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knitman
03-11-2009, 07:26 PM
When starting a new project, I find I have to go down 2-3 needle sizes to obtain guage. Is this unusual to have to go down so many needle sizes?

imrachel
03-11-2009, 08:04 PM
Not at all! Some people go up or down several needle sizes to obtain gauge. As long as you get the right amount of sts, you're good.

Ronda
03-12-2009, 08:49 AM
When knitting Continental, I have to go down 2 or 3 needle sizes.

knitman
03-12-2009, 03:28 PM
Doesn't going down 2-3 or mor needle sizes make the finished project a bit stiff?

cftwo
03-12-2009, 03:41 PM
No, it shouldn't make the finished project stiff - you're still getting that right number of stitches. You just knit more loosely than the test-knitters did. In other words - the size of the needle doesn't matter nearly as much as the size of the stitches.

imrachel
03-12-2009, 05:51 PM
Yes and no-- if you are getting 3 sts per inch instead of 4, yes the fabric will be softer and conversely, if you get 5 instead of 4, it will be stiffer. But if you're using the recommended yarn and you get whatever gauge they used, the fabric will come out exactly the way the designer intended.

So here's the "no"-- However, if you have substituted yarn, sometimes even if the gauge matches perfectly, you might come out with a softer or stiffer fabric for a number of factors in the composition and spinning method of the yarn.

suzeeq
03-12-2009, 09:17 PM
Doesn't going down 2-3 or mor needle sizes make the finished project a bit stiff?

Going down in needle size will only make the fabric too stiff if you're using a thicker yarn. My preference with all yarns is to use a needle several sizes larger than used in the pattern or on the yarn label because I don't like that dense a knit. I'm not a tight knitter either; I can get the correct gauge, I just don't care for it. And a looser knit keeps sweaters from being overly hot when I wear them.

TEMA
03-12-2009, 09:27 PM
I tried knitting my yarn on size smaller needles (circular) and found the fabric stiff indeed. So I frogged and went to the regular size. I'm not getting gauge exactly but I like the fabric much better. If the sweater is a bit big, that's okay - that's what I'm going for.
TEMA

suzeeq
03-12-2009, 09:38 PM
If you like a larger gauge, sometimes you can knit a smaller pattern size, adjusting the length. Just check that your sts/inch times the inches around you want are close to the total front and back stitches on one of the sizes.

knitman
03-13-2009, 05:15 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your help and suggestions. I'll have to work with some of them and see how they work for me.