Princess Jezabelle (princessjezabel) wrote in illumiknitti,
Princess Jezabelle

gauging problems

Ok. I need some help or a suggestion from fellow knitters or something. I recently started swatching before my projects (I swatched for the cardigan I haven't finished putting together and I swatched for the dishrags I'm currently making for my mom).

My problem is, now that I swatch, I have to go down two full needle sizes to obtain gauge. What exactly am I doing wrong here?

Does this mean I'm destined to never make anything from a pattern requiring smaller than a #2 US needle? Is there a way to stop needing such a smaller needle than the pattern (and most of the time the yarn manufacturer) recommends?

Please someone tell me what I can do to stop the weirdness of my gauge.

**On a side note, because I saw it mentioned here before, I bought the Loop-d-Loop knitting book with my last gift card at work. It is awesome. It's very much more an inspiration book for me than a pattern book, but I like looking at the creative things a knitter can do with string and two sticks. I very much recommend this book, if for no other reason than to have it sitting on your bookshelf to look at for ideas.
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Either you are a really tight knitter or you are using yarns much larger than the pattern recommendations. Neither of these situations is bad. People who start out with tight tension usually end up being better knitters than those who start out too loose. As for using different yarns than that recommended in the pattern, there's also nothing wrong with that. Last year, I wanted to knit something in cotton instead of wool and I ended up using a size 3 needle instead of the size 8 in the pattern. As long as the swatch matches the gauge, you will be fine. The only thing you need to consider is the different quality your yarn will have. For instance, cottons tend to be heavier but have less drape than wool or silk and have no "memory" (cotton will stretch out and will only bounce back when washed). If you go to a good yarn store, the help are often experienced knitters who can give you good advice.

And glad you like the Loop-d-Loop book. I agree if you're going to put a pattern book between hard covers, it needs to also be a good reference source, like Viking Knits or Norsk Strikke Design.
Ok. I feel a little bit better. I thought I was doing something wrong when I used the exact yarn recommended in the pattern, but still had to go down two needle sizes to obtain gauge.

And my mom wants socks (which I really want to try next, since I found some patterns), but now she wants cotton. So I told her I'd have to make at least a pair in a sport weight yarn before I could switch over to cotton.

I just made her a dishrag in a new verigated cotton yarn: yellow, pink, purple, red, and orange. I think she wants socks out of the same stuff, but hasn't come right out to say it yet.