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HSRCampbell 01-01-2011 12:45 PM

Gift of large-size needles
I was given some size 15 needles: do I have to use ultra-chunky yarn or face a lot of holes in my work? How do big needles change the look, feel, and texture of work done on normal worsted yarn? I do have some Hometown USA yarn that I was going to use (about half an inch wide yarn).

What I'm really asking is about the nature of the interchangeability of bulky/slender needles to bulky/slender yarns.

Voices of experience, please lend me some wisdom? Thanks in advance Suzee (because you've always responded to me, quickly) and Jan (who has been great in the past too) and anyone else who responds.

Jan in CA 01-01-2011 02:15 PM

If you use large needles on fine yarn it'll create a very loose open knit..think lace. If you use small needles on bulky yarn it'll create a very tight, dense fabric which often doesn't drape well.

Experiment a little bit with some of your yarn and see what happens. You can start a swatch with one size needle then gradually progress to small needles to see how the yarn looks with different size needles.

I do this when I'm doing a gauge swatch to see which size needle works best with my yarn and gives me gauge. Make note of what part of the swatch is what needle by pinning the needle size to that section OR by doing a set of YO (yarn overs) that reflect needle size... (7 YO for size 7, 8 YO for size 8, etc). Then you just count the eyelets to know what size needle you used.

suzeeq 01-01-2011 02:32 PM

Hometown should work fine with those needles. Using a thinner yarn like worsted, knitting in garter stitch, will give you a lacey look. You can use 2 strands of thinner yarn (like 2 worsteds, or a worsted and a sportweight) together; if they're somewhat different colors they can make a tweedy or heathered look.

I agree with Jan, play around with different combinations and see what you get.

TrikkeAddict 01-02-2011 05:19 PM

I use the larger size needles to make baby blankets (afghans) that are made with 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together. Makes a nice, cozy, warm blanket!!

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