Stitch and Row Gauge Don't Match!

This has been bothering me for awhile…

I can pick up a ball of yarn, and 99% of the time, with the suggested needles, my stitch gauge is perfect. However, my row gauge is virtually [I]never[/I] right. I always have less rows.

Right now, I’ve started a sweater. The gauge is 20 stitches and 32 rows is the 4x4 inch square. Mine is 20 stitches and 26 rows is a 4x4 inch square.

I know that since I know the measurements to the bind off for the armholes, that I will just go by that, and would end up knitting less rows than I would if my row gauge were what the pattern calls for, but can someone explain to me what it is about my knitting that my stitch gauge would be perfect by my rows are never right? And is there something I can do differently so that my rows would also be right? I’m feeling ‘deficient’…:tap:

I run into this [I]all the time![/I] So if you have knitting deficiency, so do I. :slight_smile:

Getting stitch gauge is the most important thing, and sometimes you will see a pattern that only lists stitch gauge. Generally I take care of it in a sweater in exactly the same way you describe. The only thing to consider is that if you have a pattern (for example, cables, or something with an elaborate repeat), it can affect the way it looks, and you may have to do some fudging. I always take copious notes when I am knitting something so I can keep track of any fudging I’ve done.

But yeah–if I get perfect stitch gauge, my row gauge is almost always off at least a little bit.


I forgot to mention–it’s a good idea to block your swatch in the same way you plan to care for your sweater, because that can actually affect both stitch and row gauges…

This happens to most knitters. Going up or down a needle size may not always change the stitch gauge, but can change the row gauge. But most patterns are written for the length in inches, not rows, so it’s not absolutely critical to get row gauge. That’s much easier to fudge than stitch gauge.

Oh, thank you all for these answers!! I’ve fiddled around with knitting on and off since I was little, but only recently decided to try to take up knitting seriously. I knitted my first real test swatch for a big but easy project today and discovered the same exact problem! [I]So[/I] glad to know I am not alone or doing something really wrong! :slight_smile: