I have a confession to make. I didn't get gauge on the Sweet Peas sweater. I didn't use the required yarn which knits up to a gauge of 4 sts to the inch. My yarn knit up to 5 sts to the inch. I decided to go ahead anyway, by using ratios on the pattern. It involved a lot of math, but of the simplest kind.
For example, when casting on, the pattern called for 80 sts. I divide that by 4 (the pattern's gauge) to get 20, which represents the number of inches required. I multiply the inches by my gauge to get the number I need to cast on: 20*5=100. And off I go!
The only iffy thing to this is the sleeve cap and the neck shaping. I played a little with the numbers there. For example, at the sleeve cap it says to cast off 2 sts 4 times. This means 4 sts at each edge get cast off. At my gauge I need to cast off 5, so I cast off 3 sts twice and 2 sts once.
Well, the proof is in the pudding:
Sleeve caps and neck: check! But I think you will understand that I took my time setting in those sleeves. It was not something I wanted to do in a hurry.
Next up, the side seams.