I’ve made a little video for my students in the upcoming Miss Grace Shawl Class to help with gauge. The pattern calls for a size US 4 needle and that’s what I’m using.
I wanted my fabric to have a nice solid feel, not too loose, but also not firm. I like how it feels on my needles and also the drape of the fabric.
Our knitting is an individual experience. Gauge is a guide for us not to run out of yarn, to get the correct fit and sizing, and for the finished item to hang & drape correctly.
That being said, you will come across items, like this shawl, where fit and sizing aren’t a huge concern, but running out of yarn is. The gauge in the pattern is not clear about whether or not it is before or after blocking so I chose to use the needle size as given in the instructions.
I know that I knit a smidge tighter and usually move up one needle size. I started my swatch with the size 4 needles and found I liked the fabric. That’s my choice. Now, it will change after blocking and through my experience as a knitter, I know that the gauge won’t change immensely and I’m fine with that.
I recommend a swatch to find the fabric you like. Just realize that if it is too loose you run the risk of running out of yarn.
This is a beautiful shawl and a blast to knit, totally written out of the box. ☺️