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Old 12-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #11
GrumpyGramma
Grafting the Toe
 
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Originally Posted by fatoldladyinpjs View Post
And I think one thing new knitters don't know is that is you use the wrong size yarn and/or needles, it's going to affect the size of your finished garment. It will make it either too big or too small. On something like a blanket or a scarf, the gauge isn't too critical. But on something that's worn it's a big difference. I like to read the number on the yarn wrapper and go from there. I don't generally use fingering weight yarn. A #3 baby sport weight can be used with a #3 to #7 needle (larger size for something like a baby blanket). A size 6 to 9 for worsted. A size 9-10 1/2 for #5 bulky weight. Size 11 to 13 and above for a #6 superbulky. This would be something like Lion Hometown brand or Woolease Chunky. These aren't cut in stone, of course, but these are general guidelines that work for me. Experiment a little. I used to only knit bulky knit pieces in needles 10 1/2 to 13. I forced myself to use the smaller needles. Now I prefer using the smaller ones. My favorite is a size 7 or 8. Trust me, it's very hard to knit bulky weight yarn with a #5 needle. If you don't break the needle, you'll have very sore hands.
Also some pattern stitches translate better from larger to smaller or smaller to larger needles. Some just look better if they are smaller, some, if they are larger. If this is just garter stitch, say, then it really is a matter of gauge swatching and doing a bit of arithmetic. I've had sore hands from knitting too tight, it even made my arms hurt. I've loosened up some or I'd have quit knitting.
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