Ok, I'm starting a sweater pattern
and I actually decided to make the gauge swatch it suggested. Well, I'm glad I did because it's coming up wrong. The pattern says the gauge should be 22 sts / 4" on size 5 needles. I'm using KnitPicks Merino Style for yarn. I knitted up a swatch on the size 5s and come way short of 4". On a whim I frogged and retried with size 8s (what I had laying around plus I was quite a bit short of the 4" with the 5s) and ended up getting the proper 4" with 22 sts. What I don't understand is how my gauge could be 3 needle sizes off. I don't think I knit all that tightly, it's not hard to work with my stitches or anything. What should I do? The pattern is very mathematical and calculates the number stitches/increases/decreases based on actual body measurements, so I want it to be accurate. I REALLY don't want to have to CO 300 some sts and work 40 rows before I figure out it doesn't fit and have to frog.
Also, the pattern has ribs of 2 purl stitches throughout which pulled the wider knit sections together on the swatch. The directions say to lay flat and measure without blocking, so do I just flop it down and measure or can I flatten it so the purl ribs show? Does this make sense? Help!