View Full Version : Gauge question - metal vs. wooden

11-16-2007, 11:21 AM
Good morning! I am getting ready to start on my 1st afghan, and before I buy needles I decided that I had better make the gauge swatch! Normally I use wooden needles (and am going to ask a question about that next!) but all I had available were aluminum ones 1/2 sz. larger, which produced my 4" x 4" square.

Will the gauge swatch be accurate if I did it on metal needles, but plan to use wooden needles for the project? TIA!!!

11-16-2007, 11:33 AM
I have a couple wood needles and they don't seem to be a different gauge than the metal ones, but each person is different. For an afghan, though, I don't think it would make a big difference if it's off an inch or two. Not like if you were making a sweater.

Denise in Michigan
11-16-2007, 12:43 PM
I find I can get quite a difference in gauge on wooden vs. metal needles. Heck, I even get a change in gauge on different brands of metal needles of the same size! As Suzeeq pointed out, on an afghan you're probably not going to worry about the exact finished size, but I would caution that you may get a harder or softer texture than anticipated due to a change in gauge.

11-16-2007, 01:00 PM
For what it's worth, IMHO the 2 previous posts are aboslutely correct-- it won't really matter too much on an afghan-- except there is the possibility if you are knitting "bigger" that you will run out of yarn, so I'd just be sure to get plenty. And also that the "drape" may be slightly different. I do find that I get a very different gauge with different needles, meaning same size but different material-- keeping in mind that 1 stitch over the usual 4" square can mean a garment a few inches too small or too large. But in this case, that's not going to mean a "bad fit" of course.

11-16-2007, 01:19 PM
Having just bought my first pair of bamboo needles for an afghan, using Caron Simply Soft yarn, I find that I have to deliberately loosen my stitches to keep the afghan drape I want. I guess I knit a little looser on metal needles when using a "fuzzy" type yarn.
I agree with those above about gauge in an afghan, but I like a wider afghan anyway and so will sometimes compensate for a tighter knit by adding enough extra stitches to keep the pattern accurate.