We actually just did an entire podcast on gauge! You can listen to it here, that might help a bit :)
ETA: Good idea, cheryl! The Learn to Knit KAL might be useful too.
Is this sleeveless tank one that you knit? If so, curling edges usually happens naturally when knitting in stockinette stitch but a good way of preventing that from happening is to knit a garter stitch border. If this is a handknit tank, you could try to pick up stitches for the straps and knit in garter stitch and then seam the width ends to the tank top.
I don't have any experience with using interfacing on handknits, but it would be good to make sure that the yarn will be ok with the heat from the iron.
let us know how things go!
Hey, Angela, nice to see you around. My suggestion would be the same as Jenny's. When I saw you had made a comment here, I wanted to be sure to stop by and say hello.
Rather than ironing anything in, you might try sewing a facing into it.
I'm setting up to start a KAL in the Knit Picks Lovers group on Ravelry for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Nether Garment. The KAL is set to start August 1, 2011 and run through October 31, 2011. I'm hoping to start a new thread in the group for it within the next couple of days. I know there are a few people over here who have made this particular design before.
The thing is, I've not actually made the Nether Garment pattern myself and would LOVE someone who has to help field questions and clarify EZ's "pithy instructions" along the way and act as a mentor through the project. These questions may begin pretty much right away, as soon as the thread is posted, because some people will start early and there will be questions about how much yarn will be needed and other preparation-type questions.
Are there any KPC members who are also Ravelry members who have made at least one Nether Garment who would be willing to monitor that one thread and help answer questions in the KAL over there? I'm hoping to find at least one person, more would be even better, who would be willing and able to pop in every so often and mentor us through the project. I'm holding off starting the new KAL thread in the hope I'll be able to find someone to mentor the KAL, but I plan to post the thread Mon or Tue regardless. We can all just stumble along and work it out amongst ourselves if we need to, but I'd love it if we had someone with experience to help too. :-)
Thank you if you are able to even consider helping! You can PM me about it at Ravelry if you are interested, or leave me a post here.
P.S. We are also starting up a "Sweater Workshop" (by Jacqueline Fee) KAL for the Sampler and Basic Sweater. The Sampler KAL will begin July 1; the sweater portion will begin Sept 1. If you'd like to join us for that, you are certainly welcome. :-)
Picking up stitches can sound tricky but it is not too bad once you get the hand of it. Once you get to the point in the pattern when it says pick up and knit 8 stitches, you turn the work so the CO edge is facing up - just like you mentioned. Next, you want to take the tip of your needle and insert it into the cast on stitch by going into the "v" but underneath the two loops that form the cast on edge. Once you have your needle through, wrap your yarn around the needle and pull it through as you normally would for a knit stitch. Continue to the next stitch the same way. Since you cast on 8 stitches, you should find the same 8 stitches to put your needle through, wrap the yarn and pull through - creating another set of 8 stitches. this should essentially set you up for having 16 stitches which you will probably be knitting in the round? Let me know if the pattern is different.
Others can chime in on this as well, but if you are simply picking up 8 stitches to get 16 stitches to form the toe of your slippers, you might be able to simple use a technique like judy's magic cast on. This lets you seamlessly create 16 stitches in the round, but are connected in the same way as described above. We have a video for this technique on the Knit Picks youtube channel here, which you might find helpful as well!
If I am guessing correctly here, the pattern is trying to get you to create two sets of 8 stitches which are connected and form a circle, almost like two sets of stitches back to back going in opposite directions. If so, judy's magic cast on would work fine is picking up stitches doesn't work out.
Let us know how things go :)
You may not be doing anything 'wrong', as this is not an infrequent occurrence in knitting. It is by far much more important to obtain the stitch gauge than row gauge, as if you don't your garment may not fit correctly. And you can do exactly as you have been doing, adjusting the number rows to obtain the correct length.
Cheryl or Peggy may weigh in on the matter with much more detailed information though, as they are known as the fairy godknitters around here.