Question about Casting On

This is my first knitting project and I don’t really know much about it, this question may sound stupid but I really need help. The pattern I have says cast on 13 stitches on size 8 needles. I did exactly what it says but it’s supposed to be 3 inches in length but It’s not. What am I doing wrong? I just don’t understand because every time I redo it and measure the cast on it’s only 2 inches at best. Help please!

Does the pattern give you any help on the size/weight of yarn to use? If you’re using the correct size of needles and casting on the correct number of stitches and not yanking them so tightly that they’re about to die, then it’s almost [I]got[/I] to be the size/weight of the yarn.

Or…there could be a specific cast-on method the pattern requires.

Check the pattern [B]and[/B] the yarn label.

Good luck!


The cast on most often gives you the [I]width[/I] of the project you’re knitting. Is it possible that the pattern is telling you to cast on 13sts and work in some stitch pattern (e.g.ribbing, garter stitch, stockinette) for 3 inches in [I]length[/I]? By length I mean some number of rows until the knitting measures 3 inches from the needle down to the cast on edge.
It might help if you quote just the beginning of the pattern directions (not the entire pattern) at the cast on portion or can post a link to the pattern.

The cast on is going to be shorter than the knit width, so just keep knitting and measure it after a couple of rows.

If you’re trying to do a gauge swatch and it says that 13 sts should be 3", you really need to CO more sts because the edge sts are different and curl under so shouldn’t be measured. Try about 18 sts, knit for 3" then measure across 13 sts in the middle of the piece to see if you do match 13 sts in 3".