Ready to swear and beat my chest

hmmmmm… well, that may be overstating the situation… but I am finding it hard to believe…
Here’s the problem.
I’ve been knitting this cardigan… 2X’s now… and it doesn’t fit… so, okay… my fault… I didn’t do gauge…
So while in the middle of the 2nd one I tried it on and low and behold it is too small… when I did the first one, it was too big.
After all this time, I finally decided to do a swatch and to learn how to count my stitches so I could do gauge.
I did 3 swatches… with different sized needles using the same yarn hoping I could come close to the 18 st =4".
The pattern doesn’t state rows…
But the yarn says 18 sts, 24 rows = 4"
The first swatch knitted in st st on 5mm needles, was 14st = 4"
The next swatch done the same way with 4mm needles was also 14st = 4"
The 3rd swatch was done with3.75mm was 17st = 4"
But, I know that if I do it with such a small needle size, the sweater will be too small around the arm holes…
Try as I might I cannot get 18st=4"
I’m determined to knit a cardigan. I’ve knit 2 top-down pullovers without trouble… but the cardigan… that’s a different story.
The sweater is an easy top-down raglan by cosmicpluto knits.
Of course I am not using the yarn they recommend. I’m trying to destash to get rid of my cheap yarn so I can go for some real wool, expensive tho I know it is.
Here’s the address I have for this pattern… hope this works…

I can see I didn’t say what yarn I’m using…
It’s Red Heart Comfort yarn… 18s/24 r = 4"
It’s called a medium worsted…
Hope that helps…
TEMA :help:

The arm holes shouldn’t be a problem-I didn’t look too closely at your pattern but since you’ve done it twice isn’t it done by a measurement? ie “work until such and such measures so many inches/cm”? Because row gauge varies so much it would be impossible for any knitter to replicate the exact number of rows in a pattern. The most important thing to do is get the stitch gauge correct, and then remeasure your gauge ever few inches on your sweater and rip back if you’ve gotten off, because your gauge can vary day to day, if you’re knitting while stressed or distracted etc. That way you don’t have to redo an entire sweater but just a few inches.

That is sooooooo frustrating.

I hate gauge swatches, mostly because they seem to lie. The top down raglan cardigan I’m working on…uh, well, let’s just say I threw caution to the wind. I worked a sort-of swatch to get a rough idea of how many stitches per inch, worked out for the back of the neck and then about 1/3 that for the sleeve top. So far it looks like it will work OK, I know it did for crocheting them.

I hope that someone can help you with this problem. It’s so beyond my abilities, all I can do is commiserate with you.

First, use more than 18 sts; you’re supposed to measure how many sts in 4", not to make a 4" square. So CO about 24 sts and work for 3". Then measure across the center of it, don’t include the edge sts.

Now, the other thing with this pattern is that your gauge doesn’t really need to be dead on - do enough increases that the back sts measure about half the finished measurement you want for the bust when you divide for the sleeves. That could be exactly your own measurement, or a couple inches larger, depends how you want it to fit. So in the case of the one that was too big, you would have taken out a few rows. The too small one, you need a few more inc rows, then try it on - put some of the sts on scrap yarn or a couple more circulars - to see how it fits you. I would think that you could use size 7 or 8s and it should be fine, unless you’re a really loose or really tight knitter generally. Your frustration could be making your gauge wonky, so relax a little - have a glass of wine or a beer, or a shot… :wink:

Hi IttyBitty… Thanks for your reply. I’ve had another look at the pattern and from the yoke onward to the body… it says nothing about size… only knit so many rows or purl so many rows. It doesn’t mention until so many inches… that could be my problem and, quite franky I don’t know how I can figure out how many inches it should be for the yoke… what she mentions for me to do, I have done and it is a little small for me. It is also small for the armholes.
I tried on the first sweater when she said to try it on… it seemed small but I couldn’t believe that so I kept on knitting… it did seem a little small when I finished the sweater but the rest of the sweater was way too big… :shrug:
TEMA :knitting:

Hi Suzeeq… I did my swatches on 30 stitches in st st with a frame around the st st’s… did a square and then counted. The best I finally did was 17 sts…
And I’m sorry… I’m a dunce… but I really don’t understand what you are saying in the second paragraph… :??
Thank you for trying to help me out. I appreciate it no end.

I just had another look at the pattern, and more importantly, at the notes she had before you start to do the pattern.
She says it is easy to customize this pattern by adding or subtracting any # of stitches to make it bigger or smaller… So I’m thinking I will try again and this time I will measure myself across the shoulders and try to get it that size… not sure how I get the under arms right but I think I might be able to figure it out.
When I printed out the pattern, the notes didn’t come with it so I just blindly followed the pattern.
Wish me luck! :thumbsup:
And thank you all for your kindness in answering my questions.

Okay, a top down raglan has incs every other row. Instead of knitting XX rows as in the pattern, use that as a basis, but not your final length. Try it on when you reach that point and see how it fits. The inc lines form the raglan ‘seam’ and the front and back lines should just about meet at your underarm. If they don’t, do a few more rows; if they’re too long, take out a few rows. Also making sure you have enough sts for your body and sleeves. Another way to calculate when to try it on is when the back sts measure half the finished bust measurement you want. Say you’re aiming for 38" around - then when the back sts are 19" try it on, see if the yoke meets at the underarm at that point, if it’s too long or too short. There’s ways to adjust that. The main point is that she does say to try it on to get the right length for you.

So as long as your gauge isn’t drastically off, you should be able to adjust the length of the yoke this way. Also, did you wash your swatches (you can do just one with different size needles btw) the way you will the sweater? That can sometimes relax the sts so your 14 sts may hit 16, which is a little closer. It may be your yarn is thinner, so you can try a larger size of the pattern. The pattern does mention how long to make the body, and the sleeves can be any length you want.

Do you have a similar sweater to this one, that you like how it fits? If so, you may be able to measure it…

All the luck in the world to you on this sweater! :thumbsup:

not sure how I get the under arms right but I think I might be able to figure it out.

Are you needing a larger armhole? A pattern I have says that for a larger armhole on the top down sweater, just continue knitting a few more rounds or rows w/o inc, depending on pullover or cardi before closing it up under the arm. Does that make sense? If not, I can find the pattern and actually quote from it.

Well, I say go ahead! It can’t hurt and it might help!!! Do you need Merigold’s monkey hat first, though?

Just kidding, really. I hope you can figure this out soon. I know how frustrating it is not to be able to get the gauge you need!!!

I hate following patterns. I’m one of those knitters who likes to knit by the inch. My typical mitten pattern, for instance, is: Knit rib cuff for 3 inches, 2 1/2 to thumb, 4 inches straight knitting until you get to the decreases. I think you get my drift.

I don’t know if I’m blonde, or maybe it’s been a long day at work? My poor little brain isn’t fathoming this. How the heck do you get 18 stitches for 4 inches? That’s like 4 1/4 stitches per inch. A quarter stitch? Maybe I need to take Suzee’s advice and have a little glass of wine.

I’ve been winging this top down baby sweater pattern. Knitting Fool has a pattern generator, but I thought the stitch numbers were way off. What helped me a lot was this chart. I would get your gauge with the type of yarn you want to use. Get a flexible tape measure and measure your bust. Or get a chest measurement off a sweater or sweatshirt that fits you well. These percentages on this illustration might help you to get it right.

The ¼ st per inch is why you measure over 4". It’s a lot easier to count 18 sts over a wider measurement than partial ones in a narrow one.