I've finally moved on from scarves and I was trying to make a garter stitch pillow. The pillow consists of 4 squares. Each square is 7 inches by 7 inches. The pattern called for a worsted weight yarn and size 7 needles. After casting on the number of stitches required, I started knitting. The pattern said that I would have 37 (I think) rows when I was done. I was approaching that number of rows and decided to measure my square, and I'm 8 x 8 inches! Can anyone tell me where I went wrong here?
Too late! I already started to pull! April - I LOVE Dory!!!
That's what I read - that the gauge is important - but I thought mostly when you're knitting something to wear. I also figured that since I was following the pattern and using the exact size needles recommended and the weight of yarn recommended that I would be ok. I didn't take into consideration how *I* knit would make any difference at all. Now I'm wondering if I should get smaller needles or try to knit tighter.
While I'm at it though, I have noticed that my my last stitch on either side is rather loose. I've been reading on this forum. Some people suggest slipping the first stitch, but then there was the debate of whether it should be slipped knit-wise or purl-wise. I've read other places not to slip the stitch at all. I've just been trying hard to pull the yarn tighter at the end, but I'm not sure that's the best answer either. I take it this is a problem a lot of knitters face?
The loose stitch on the end ranks right up there with curling stockinette.
For your situation with the size being too big, I would go with smaller needles. Makes much more sense than trying to change your knitting style. Some people have to go up or down a few needle sizes to get gauge.
As for the ends, if the edges are important, like on a scarf, I slip the first stitch as if to purl and knit the last stitch. It makes a nice edge. I probably would do it on the pillow you're making since you probably don't want to have seams inside the pillow, but rather weave the edges of the squares together.
On something that is going to be seamed, though, I just knit. Some people slip on everything. There are pros and cons to both. I just like having the same number of stitches on the ends as there are rows in the pattern for seaming, since there are times when you have to ease something in to fit one edge against the other.
As for gauge, I don't worry about it unless it's something that I'm going to wear. Scarves, afghans, pillows, etc., I don't bother with. Even with kids' sweaters--if it's turning out too big, they'll grow!
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog