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Topic: question about getting guage & changing needle sizes  (Read 594 times)
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« on: October 21, 2007 09:44:24 AM »

This has happened to me for several garment projects-

I can't get the gauge in the recommended yarn weight (too big) so i keep going down in needle sizes to get it. How many needles sizes down is too much?

for example, let's say i am swatching for a project that recommends #7's on a worsted weight yarn, my swatch is too big on 7, ,6, 5, and 4's which is my smallest needle size- What would be the best course of action?

 1. continue swatching on smaller needles, 3, 2, until i get it (even though it's worsted weight) and then use that?

2. take my gauge from one of the larger needle sizes and try to do a couple less pattern repeats to make the garment smaller - AKA "get all mathy on the pattern's ass" ?


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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007 10:11:57 AM »

Are you using a similar yarn weight? If you are and going down 3 sizes doesn't get you close to gauge, then you'll need to do a different size. If you go down too far in your needles, you're apt to get a very stiff, dense fabric. So pick the needle size that gives you a knit that you like, check to see how many sts per inch you get, then multiply by how many sts you need. See if there's a size given (for sweaters and things) that has a similar number of sts and use those instructions. For scarves, wraps and blankets, yes, just CO less sts for the width you want.

« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2007 10:25:14 AM »

No 2 might be the case. Get mathy. Like, get your gauge swatch and calculator on.

It makes no sense you going down to 3's on a worsted weight, you won't get the drape and the material will feel like cardboard. Ask me how I know.
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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2007 03:07:46 PM »

yes, thank you both.

soozeq, i do use a yarn in the same weight, i wonder if i knit incredibly loose?
I will use your suggestion.

cranberry, that's what i was worried about, getting stiff fabric, thanks for the advice!


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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2007 05:29:06 PM »

Try knitting a wool that has st/rows per 10cm specified on the label. Do you get that tension with the specified needle size?

If you still have to go down 3 sizes below what the label says in order to get the label gauge, don't worry about stiff fabric: it's not the needle size but the size of your stitches you need to worry about, and you are aiming for what the label specifies. You are a very loose knitter.

If you do not have to go down 3 needles sizes, then you are doing something odd with your calculations and expecting to use a needle size that is smaller than what that wool requires, check with a knittiung mate or someone from your local wool shop that you are using the right size.

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