Crap knitter?

I’ve been working on this graduation project for awhile now. I completed the scarf weeks ago, but I’ve been distracted with other (more enjoyable) projects, so I’ve put off the hat and mittens. But the recipient is leaving for the chilly (in a few months) Midwest in a couple weeks, and I want to make sure she takes the set with her.

Like a good kid, I swatched for these items this weekend. I found the following on my swatch:

– size 10 needles: 4 stitches / inch

– size 10 1/2 needles: 3.5 stitches / inch

I even did my swatch in the round.  It should have been perfect.


I knew that I wanted the mittens to have a fairly tight fabric so that the cold December winds don’t leave the poor girl at the train platform with cold hands. I’d also never knitted a mitten before, so I figured I’d test my skills on a smaller, child-sized mitten. I used the size 10 needle for that.

When I finished with the mitten, I emailed the recipient’s mom and asked that she send me hand measurements. While I waited, I started on the hat.

I wanted the hat to have a slightly looser gauge, so I decided to use the size 10.5 needles. I had the recipient’s head measurement, I looked in Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Knitting Patterns, did my calculations, and cast on.

About 1/3 of the way through that I was in trouble.

You can see at the right the gist of my problem. The completed mitten shows 4 stitches per inch. The hat shows 4.5 stitches per inch.

I got more stitches per inch on the larger needle!

I’m such a crap knitter!

I went ahead and finished the hat. Like the mitten, it’s child-sized. I’ll make on more mitten and donate them to charity. Then I’ll start over with another hat and set of mittens.

Just watch… They will be ginormous!

5 thoughts on “Crap knitter?

  1. Angeluna

    Grump, I’m going through the same thing. I knitted up a swatch last night in some cashmere/silk in a slightly complex pattern on the required size 10s, Denise. Not getting gauge, I upped it to 10.5s, also Denise, which are really quite a size jump. My swatch is actually smaller.

    I’m with Batty. Gauge happens!!! But I really don’t know where to go next!

  2. emily sloan

    did you check the height of the row??? cause it looks like to me that the stitches on the hat are more elongated….perhaps that accounts for it….taller at the top and skinnier at the bottom. ??? just wondering if that is the case.

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