Originally Posted by suzeeq
I do hats from the bottom up because I can try on or measure them after a couple inches to make sure they're the right size. I don't use the same needles so my gauge is different. Plus they always seem to stretch a lot more than my sts per inch indicate. When I crocheted hats, I always did them from the top down, somehow guessing (or sort of trying on) when to quit increasing to get the right size.
I suppose that in knitting one top down, your gauge would have to be right on in order to make the lower edge fit right. Or you'd decrease before the edging to get the right size.
See, I go top down for the same reason. Usually I'm on a long circular (remember what I said about Magic Loop) for the shaping at the top, so it's just a matter of yanking the needle points and checking the size as I go. Working from the bottom up, I'm on a 16" needle which (trust me, my head is a LOT bigger than 1") until I get to the shaping, so the only way to do this is transfer it to a longer needle (knit on, knit off Daniel-sahn). I guess at some point I won't
find this to be a pain in the butt, but that point is not now.
I guess if you were doing the small end on DPNs, you'd have the reverse problem (unless you have a very small, square head) so that might explain why so many patterns are written this way. That is, most of them also
specify DPNs, and while you're certainly under no obligation to do it that way, the pattern writer probably did/does and wrote the pattern based on that method.
As for gauge, I did have one instance when a knit beret came out too loose. But that was me assuming that two worsted yarns (Plymouth Select and Cascade 220 in this case) were created equal. Spoiler alert, they're just different enough. And I'd never have thought it considering how close the yardages were, but it was what it was. Or maybe it was something else. Anyway, ironically the only other
time I had one come out too loose like that it was the one I did bottom up.