How to Modify Gauge

In this tutorial, Julie will teach you how to knit with a different gauge than called for in a pattern. She has a super simple trick that specifically works with Cocoknits patterns because each item shrinks proportionally. This will allow you to knit with alternative yarn weights without having to do too much math. All you need to do is knit a different size. Watch the video above or read the instructions below for more details.

Steps to Knitting a Pattern With Different Yarn

Throughout the steps below Julie uses the example of an Emma Version A that her daughter knit with a finer weight yarn. 

Please note that this technique may not work with other knit designer's patterns, this trick specifically works with ours because of the way our patterns are sized. 


Measure Your Gauge With the New Yarn

Julie's daughter knit a swatch with the yarn she wanted to use for the Emma Version A and got a gauge of 4 sts per inch. In the book it recommends 3 sts per inch. 


Go to Schematics & Find the Size You Want

When you determine you have a different gauge, simply go to the schematic section of the pattern and find the bust circumference of the size that you would like. In this example, she wanted to knit a medium which has a bust circumference of 37.5"


Determine How Many Stitches You Need for the Bust

Simply multiply your gauge to the desired circumference. In our example, because her gauge was 4sts per inch and she wanted 37.5" bust circumference we learned she needed 150 sts at the bust with the following equation. 4 (sts per inch) x 37.5 (desired bust circumference) = 150 sts 


Find the Right Size for Your Gauge!

Now simply find the size that has the proper stitch count for your bust. For the Emma pattern this count will be after you've finished your seamless yoke, placed the sleeve stitches on hold, and cast on stitches for the underarm. We can find this count on page 63 of the Cocoknits Sweater Workshop, in the second paragraph down. In this section it is only describing the back stitch count, so it is half of our total sts needed. 150 / 2 = 75. "Next round knit 50 (56, 62, 68, 74)." The 2x is the closest at 74 sts, so in order to knit the sweater in our new gauge we simply knit the size 2x rather than the medium. It's that easy! 


Please note: this won't work with everyone's gauge if it's significantly different than the pattern. For example, if you want to knit the Emma in a lightweight yarn with a tight gauge it may be better to simply work from the Molly pattern which was designed for lighter weight yarn. But if you're just a little off with gauge, this is a very simple fix! 



Hi Claudette, you do the increase in the left loop two below the stitch before the FLL, so in this case, the k1 after the marker. For more information about FLL, go to the knit tutorial on KLL under the Learn button. Glad you are enjoying the pattern!

Claudette Reed


I have finally decided to go “all in” on the Cocoknits Method and I’m so excited to get started. I am making the Lizzie sweater and I have a question about the increases – KLL & PLL. In Row 1 of the Upper Back, the directions are K2, sl m, k1, KLL, … For the KLL, do I perform it on the k1 before the KLL or do I need knit another stitch and perform the KLL on that 2nd knitted? I am understanding it to be the latter. Thank you!

Jill Turner

That is genius. Thank you. Take care.


Hi Latrilla,

After your swatch is blocked, measure your gauge and find out how many stitches you’ll need for your bust size preference. From there you’ll decide which size to knit and you’ll follow that size’s directions for the entire sweater. If you have any more questions please reach out to us at

Latrilla Boyd

Hello. I came across this KAL a few days ago and bought everything today. I’ve read through most of the Workshop. I’ve started my swatch which is going well. I watched your modifying gauge video and I’m wondering if I’m missing something. In the video you stated follow size 2X when you get to the bust. Would one still cast on for the medium size then switch to the 2X size at the bust then go back to the original medium size?


Hi Cindy, we recommend knitting the Molly, that pattern will accommodate the amount of stitches you need for your yarn weight. If you want it to look more like Emma you can skip the ribbing, hip shaping, and short rows. Hope that helps!


I love how you can customize the patterns and do all the changes based upon St per Inch and the pattern sizes.

I am in the KAL and I am getting 4 st inch using a thinner yarn.

However, my bust size is 42 and I want positive ease. When I do the math: 44 bust size * 4 st per inch / 2 = 88. This is not listed for any sizes on the pattern. The largest size in the Emma pattern is 80 at the paragraph you said to look at in the video.

So what do I do ? Thanks!


Hi Katharina, you’ll follow the entire pattern as written. So if your thinner yarn gives you a gauge that brings you from a M to a 1XL you knit the entire pattern as a 1XL, including the yoke and neckline. The increases and decreases will accommodate to your new gauge!


Hi Leslie, You’ll need the yardage for the size you’re going to knit! For example, if you’re normally a L but bumped up to a 1XL because of gauge, you would follow the yardage requirement for the 1XL even though it will end up fitting as a L.


But what about the yoke and the neckline? When I have decreases or increases e.g. every second round with a thicker yarn I couldn‘t knit is the same way with a thinner yarn.


How do you determine the amount of yarn you need at a different gauge/weight yarn. This video was great at explaining the size change.


We’re so glad! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)


Thank you for this! I love the Emma patterns, but I find the large needle a bit uncomfortable. Now I know how to use any size needle, and any weight yarn.

The Cocoknits method has changed the way I knit!

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