Anyone who has ever taken a class with me will very well know my mantra – do your gauge! Doing your gauge is the best way to ensure your garment will fit perfectly and will have the drape and look the designer intended.
With the size needles called for in the pattern, cast on the number of stitches for a 4” swatch, plus 6 sts. Work three rows in garter stitch, then continue in the pattern working 3 sts at each edge in garter stitch, making a frame for your swatch. Work for 4”, then do 3 more rows in garter and bind off. Lay flat, and without stretching or pulling measure inside your frame. If you have 4 “, you’re ready to go. If it is less than 4” repeat with needles a size larger. If it is too big, repeat with needles a size smaller. Continue until you get the gauge…you will be a happy knitter. It doesn't take very long to knit up a swatch, and it will come in handy for test washing, and for repairs should anything happen to your garment. Just do it!