Ok, after three scarves I have decided to tackle my first Jumper – Joukahainen.

Did a swatch and my gauge was spot (but.... knitted up my swatch flat and the jumper is made on a circular needle). I started the Jumper on Sunday and have only done 15 rows - the gauge appears to be more like 22 rather than 20. It is a pretty tight fit to begin with so there is not a lot to play with! Do I...

1. Relax and keep going for a while and check it again when I have more of it knitted up? (My swatch was Blocked too)

2. Start increasing over the body to gain an extra 20 stiches? (slight V shape but at least it will fit over my chest)

3. Give up now – Frog the bloody thing and start again using 5mm instead of 4mm???

Advice welcome - thanks guys!


ksmarguy's picture

if you gauge flat and the project is in the round, your gauge won't be accurate. One way to gauge for this would be to make a circular swatch. Do it like i-cord but with more stitches and leaving the yarn loose in the back. Or, just cast on a number of stitches and join and work in the round and then check your gauge. If you knit continental, there is a good chance that your purls are looser than your knits. If you knit English there may be something in your tension that can change as well. Good luck, hope the info helps.

HuskerChub's picture

First, take this as a great learning opportunity. It's best to swatch in the same manner that you intend on knitting WITH the same needles. I've seen people use a 12" circular bamboo needles (because they didn't have any other 12" Addis) to swatch in the round and then start the project with a 32" Addi turbo and wonder why there gauge was off also...just a word of warning for the future. So lesson, if you are knitting circular, swatch that way. The reason being that almost everyone has a slightly different purl tension than knit...stockinette in the round = no purl stitches hence the difference in gauge.

Now that we are here, you've only done 15 rows, which seems a lot but in the grand scheme of things is very little. Looking at the pattern it is a nice classic pullover with GREAT raglan details, nice choice. That being said, lots of times, lazy old knitters like me who don't like swatching will start with the sleeve. Why? Because it is knit in the round, is a small number of stitches, if gauge if off we haven't "wasted" as much time. Yeah, yeah I know it's not blocked and it's not washed and it's not whatever but if I'm knitting for me it's not so crucial, if it's for someone else well that's a different story.

So with all that being said I would advise frogging what you have done and start a sleeve using the 5mm needles. If that really is too painful, switch to the larger needles BUT do a round with a 4.5mm and then the 5mm so that the fabric doesn't want to fold or look really strange right there. Although, if someone is at eye level with your navel when you are wearing it they should have their mind on something beside your sweater LOL! Now hurry up and get it done we want to see it modeled! I'm sure a nice classic snug fit is going to look mahavlous on that Aussie frame ;).

Elemmaciltur's picture

Well, that's the problem...gauge knitted flat and in the round won't be the same.

IMHO, if you like a fitted jumper, then it should be fine, you can always block it a bit larger when the whole piece is finished.

Me being me, I would probably frog and restart.

ETA: You could also frog back to the start of the stockinette part and increase the stitches evenly over there to compensate. I think that might be the best idea.

rjcb3's picture

Ah, the ultimate eventuality of all knitters...

End the torture now, mate: hurl a few of the choicest curse words and pull it all the way back and begin again with a circular gauge instead of a flat gauge and a new resolve.


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

All the advice is spot-on. Just the thought of frogging all that knitting isn't fun but it isn't as if you had most of the sweater knit. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

MMario's picture

you forgot option 4: Not eat until the sweater is finished hoping to lose enough weight to compoensate for the gauge change.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

PaulJMC's picture

Ha! Not eating is one way to get the six pack back before summer on Bondi! - thanks MMario

Well frogging next session in stead of knitting!! Thought that once it is off the needles to thread some wool through and then try on the bit I have done on -just to check if it is my guage or fist timers paranoia that is the issue!!

Thanks guys

In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!

mrossnyc's picture

I've also learned the hard lesson of swatching flat or in the round with a shorter needle only to learn later that the gauge isn't correct. The time you've spent swatching is nothing compared to what you'll spend creating the jumper, so it's worth it to frog it and redo. Welcome to the world of knitting!

daveballarat's picture

Oh *&%$ ... now you got me worried. I did a swatch and couldn't get it right... so I went for fiddling with the needle size. I wanted a tight fit aran to encourage me to keep working out in the gym and cycling... All this gauge talk has me really worried. I am wondering if ... if it is too snug, maybe I can slip a nice cable up each side to give myself extra girth if required. I've knitted the back and most of the front ... so I am definitely not going to 'frog'it ... isn't there a name for sexual play ... along the lines of 'frog it'... I can't remember. The memory of the term or lack of memory made me laugh.
Best of luck with the jumper... I'm about to get back to mine... I've just moved house so I might have more spare time... if I'm lucky.
Istanbul, Turkey