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gonna bend my needles, give away all my yarn



A couple weeks ago I decided to try my hand at making a sweater. I redid this thing a million times chewing up my yarn. 

It seems like the problem is gauge. I learned about gauge and making squares after I started this which explains my many redos. 

Now that I understand the importance of making g-squares for things that need to fit right, I made one two three... but it was useless.


Here are the details... 


Gauge of the pattern: 17st, 14rows = 4" -- using 5mm needle, medium 4 worsted yarn. 

My understanding of this from what I've read online is, 17 sts across and 14 rows make a 4x4" square. 

To even get close to 17sts=4" I have to use a 4mm needle and even then, it's off by 1+/- a stitch. And I have more rows... 


My problem going in to the project was my first row of sc blo started at 17st=4" but by the second row, it grows about 1/2". And it doesn't stop there, by the third row, it grows another half inch and several rows in my project is now 3" longer than it's supposed to be. Maybe if it was long length-wise, it'd be doable but this is 3" and possibly growing width-wise which is not going to work out as a sleeve for someone with really skinny arms. Maybe if they had arms the size of both of my thick thighs. 


Anyhow, my question is, why in tarnation is my piece growing in length? Making a gauge square was pretty useless because I couldn't get the gauge right with my needles. I don't think it makes sense to crochet an adult sweater using medium 4 worsted and a 3.75mm... unless I'm looking for some kind of repetitive-motion injury or arthritis. I know that the yarn and stitches all pull on each other as we put it together, but why is the same number of stitches in a segment causing so much growth??? I'm counting my stitches, even marking the segments for my experiment in order to measure them as I go so this is not a result of increases I don't realize I'm making. 


The best advice I got on another forum focused on help with that specific pattern was to change needles in different parts of the sweater as I go due to inconsistent gauge. That doesn't really help when I can't even begin a pattern in the first place... 


What do I do???????

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