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Topic: In-Between Needle Sizes for Gauge  (Read 482 times)
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swellgirl
« on: March 16, 2005 08:17:35 PM »

I tried to do a search to see if anyone had asked this before, but just couldn't find the answer.  If there's one, please point me in the right direction.

I want to make a sweater with a different type of yarn.  The pattern calls for a gauge of 17 sts to 4 inches with a US 8 needle using a light worsted weight yarn. 

Using Paton's Classic Merino, I get 16 sts with a US 7 and 18 sts with US 6.  I blocked both swatches, so now what should I do?   

Is it the yarn's fault?  Or should I go with US 7 and just decrease the sweater size?  Per inch, I'm missing a .25 of a stitch.  Will that .25 of an inch make a big difference in the long run?
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midnightsky1686
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005 09:05:01 PM »

it depends how many stitches you are casting on.  my bet would be in the long run, no .25 every 4 inches won't make a huge difference.
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2005 05:40:36 AM »

I tried to do a search to see if anyone had asked this before, but just couldn't find the answer. If there's one, please point me in the right direction.

I want to make a sweater with a different type of yarn. The pattern calls for a gauge of 17 sts to 4 inches with a US 8 needle using a light worsted weight yarn.

Using Paton's Classic Merino, I get 16 sts with a US 7 and 18 sts with US 6. I blocked both swatches, so now what should I do?

Is it the yarn's fault? Or should I go with US 7 and just decrease the sweater size? Per inch, I'm missing a .25 of a stitch. Will that .25 of an inch make a big difference in the long run?


A .25 stitch on a sweater might make a difference of 1 - 1 1/2  inches widthwise. If you don't mind, or even want, a slightly wider or narrower sweater than the original then you're fine and dandy. However, based on my own unfortunate experience, you will run into problems when you get to the sleeves. If they're wider or narrower at the top than the designer planned then they won't fit into the sockets perfectly. That's because the sockets (not the right term, I hope you know what I mean) are determined by rows or height not stitches. You want the sleeves to fit into those sockets perfectly or hideous puckering can/will/might occur. Plus, seaming will be a particularly nasty experience.

To remedy that, I would use the needles that produced the fabric weight I liked most and then increase or decrease my cast on stitches appropriately. Take special care to make sure the tops of your sleeves are the exact dimensions the pattern calls for.  If the sweater pattern comes with a diagram, follow that and you'll be fine.

 I believe knitty has an article that addresses this and I know that SNBN does too.

Good luck!
« Last Edit: March 17, 2005 05:52:18 AM by amobabe » THIS ROCKS   Logged
starlings
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2005 07:53:41 AM »

Well, there may be another solution. US 6 needles are either 4mm or 4.25mm, depending on the manufacturer and the age of the needles (US 6 used to be 4.25, but was changed to 4mm). If you shop around online, you may be able to find 4.25mm needles.
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