Okay, I am sure I will get this gauge, swatch thing soon!

Okay my swatch is on the counter laying on a towel pinned down and tomorrow I will have results, but I want to make sure I get this right in my head. When I finished my swatch kinitting according to an article I read I was to hold off on measuring until I blocked my swatch, so I did not measure, but I thought about it and wanted to make sure I was at least close to the required gauge. The swatch was only off by a milimeter or so, so after dunking in the water and rolling it in the towel to get rid of excess water I gently patted the swatch out to get the gauge and pinned it down. I guess that was okay, but now I am presented with another issue which is my pattern instructed me to get the gauge with the larger needles (5) and to knit the body of the garment with the smaller needles (4). Wouldnt that mean that the gauge would be off again. I mean as it stands I am getting barely getting the gauge with the size 5 needles, if I start using the size 4 needles, wont my swatch then be to small. So confused, please help.

Do you have a link to the pattern?

No, sorry I don’t have a link to the pattern because it is out of the Winter 2005/06 Vogue Knitting magazine off the rack (in case you happen to have this issue I am knitting the shawl collar jacket, instructions on page 103), but here is the info on Gauge:

Materials:
8(9, 10,11) 3 1/2 oz/100g skeins (each approx 223/yd/205m) of Patons Classic Merino Wool (wool) in #202 aran

One pair each sizes 6 and 7 (4 and 4.5mm) needles or size to obtain gauge.
Size 7 (4.5mm) crochet hook and stitch markers

Gauge:
20 st and 26 rows=4"/10cm over St st using larger needles. Take time to check gauge

Even though they are calling for sizes 6 and 7 I am getting the gauge with the size 5 needle because I am not using the yarn the pattern calls for. I substituted the manos del uruguay.

According to this instruction the needle size I get the gauge with should be the larger needle which in my mind means the size 5 is going to be used to do the ribbing on the sleeves and the size 4 would be for the body (is this correct?).

I have the magazine.

According to the instructions, you cast on with the larger needles and knit the body with them.

The only ribbing is on the sleeves, and this is where you start with the smaller needles. Ribbing is always done with the smaller needles–at least I’ve never seen it done with the larger ones.

I think I must have typed the wrong info, yes ofcourse you do the ribbing on the sleeves with the smaller needles. My question was probably posted prematurely. Anyway, now my swatch has been blocked and interestingly enough I got the gauge width wise, but length wise is another issue altogether. I guess if I try 5 1/2 needles instead of 5 I might be better off. This is definately trial and error. Can I use the yarn I already used for blocking to make another swatch or should I never use that yarn again.

One more question?. What happens if you get your gauge after gently tugging on the knit item, block it and later after you have worn it you wash it. Isnt there a chance the item will bounce back to its initial state before blocking.

As far as stitch gauge (the width of your swatch) and row gauge (the length of your swatch), if you get the correct stitch gauge using the size 5 needles but your length is a bit off, stick with the size 5 needles. The length of an item is much easier to adjust, simply by knitting more rows. You cannot adjust the width in the same way. Often patterns will say to knit until _____ inches are achieved, and this is no matter how many rows it took you to get there. You don’t have the same leniency with stitch gauge.