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Old 04-28-2009, 12:13 PM   #11
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Make sure you're making the swatch larger than X sts needed for 4". The edge sts don't measure the same and tend to curl under, so you need at least 5 or 6" across to measure in the middle. Isn't the gauge given for stockinette? It's really hard to measure ribbing because of the stretchiness, but stockinette lies flat.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:13 PM   #12
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If I'm understanding your post correctly, you've only just done the ribbing? If so, then you're probably okay-- the ribbing will pull in and be more narrow than the stockinette st part. But if you've done the st st part for a few inches (vertical inches, that is) and measured across and are 4" short, then that's a different story.

I know this isn't the answer you want, but if it were coming out way too small, I personally would just rip it out and start over. The side panel thing is going to get tricky with the armhole shaping, and unless you are an experienced knitter or dressmaker and know how to shape it, it's probably not going to come out well.

And yes, it sounds as if you did the right thing in getting gauge, that is, trying the different needle sizes. When working a gauge swatch, the bigger the better. If it says 18 sts = 4 inches, I would cast on 30 and work for 20 rows-- you'll really get a sense of how it's going to come out, especially until you've been doing it for years and get to know how you knit.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:27 PM   #13
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Yes, I have only done the ribbing so far. The st st and ribbing have different gauges, and I had been trying different needles to get gauge in stockinette. The pattern calls for reducing from 134 stitches to 100 when switching to stockinette (there are actually 4 rows of garter stitch in between) so I think I would still have the width issue.

I think I am going to put this aside and work on something else for a while. When I am less angry at myself, I will figure out what to do.

Thanks everyone for your help! I will keep an eye out for the tank photos.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #14
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Don't be angry at yourself. Knitting lies to us all the time. We think we've got perfect gauge, then the item comes out way too big or too small. Keep going on your ribbing, an inch worth isn't enough to measure the actual width accurately. Finish up the ribbing, then do the garter stitch and an inch on the stockinette. Then you'll know if it's too small, a little small, or just right.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:43 PM   #15
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Without having seen your pattern, I was just wondering, did it give you a gauge in ribbing or just in stockinette? I'm with the others that I would wait untill you get to the stockinette because it is the nature of ribbing to contract when it's not being stretched.

That said--if you get to the stockinette and it's still 4 inches too narrow--I would rip it out. I know it might be hard to face--but think of how much worse it would be to knit the entire thing and then have it be too tight at the bottom to wear or try to seam a side pannel that doesn't work out.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:22 PM   #16
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Usually gauge will be in stockinette stitch. so you may not be off your guage at all in the ribbing. Ribbing is meant to stretch. i think I would knit a little more and see how it is once you start your stockinette. You can always rip the whole thing out if you don't find you are knitting at guage.

Yes I know I said rip the whole thing out. Sorry. But I do not think you have a problem.
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