Uneven half fisherman

hi everyone
I’m making a cardigan in half fisherman.it’s a vintage pattern from the 60s.its in DK on 4mm needles.the repeat is as follows- row 1:.sl1,k to end of row.row 2:.sl1,k1b,p1last two st-k1b,k1.I’m making practice swatches and I’ve noticed two problems.1:the swatch doesn’t make a square,it looks longer up one edge,like one side edge is tighter than the other.2:the size I’m making is the largest in the pattern and calls for 115 stitches,which should come out to 23 inches across.I seem to come out short by about an inch,in spite of trying knitting looser and bigger needles.the pattern says 5 stitches per inch,my yarn says 5 1/2 stitches per inch
any help appreciated,I’m a new knittter and don’t want to start the garment till I know it’ll come out right

You should be able to get to 5sts/inch with your yarn. If you need to go up another needle size, try it. The gauge given on the yarn ball band is only a recommendation. Knitting a swatch as you’re doing is the best way to figure out the correct needle size for your pattern gauge. Are you knitting a large enough swatch in the stitch given for the gauge so that you can measure over the center 4 inches? Trying to knit more loosely really doesn’t work because at some point you relax and your tension reverts to your usual tension.

I’m not sure why this stitch would give you one tighter edge. You’re slipping the first stitch on each row, right?

Forgive me if this is dumb, but it’s a mistake I made when I started: you’re turning the work at the end of the row, right?

Assuming you’re knitting right-handed, your stitches wind up on the right needle at the end of the row, and you turn the work around so that needle is in your left hand when you start the next row.

If you do that, and you slip the first stitch of every row to the right needle without working it, you end up with an even piece of work with a neat edge. When you mentioned having one tight edge, it made me wonder whether you were making my old mistake.

thanks for the replies.I do knit to the right needle and then transfer to the left hand for the next row.one thing I notice on row two,when I do the final k1b,I struggle to unravel the stitch the way the previous ones in the row do.I try to make the final knit stitch,and find it quite tight.am I pulling my slip stitches too tight?
thanks again

It sounds to me that you have part figured out. Slipping the stitch and tightening it to much. I seem to go the opposite and get it to loose. Or one side tight and one side loose. For me I know it is something I must practice.