It happened again. I got the itch and swatched*, thus abandoning all other works-in-progress:

That's Debbie Bliss merino DK. Can you read what the little post-it says? This swatch has a gauge of 22 stitches and 28 rows over 4 inches knitted on size 2 needles. The ball band gives a gauge of 22 stitches and 30 rows over 4 inches. I could get the 30 rows if I knit just a smidge tighter. But get this: the ball band gauge suggests size 6 needles. And, before washing the swatch had a gauge of 28 stitches and 36 rows over 4 inches. And the swatch is not being stretched at all - those pins are just to make it lay flat. What the heck? The needles I used are my cool funky cassein needles, which I have actually never knitted anything on yet. I suppose I should be happy that I got (almost) gauge! But here's the kicker: nothing I want to knit right now has a gauge that's even close. And my Aracaunia Nature Wool get the same exact same gauge on size 4's even though the ball band gauge is 18 stitches and 24 rows over 4 inches. It's a conspiracy to get me to buy more patterns, I just know it. I'm so irritated that my grand swatching plan, which made me feel so smug at the time, came back to bite me in the a**.

Is it possible to go up in gauge (or maybe down, I'm not sure what direction this works in) an entire stitch per inch (in other words, 18 stitches and 24 rows per inch) and still have the fabric look good? How many needle sizes would that be?

Does anyone know a good sweater pattern at a gauge of 22 stitches and 28(ish) rows per inch. I have 1100 yards.

*Note: This is a big deal. I hate to swatch with a passion that's almost palpable. And this is a full-sized 4" swatch, washed and everything. Pretty damn good thing I did, too, isn't it?


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