to be enough for the back or whatever piece you’re doing.

You can stretch a bit during blocking, but if you have to do more than an inch worth, it’s probably better to use a larger needle or go up to the next size.

I agree with suz - and it depends on how loose the knit is - if it is lacy it will stretch more than a densely knit item. It also depends on the yarn: cotton does not stretch much at all…

Thanks ladies! I think I’ll have to start over, it’s quite a bit off (several inches). I decided to use a different yarn than the pattern calls for and I think it’s thinner. I also went up a needle size b/c i know i’m a tight knitter (I just didn’t compensate for the yarn.) I guess the best thing for me to do at this point is to go up a size (or two?) and see if that works.

Thanks again:)

If you’re a tight knitter, then yes, go up a size or two. Do a sample, CO about 24 sts and knit a couple inches in the next size larger, then go up to the next needle size and do a couple more inches. Then see which one gets you closer to the gauge given in the pattern.