Trouble with gauge


I have been knitting for several years and have always been able to get the correct gauge for my projects. However, I just purchased a new pattern for a top-down cardigan, bought my yarn, and for some reason, I cannot get the correct gauge for this pattern, after changing needles several times.
I have knitted cardigans and pull-over sweaters before, and have always gotten gauge. I don’t know if it’s the yarn, the pattern or me.
Does anyone have any suggestions what might have happened? When I changed needle sizes, my fabric seemed “stiff”. So, I have put my pattern away and have given up on this particular project. By the way, my yarn is Plymouth Encore.



It could be the pattern is written for a knitter that’s looser or tighter than you. You could make a swatch with a needle size that gives you the fabric you like, check your gauge and see if the size would match up with a different size of the pattern.

Try making a large swatch, about 6" - we often tend to knit tighter on smaller things - then wash and dry it like you will the finished pattern. When it’s dry hang it for a day or so, to mimic what happens when the sweater’s worn. Measure gauge before and after blocking and after hanging to see if that helps loosen up the gauge or the stiffness.

"By the way, my yarn is Plymouth Encore."
It would be helpful to know what yarn the pattern recommends, what the gauge of the pattern is, and if your yarn is the same weight as that recommended by the pattern.
Since Pymouth Encore comes in more than one weight, (DK,Worsted, Chunky, and Mega) perhaps the one you have is not the one the pattern calls for. Just a thought.

First of all, the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and the gauge is 20 sts=4",so therefore I have the correct weight of yarn (mine is worsted weight). I always check the yarn label before I puchase it, and I have used Plymouth Encore worsted weight in patterns before and never had any problems with getting the gauge, but this is a pattern I have never used and I don’t understand what the problem is–very frustrating.

Maybe you can search Ravelry to see if anyone else has problems with this particular pattern. Which is it? Maybe one of us has it.

Do the number of stitches per inch add up to the measurements of the pattern? What I mean is does the 4 st. per inch equal the measurements of the finished product?

Maybe the Encore is fluffier than the one called for in the pattern. I’ve used a lot of Encore in my days and like it, but I’ve found that it is thicker than some of my other yarns that call themselves worsted.

Just a thought.

Well, some worsteds are heavier or thicker than others, so that may account for the gauge difference. And like Ingrid, the Encore seems a bit thicker than other worsteds to me too.

I had that problem with Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. It’s supposed to be a worsted weight. I wonder on what planet. To me, it seems more like a sport weight. Also, what yarn does the pattern call for? You can’t just substitute a worsted weight for a worsted weight. Is this bamboo yarn, acrylic, wool, a blend? They each have their own characteristics and (my opinion anyway) can have a different gauge and drape differently from each other.

I haven’t done the math on the finished measurements, so I need to do that.

The pattern calls for worsted weight–but, on one of the pictures, they used Plymouth Encore, and this is a blend of acrylic and wool. I chose this yarn beacause I really like knitting with it. But, I may have to choose another yarn, or another pattern.

WoTA does have a sport weight, maybe that’s what you’ve got? I thought it was comparable to other worsteds though. The Merino is supposed to be dk, but it looked like the WoTA worsted to me. I guess merino squishes down a lot to a dk gauge, but you can knit it at a worsted and it’s fine.

Another thing I’ve noticed about worsteds is that they’re thinner than worsted weight from the 70s and 80s. Sometimes they’re a lot thinner, and the older yarn is more like what we call ‘aran’ now - a heavy worsted. The gauges on the old labels are 16 sts/4" compared to 20 sts now, both on size 8s.