crafts · knitting

gauge troubles

Ok, here’s the thing… I know I’m a loose knitter.  I nearly always have to go down two needle sizes, and I’m ok with that.  Except as it relates to 4-ply yarn.  I’ve been trying to knit Martha.  I didn’t even bother swatching with the called for size 2s, but I did try size one needles, which weren’t small enough.  This required a trip to the LYS, where I bought size 0 and 000 needles.  I got gauge in stockinette on the size 0s, and those are small but tolerable for me.  Then I looked at the pattern and found that my gauge needed to be 7 st/in in the ribbed eyelet pattern, not stockinette.  I cast on anyway, but instead of 16.5″ I was getting 18″ across the back.  Ugh.  So I ripped and swatched with the size 000 needles (which are seriously like knitting with pins) and got something close to gauge in pattern, but here’s the thing… I am not going to knit an entire sweater on size 000 needles.  That’s just really ridiculous.  So how do I work on tightening up my gauge a bit, without causing stress to my fingers?  The reason why I knit so loosely is to avoid stress injuries since I need my hands healthy for work.  I used to knit more tightly, but then I also used to have some hand issues, which I don’t anymore.

Right now I’ve cast on with the 000 needles and done the required rows of garter.  I’m supposed to switch to the larger needles, but I need to figure out what I’m doing to make it so loose first.  Hmm…

Possibly I’m a little stressed about work right now – I’m totally convinced that they will realize I’m a giant fraud and fire me… even though I’m not a fraud.  I just feel stressed about being full time, and figuring out what that means.  Ah well… it will be ok, I just need to work on my self confidence!

So… any tips on tightening up gauge?  I knit continental, and the only (maybe) unusual thing I think I do it to hold my left index finger out from the work while guiding the yarn over it.  But when I try to move it in it looks sloppy… ugh.