need help with pattern, gauge, and a stitch, please
Dear knitting gurus,
I am about to start my first clothing project beyond hats and scarves (I’ve also done a large sampler afghan with a variety of textures, lace patterns, and a few cables). The new project is a cardigan vest with cables in the front and a slightly decorative background (the pattern calls for Rice Stitch for the sides and back). This will also be my first attempt at buttonholes. Yikes!
I am having a problem with gauge, though. I am using a worsted weight yarn (Plymouth Encore), and got help from the yarn store staff in making sure I had the right yarn and the right amount.
The problem is that I am a loose knitter. The pattern calls for Size 6 for most of the vest, and Size 5 for the edgings. On the Size 5 needles the gauge is supposed to be 16 sts = 3 inches in Rice Stitch.
Well, I tried this on Size 3 needles (knowing that I usually have to use needles 2 sizes smaller to get the gauge), and still get too large a gauge: 15 sts = 3 inches the first time I knit a swatch, but I doubted it because my casting on was too tight.
So I knit a larger swatch with Size 5 needles (hoping they would be my “larger” needles) and got this gauge: 12 sts = 3 inches. Rats!
QUESTION NO. 1: Due to problems with trigger finger, I don’t want to use an even smaller needle size. So how can I change the pattern to make the garment fit my gauge?
Is there a more compact background pattern I can use besides a simple stockinette or reversed stockinette? Would this help the gauge problem?
For the 46 inch chest (my goal) the pattern says:
CO 241 on the smaller needles.
Knit 8 rows.
Next row (WS): Work [K2, K in front and back of next st] 8 times, PM, Knit 193, PM, Work [K2, K in front and back of next st] 8 times.
Then I am supposed to have 257 stitches, and switch to larger needles and work the body up to the armholes (etc.)
QUESTION NO. 2: Could someone please explain [K in front and back to next st] to me? How did the number of stitches increase?
Happy knitting, everyone,