Stitch gauge correct; row gauge WAY OFF

(x-posted to various places online)

Hi everyone, I am hoping someone can help me out.
I’ve been knitting for the past 5 years, but I cannot for the life of me get the hang of correcting gauge!
I attempting to make the Mandarin top/blouse/thingamabob from the latest issue of Interweave, and the gauge says:

18.5 sts and 26 rows = 4" in rib patt.

So, I knitted a gauge swatch, and I got one that was just short of 4" for 18 sts, on size 9 needles.

Then, I used size 10, and knit a swatch that was 33 sts. by 18 rows,
and I got 18.5 sts and 16 rows = 4".

uhhhh, wth am I supposed to do about this? 16 rows is nowhere near 26 rows. How on earth do I correct the row gauge so drastically, without affecting the stitch gauge just as drastically? I really don’t want to mess with a bunch of math for the sleeves/neckline adjustments if I don’t have to!

Also, when making a gauge swatch, with a rib pattern, are you supposed to just set the swatch down and measure it somewhat bunched up, or are you supposed to stretch it out somewhat? I measured it just the smallest bit stretched out (so that the rib was visible, I don’t want it to be skintight as I’m not small by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn’t specify anywhere in what state it was measured, so does anyone have experience with that?

Finally, in relation to this:
I could have sworn knitty had an in-depth article about just this very thing (correcting gauge, I mean) in the last issue (winter), but I cannot for the life of me find it, although I’ve perused all the archives and everything I thought might have something to do with it. Anybody have a link, or know where it is?

TIA! I appreciate it.

Could there be an error in the pattern?

I have no idea, to be honest. I guess so.
Anyone with the latest issue of Interweave Knits wanna check out the pattern? I don’t have it handy but it’s the Mandarin top. Somewhat near the back.

It calls for 18 sts and 26 rows = 4" on #8 needles.

I tried it with size 8, then 9, then 10, b/c I knit pretty tight and I wanted to make it just a hair larger than the closest size to mine. I guess I could try going back to 8s and knitting as loosely as I can, but would that really make a difference of 10 rows?? sheesh!

I really want to get this top done, I have almost nothing for summer and it’s already getting warm here. :XX:

In regard to your last question, here’s a link to one Knitty article about gauge with some interesting stuff in it:

It looks like all the instructions are written for length rather than rows, so you probably could knit it regardless of your row gauge. 16 inches is 16 inches, after all.

Also–are you using the same yarn? I noticed that their’s is mostly cotton, so maybe it doesn’t spring back as much as other yarns???

Ingy, do you think that a significant difference in row gauge will affect the amount of yarn yardage needed for the project?

I measure my ribbing laid flat, with no stretching.

Good question. I don’t know the answer, though. My guess is that you’d probably use more yarn. Ya think?

Well, you’d think! I don’t know. I didn’t want to make a dumb@$$ suggestion though :oops:

That is exactly what I was looking for and could not find. Thank you so much!

Thanks everyone for the help.

I went back to the size 9 needles and knitted another huge gauge swatch, about 44 sts by 44 rows, with a border of garter stitch all the way around.
While knitting this I realized that I was not watching the tension of the yarn in my right hand. I used to knit really, really tightly, but tried to loosen up, and it’s been over 2 months since I picked up needles, so apparently I just needed to get back into the groove. I think I was subconsciously worried about knitting too tightly and overcompensated.

This time I got approximately 18 sts = 3.75" and 26 rows = 4.25", so that is much, much closer. I’ll make another huge gauge swatch with size 10s and if that gives me my 4" or slightly over without another huge row issue, I’ll use those.

thanks again!

Now, I have another question about the pattern, but I’ll post it in another thread. If you know anything about double-knitting, please help me out!

I haven’t double knitted either, but I’d imagine that the directions for the sweater will become clearer as you do them. Since you’re going to swatch again anyway, why not give them a try with that and see what happens?

glad you seem to have figured it out!