I've been knitting for nearly 2 years and I've gotten pretty decent at it. The problem is my gauge swatches never seem to accurately reflect what my finished guage ends up being! I have no idea why.
For example, I just got a worsted that says 4.5-5 inches on a 6-9 needle. So I started with a 6 and got 6.5 stitches per inch. An 8 gave me 6 stitches per inch. I'm currently working some up on a 9, but it still seems like I'll get 5, and any bigger than that and my knitting will be a loose sloppy mess. The thing is, usually even after I've done this, I find that when I actually start a pattern, my swatch seems meaningless, even with the same yarn and needles. I can pretty much guess that even though my swatch was 6=1'' on the size 8's, that a size 8 or 9 is going to work out fine for the sweater. What am I doing wrong?
And btw, it makes it sound like I knit really tight, but I don't. And my mother who has been knitting for 50 years, says I have good even tension.