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knittingmom27
01-09-2006, 02:40 PM
Hello everyone, I am a relatively new knitter and I am enjoying experimenting with different yarns, patterns, and projects. I have completed a few scarves and a blanket, and now I am working on a tote bag. I also have some fantastic yarn I want to turn into a bag, but I can't find a pattern I like that works with the yarn.
So... I made up my own pattern. Who knows if it will work or not, but my question is, how do you know what size needles to use with what weight of yarn, what an appropriate gauge for the project is, and so on...

I think my biggest problem is that I don't have a clear understanding of gauge and what yarn works for what type of project. That's probably why I have made things where "size" didn't really matter as long as it looked nice and even by eye.

Any advice anybody? Thanks.

CateKnits
01-09-2006, 04:08 PM
I'm not sure about a technical answer to determining needle size, but you could always knit a swatch to determine what you think looks good. Sometimes the suggested needle size doesn't look the way you want it to, anyway. If you try a swatch and it doesn't look the way you want, you can always rip it out and try again!
I think it's awesome that you want to make up your own patterns, by the way. That takes some courage! :cheering:
Good luck!

jhelanee
01-09-2006, 05:36 PM
That's probably why I have made things where "size" didn't really matter as long as it looked nice and even by eye.

That to me is a perfectly acceptable way of determining your gauge and needle size for the pattern you are developing. :D

In general, smaller yarns are knit with smaller needles and larger yarns with bigger. Most yarn lables will give you a suggested needle size and approximate gague. That being said, you can use a range of needle sizes for a given yarn depending on how you want it to look. For example, I will knit worsted weight yarn with needle sizes 3-8 depending on how dense I want the finished fabric (smaller needle=denser). Similarly, I use size 8 to make hats out of a bulky yarn, but have used the same yarn with size 11 and even 13 (!) needles for scarves and shawls because I wanted them more open and flexible.

Getting back to your question on determining the gague for your bag, I suggest working some test swatches (about 5 inches square) on a few needle sizes using the stitch pattern for your bag. Maybe start with size 8 (or what is recommended on your yarn label) and adjust up or down by a size or two depending on how it looks. Once you have one that you like the look of, measure off four inches and count the number of stitches in it. This is your gauge. (see Amy's gauge tips here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7177&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15) - 5th post down) Now calculate out from this the number of stitches you need to cast on for your desired width.

Good luck and happy knitting! :XX:

nicolethegeek
01-10-2006, 08:50 AM
I've been designing for many years now, and it's mainly trial and error that tells you what size to use. For my crochet designs, I often know what look I'm going for and what yarn I'm using, and rarely need to do more than one or two swatches. When designing for knitting, I don't have the experience behind me like I do with crochet. I usually start with the recommended needle size and go from there. If I *know* I want a light and lacy look, I will automatically go up several sizes, but it's still a hit and miss until I get the effect I want. It's *your* design, so there isn't any right or wrong size... just right or wrong effect {in your mind}, if you KWIM. I have a basic knitting tote on a circ right now that I'm designing, and since I am using RHSS for it, and wanted a firm fabric, I dropped my needle size by one or two. For another project I designed recently, I wanted a very loose look, so I went to a size that was double the normal size called for in that yarn.

Sorry for rambling on here, but basically all I'm saying is go with what you know, and take it from there. Clear as mud?

knittingmom27
01-10-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I am encouraged that I can make something cool by just experimenting around like you all suggested. I have in fact already dropped the needle size 3 times or so, because I wasn't happy with how "open" it looked. I'll let you know how it comes out. :XX:

chipdip
01-17-2006, 06:20 AM
Just lately i decided to crochet a handle, crochet tote bag for my dog
walks. I put a plastic bag in it for the dog deposits. And a separate place
on the front to hold some plastic bread bags to pick the dog deposits.
I could of knitted it .Enjoy both hobbies.
Single crochet across, turn pattern and single crochet in each purl
stitch that is close to the top of the last single crochets. By doing this
every time your pattern when you turn it over looks the same.
Your first row again is a single crochet. Turn over and than there
after single crochet in every purl looking stitch.
I double the yarn when crocheting soles for a slipper.
Hope that i made myself clear.
Have a good day!