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Old 03-26-2009, 08:42 PM   #1
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using 4 ply wool with a DK Pattern
Hi, I'm new and this is my first post. I am knitting dolls clothes at the moment. The patterns are all for DK yarn, can't find any in 4 ply. I really want to use 4 ply baby yarn. How do I do this? Thank you
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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I don't see why you can't substitute yarn. By chance, do your patterns call for a specific yarn that is DK 4-ply? If so, there are no rules in knitting that say you must use a certain yarn. If you can get the same stitch gauge with another yarn, whether they call it sport weight, baby, DK, 4-ply, 3-ply, no ply mentioned, etc, go for it.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:14 PM   #3
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Don't over think the ply thing.. You can have 4 plies in various weights of yarn so it's not really the best gauge of yarn. See this:

It's more important that the gauge matches. Baby yarn is about sport to DK weight usually so it will probably be fine, but they could be a little small. Do a gauge swatch and measure the gauge and compare it to the pattern. Doll clothes aren't as critical as clothing for people so changing needle size to make gauge would not be a problem usually.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 03-27-2009, 06:34 AM   #4
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In switching to 4 ply instead of DK (Pattern is for DK) do I use bigger or smaller needles The needles for DK are 3.25mm and 4.00mm Thank you for the help. What a great site.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:03 AM   #5
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I think you are maybe mixing up a couple of things-- There are plys and there are weights. They used to have much more to do with each other than they do now. Older yarns in the UK and the Empire (Australia, Canada, etc.) were listed in plys. Now, weights are used. And the term "weight" is deceptive (don't worry-- it does get simpler and I'm going to get to the truly helpful part in a minute )-- it really means thickness. The way the yarn is spun and the material used can make a 100g ball of yarn give you 80 yards or 100 yards and still have the same thickness and gauge. There are 7 standard weights, 0 - 6, and they really mean thickness. When you look on a ball of commercial yarn, on the band, there will be a little drawing of a skein and a number on it, telling you which weight. DK weight is a 3. A lot of worsted weight, which is a 4, is 4-ply, and I think that's what you might be talking about.

The gauge is what really matters. If the gauge says something like 6 sts per inch, then that's what you need to get to make the clothing come out right. Whatever needle size works for you to get that gauge, is what's important. The needle size they recommend (3.25mm and 4mm) are only the sizes the pattern writer and pattern testers used to get the right gauge. That doesn't mean that those are the sizes that will be right for you. Use whatever needle size works for you to get the gauge and you'll be all set. For a swatch, just cast on 10 sts and knit for an inch or 2 and measure off an inch across. Let's pretend the pattern says 6 sts per inch. Count how many sts you have and if it's 6, then that's the right needle size. If you get too many sts, say 7 or 8, then use a bigger needle and try again. If you have too few, say 4 or 5, then use a smaller needle.

If the pattern calls for DK weight, then I would get yarn that has a 3 on the band and try different needle sizes until you get to the gauge in the pattern.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:50 AM   #6
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Some places still use ply for weight system though, see this page for equivalents -
A 4 ply is the same as fingering or baby weight and doubling it should get the same gauge as DK on the same needles. Other wise you'll have to use much smaller needles and if you follow the pattern numbers, will get a smaller item.
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