Length of gauge problems with a pattern

Hi all,

I am currently working on the Starfish Shawl from Knitting Nature. I have heard and read up on all the errors that were made in writing out the pattern and when I try to figure out the diameter of the finished piece compared to my gauge it just doesn’t match up…

My gauge in length and width both match up perfectly to what is called for in the book. But the book calls for the pattern being almost 4 inches longer than would allow. The pattern is worked from the outside in. Every round I decrease one stitch for every divided section untill only two stitches remain in each section.

If I am this short of length will it mess up the finished piece. Like a big hole in the back or puckering when I finish it off?? I haven’t seen any corrections that say anything about this but I would hate to put all this time into this and not have it look right. Could I skip a few decrease rows throughout to add the 4 inches in another way?? Should I just keep at it and not worry so much?? I really hope I don’t have to give up on it because I am so loving the way it is comming out so far.

Any help would be very much appreciated…


We need some more info on construction… if it is just round, it won’t need to buckle. If it is round with a border knitted on around the circumference later, you might have to make the border a repeat shorter, whatever it is, in lace, blocking should fix it. Are you using a natural fibre? If so, try to block it while still on the needles, a full wet block to the desired size and shape, and see how that goes. It sounds like each segment is done inwards, in that case each segment should end up the same length, I don’t see why you’d get a hole. Can you describe the construction a bit more and exactly what you’re worried about please?

Hi Redwitch
And thanks for trying to help me. I am working with Baby Alpaca, in the round, working inwards on the shawl, and it does have a lace pattern to it. It is basically shaped like a pentagon. With all five sides worked in the round for 4 inches, then split for arm holes so I work both sides at the same time (the same way I have done like when I break yarn for doing the neck area on a sweater) for 8 inches and then rejoin for the center for another 12 inches. So it seems to me that the length of the rows is pretty important so I get the correct amount of length for the shawl. 30 rows = 4 inches and 146 stitches for each section. I decrease one stitch for every row but if I do that by the time I am at my last decrease or the center of the pentagon I would have only created about 20 inches in length of work instead of the 24 inches the drawing/outline picture says should be on there. From the outside to the center.
If I block it first to figure out if it would be that way after blocking then wouldn’t I have to work my begining that I’m on now, the arm holes ect. to those dimensions?? It says to block when finished so I would think it would say different dimensions of length to knit by to get the end result after blocking.

Sorry if I have confused anyone further. I just don’t want the center area on my back to be too short…

Again any advise or help is most appreciated. If you need more info please let me know. I am new to asking for help so I don’t really know everything I should say.