color stranded, design, sweaters

I Have A Serious Gauge Problem

GaugeProblemMy gauge is off.  Way off.  I measured and remeasured my swatch to figure out the rows per inch and stitches per inch.  But now when I measure it, I’m getting different numbers and my sweater is going to be 1.5- 2 inches too small after blocking.  This has no waist shaping so it’ll have -.5 inches ease at the bust and -1.5 inches ease at the hips.  I don’t wear anything form fitting so I don’t think I’ll like it.  Although, I’ve heard that skin-tight fair isle sweaters are really fashionable these days, right?!?

I don’t know what to do about this problem. The way I see it, I can either finish this for a smaller person or I can add a 2 inch button band down the front.  I don’t really like either option.  I was hoping to make this into a scoop-neck pull-over.

It’s frustrating because I took the time to knit up a swatch and block it.  But, for some reason, the swatch has gotten smaller over time.  Weird!!!  Or, more likely, I just didn’t measure correctly at first.

After an extensive google search, I found this blogger who solved a similar problem with a wide button band:  tinkerbell knits.  My ribbing is stranded so I would need to carry the stranded knitting down the front which would not be as lovely as the image below with a solid stripe of color.

Perhaps I could remove the bottom stranded ribbing and add a solid ribbing and then carry that down the front of my sweater in an extra-wide button band?

Right now, I just want to set it aside and start something new that won’t turn out to be a dismal failure.  😦

*Deep breath*

Suggestions are welcome.

18 thoughts on “I Have A Serious Gauge Problem”

  1. Fair Isle is known to contract like that and not block easily because of the strands at the back – one reason I never do it, I have enough gauge problems with regular knitting! (or I put on weight between casting on and finishing, gaaah)

    I once did a Kaffe Fassett design though, a pullover, but never finished it and turned it into an open vest. I did a stranded button band (well, just a new colour each row, not like yours) along the front and it looks pretty good, so I think I’d go for that if I were you.


    1. I appreciate the info and suggestion. The more I look at the sweater, the more I believe that a button band is my only solution. It’s a shame that I’ve been weaving in my ends as I go because they all need to be undone as that is where I’ll be cutting the sweater open. Maybe I’ll just leave them and live with the extra bulk. And, I think I’m going to put on a solid bands of ribbing on the bottom instead. Maybe it’s less work to just call it a loss and start fresh as the sleeves aren’t yet knit. :/


    1. 🙂 I appreciate it! You should definitely try fair isle out. There are some great tutorials on YouTube. I’ve had good luck with mittens and socks but I still haven’t produced a fair isle sweater yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no. I personally like the button band idea. It’s always a huge bummer when something like this happens. Good luck!


  3. If you decide to do a button band be sure you’re 100% okay with it (or pretty close) or you may never wear it. I think a button band would look fine on it but whatever you decide to do it’ll look nice.


    1. I really appreciate the feedback! The more I look at it, the more I think I should just cut my losses. I don’t really want a cardigan. And, the sleeves haven’t even been knit yet.

      I could just sew the bottom shut and add some handles for a bag… and it is about the size of a throw pillow…


  4. Well, the way I look at it is, as you have said, make it for a child, or add the button band. But you could also turn it into something completely different. It looks like it’s about the size/shape of a lovely cowl. Or you could make a lovely tote bag by just adding a bottom to it. Whatever you choose, it’s certainly worth keeping it in some way shape or form. Beautiful!


    1. I appreciate the suggestions! 🙂 I hadn’t thought of a cowl and I don’t have any. That would certainly be the least amount of work to save my work! That is definitely at the top of my list now…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Before doing anything drastic, I would put the live stitches on waste yarn, then wash and block the sweater and see what happens. It might block out to a size you can live with. If not, sew up the bottom, add a lining, handle, and some sort of closure for the top, and you will have an adorable bag. Or do what I’d do, which is rip it out and start over again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the mention and for being so complementary on my top! I think your fairisle is absolutely gorgeous and you should definitely carry it on. Perhaps see how it fits when you’ve finished it and then decide if to cut it (that makes me sick just thinking about cutting into knitting!) and add a button band. It would look lovely but I know its a lot of effort if you’re not sure you’ll wear it.
    I do like the idea of a cowl though, if you can’t face the extra work. Its so lovely you really must finish it and wear it as something! 🙂


    1. The too-small sweater has got to be a common problem but I didn’t find much online on how to salvage my project. I was very happy to stumble across your blog and see your elegant solution! It looked like the wide band was a planned design feature of the sweater.

      I haven’t decided exactly what do with my fair isle tube yet but I’m very appreciative of the feedbackice received. I’m not as feeling as hopeless as I was yesterday. 🙂


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