How to change tension/gauge given

Hi. I purchased a pattern for a girl’s shrug. The tension given is 20 stitches for 4 inches on 4mm-4.5mm. I’m looking for yarn and I’m finding that #3 yarn is usually 22-24 stitches and #4 is 18 stitches per 4 inches.
How would I adjust the tension for this pattern?

The yarn weight system that classifies some yarns by numbers (#3 or #4) covers a range of gauges.

Group 4 worsted weight/aran and is usually defined as 16-20sts/4inches. This is a convenient guide but doesn’t substitute for knitting a gauge swatch with the yarn and needles as your tension may vary. You can change needle size to adjust tension and to see if you like the resulting knit fabric.

Does the pattern have a recommended yarn? Sometimes designers want you to knit at a looser gauge to get a particular effect, such as a drapey fabric. Also, does the shrug have a stitch pattern such as lace? This can give a different gauge.

For these reasons, it can be better to try to match the yarn by choosing something with similar yardage and weight and similar fibre content.

It does, but I can’t purchase it here in my city. No lace pattern on this one; just basic stocking stitch with garter stitch edges. I like this pattern because it’s knitted from the neck down; no set in sleeves, less to sew together. I’m planning to knit 4 of them for my young granddaughters and finishing is not my favourite part, as with most knitters.


Hmm, okay. Does the yarn specified in the pattern have the same recommended gauge of 20sts to 4 inches? Or is the designer knitting it a bit looser?

If you can tell me which yarn it is, I can probably help a bit more. (I live in Australia so I always have to substitute yarn brands!)

P.S. Knowing which pattern it is would be great too.

Sorry, I just re-checked the pattern and it doesn’t have a recommended yarn. That makes it more challenging.

The pattern is called “safara” and I think I purchased it from Lovecrafts.

Is it this one?

So cute!

Sorry, I’ve just got to pop out now, so I’ll just add that I found the pattern on Ravelry (pattern database), and there the designer has recommended KnitPicks Shine Worsted, which is a worsted weight cotton blend.

If you’d like to follow her lead, you will want to look for a cotton or cotton blend with around 70 metres per 50g.

Alternatively, you can go for a worsted weight wool and knit it slightly more loosely than the recommended gauge (20 sts per 4 inches rather than 22). Swatch to see if you like the fabric. If it seems too loose, you may be able to knit one size larger at 22sts.

Knitting at 22 sts rather than 20 sts will give you a size about 90% of the stated size.

Lovely project for your granddaughters!

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Thanks. I appreciate all your assistance. :blush: is a handy site for yarn substitution.
Here are their recommendations for yarn that is close to KP Shine Worsted.

I hope we get to see a photo of this little sweater when you finish. Very sweet.

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