Scarf Gage question

I’m a crocheter who has reciently decided to take up knitting.

I want to knit a scarf (I’ve done two VERY simple ones already), but I can’t seem to get the gage right. I’ve tried two different sized needles (the recommended seven and then eight) and it still comes out too small. I don’t remember for the seven, but eight comes out to 4.5 stitches per inch rather than 4, so it is very slight. The scarf isn’t elaborate, so would it make sense to just go ahead and knit it and have it come out slightly smaller or continue to try different needles until I can get the right gage? I mean, if I were making something like a hat, I’d assume the latter, but I am not sure how terribly a slightly off gage would impact a simple scarf.

Gauge on a scarf isn’t really critical, but if you want it wider, then either go up to size 9s or cast on more stitches. You may be knitting a bit tight too, which will make the gauge smaller, so if you’re knitting a stitch, then pulling on the yarn to tighten it up, stop pulling the yarn; making the next stitch naturally tightens the previous one.

I never thought gauge was critical when knitting a scarf but it can be subjective. If you don’t mind the scarf being a little narrower because of the gauge you are getting, then go ahead and knit it up.

Is there a pattern repeat to your scarf? If so, you might want to add enough stitches to get an extra pattern repeat across and get the extra width. If it’s a plain scarf in a knit or garter stitch, you can always just cast on extra stitches if the width matters to you.

Just remember that if you add stitches you will need more yarn than your pattern calls for.

You can also try to go up one more size needle and see if that helps. The stitch will open up a bit more depending on the yarn you are using and you may or may not like the look.

Scarves are pretty flexible items to knit. Play around until you get what you want.

Hope this helps.


Also, if it’s a wool yarn, you might be able to block it wider.

Gauge amongst knitters can be incredibly varied. I always go down a good 2mm, which can come to 3 or 4 sizes, because I knit so loosely. Other people have to do the opposite because they knit very tightly. My advice would be to just go ahead and enjoy knitting the scarf, and when you’re ready for something that does require gauge, experiment with much bigger needles.

I just wanted to say that I think this is excellent advice (along with all of the others here) and I would have said the same thing.

I also did crochet first and knitting second… and I also do both quite tightly… and I’m also doing a scarf as my first project. I wanted it to come out really nice, so I’m just doing one all-over pattern (seeded rib) and changing colors as I go along. I cast on the correct multiple of stitches that I needed to get the pattern (turned out to be 37), but I’m not following any patterns from a book. The ribbing is making it pull in, rather than being square, so I intend to block it when I am done to see if that opens it up a bit.

I don’t give much thought to guage on a scarf. Unless you are making socks or sweaters etc where guage is critical it won’t hurt if you are a bit off.

Gauges? We don’t need no steenkin’ gauges! :mrgreen:

Seriously, it’s a scarf. gauge just isn’t all that important.

The only time I’m fussy about my gauge (tension as its called in the UK) is on a sweater. scarves are jsut one of those things that I don’t check the gauge for. So I would say just knit it with what ever size needles you are comfortable with.