Ridges in my stockinette; questions about gauge

Hello from a new member and new knitter! :smiley:

Having picked up knitting after about 25 years (when I was still a beginner), I have now completed 4 scarves and am getting ready to knit a simple hat on 2 needles (size 7) with Red Heart 4-ply worsted (what does that mean?) acrylic yarn.

I dutifully knit a swatch to see what my gauge is (first time I’ve done this). The instructions said the gauge should be 20 stitches x 26 rows = 4" square.

I started out with several rows of garter stitch, and then decided I’d better do stockinette since most of the hat is stockinette, so I continued with 26 rows and then put some more rows of garter stitch after that.

I haven’t measured the swatch yet.

Here are my questions:

Should I test gauge with stockinette or with garter, or does it matter?

Do I count the cast-on row in the 26 rows?

I have the long loose final stitch problem, too, and the edges curl, so I’ll read those posts.

My stockinette part of the swatch has ridges. Every other row (I don’t know whether it’s a knit row or a purl row) seems to stick up a little, or somehow cause ridges from side to side. What is happening, and how do I fix it?

Thanks for your help!

p.s. I’m knitting in continental style. One grandmother taught me continental (yarn entering from left hand) and the other grandmother taught me the opposite way, so sometimes I get confused. Can I mix these without a problem?


First question-the ply of a yarn refers to the number of spun strands it has. It doesn’t always tell you much, because an 8ply yarn can be thinner than a 4 ply yarn. Worsted is the more informative word here. Worsted is probably the most common thickness of yarn–about medium. You can go up to bulky and chunky or down to dk sport and fingering weight.

If you’re are getting horizontal ridges in your knitting it says that you’re knitting and purling at different tensions. I suggest that you try circular knitting for a hat. All you stitches will be knitted and you’ll still get stockinette.

If you want to knit flat in st st, you’ll have to experiment to see if possibly you’re knitting too loosely on one side or another. Some people have to use a different sized needle for the purl side than the knit side.

As for mixing styles, your gauge can change with the style, so if you start a project where gauge is important, you might want to pick one or the other.

The most important swatch measurement is the horizonal one. You can change the number of rows you knit for row gauge, but you can’t change horizontal gauge once you start. I’d measure on the st st part, and if you don’t have enough to measure 4 inches, measure 2 inches and mulitply.