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Old 12-06-2011, 10:11 AM   #1
chixdilla
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Question about needle size
I found this pattern for a ribbed hat that I'd like to make for my boyfriend. The pattern calls for size 8 needles (circulars and DPNs), but I'm very budget-conscious so I don't want to run out and buy two sets of new needles. I already have size 7 DPNs, so I'm wondering if it will affect the pattern too much if I use those instead of 8s. I'm thinking I should buy circulars anyway because 100 stitches will be difficult, if not impossible, for me to work with on my small DPNs. I would hate to buy size 7 circulars though because I already have a set of size 7 straight needles so I figured I should get a size I don't already own. So if I buy size 8 circulars, would it mess up the hat if I finish it off on size 7s? Or should I just suck it up and buy the size 7 circulars?

P.S. If you couldn't already tell, I'm kind of a spaz about these insignificant details... and it drives me crazy!
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:01 AM   #2
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Go ahead and buy the circs, I suggest you get longer than 16" though and use them to magic loop with. That way you can use them for something besides hats, and you can also finish up the top of this hat without switching back to the dpns. You can also just finish the hat with the smaller dpns, it won't matter too much for just a few rows.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:45 PM   #3
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I've made hats with sizes 6,7, and 8 using about that number of cast on stitches for each one. There's not a lot of difference between a 7 and an 8. This is a hat that stretches, so it's more forgiving than a fitted sweater.

I used to live on the Mason-Dixon Line near York/Baltimore. It gets a bit nippy out your way. I'd suggest you knit this in 100% wool. I wore acrylics last year while waiting for a bus and froze. Wool is warmer and stays warm even when wet from snow. Merino wool that the pattern calls for can get a bit pricey. One alternative I could suggest is either Cascade 220 100% Peruvian Highland wool or it's close cousin, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. My LYS charges around $8 a skein for Cascade while I got Wool of the Andes for about $2 a piece in a sampler pack, even including shipping. Wool of the Andes was a new one for me, but I like it. Read labels carefully. Some yarns claim to be wool but are really blended with acrylics. Not as warm or durable.
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Old 12-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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BTW, thanks for the pattern link. This is a nice hat that I think even my picky adult sons would wear.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:03 PM   #5
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Thanks! I already have a skein of Patons classic wool that my boyfriend bought me-- to make stuff for him of course.

Yeah, that pattern's gotten some great comments on Ravelry. My boyfriend's a very basic type of guy who wouldn't normally wear knitted items, so this is perfect for him. Hope your sons like them if you end up making these hats for them!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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I learned to knit in May 2011 (yes, this year). I learned Magic Loop last month. I only wish I had learned Magic Loop sooner!

Now I'm irritated at myself for having purchased so *many* extra circulars that I won't be using...because all I'll really need are each size (prob. #1 through #10.5) in a 47" or 60" length. Period. I have tons of DPNs due to yard-sale acquisitions, and I will use them for gloves and other small apertures simply because of the hassle factor involved with so much extra cable for a tiny tube but, strictly speaking, they're not necessary, either.

Just get the #7 in a 47" or 60" length and the Magic Loop booklet by Hauschkas (I'll come back later and edit the spelling of her last name if it's incorrect). There are also videos, no doubt, but I figured it out just from the booklet.

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Old 12-06-2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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The extra circs aren't really a waste though. You might want to try knitting with 2 of them some time, or want to start a new project with the same size that's already being used for something else. I find that with needles 36" or longer knitting narrow things flat are too cumbersome, the cord gets in the way - 24 or 29" are great ones for that. Or use can use them for stitch holders. I have about 3 or 4 needles in some of my sizes and sometimes can't find an empty one when I want to try out a new pattern...
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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Yeah, I guess there's really no point in buying straight needles since you can basically do anything on a circular. I just think straight needles look so much cooler (lame, I know!) so it's hard to resist the temptation to buy them. And they're at least half the price of circulars so sometimes I just buy those if the project I want to work on is knit flat. I also can't stand the cable in the circs. Maybe it's just the set I have (I got a set of Boye needles at Michael's), but the cable is stiff and plasticky and I feel like it kept getting in the way and it was extremely annoying. But it's also extremely annoying when I have a set of straights 7s and I come across a project I really want to try that uses a circular 7! So either way, I can't win! I think I'll just go ahead and buy a 29" circular in a size 8. I watched the magic loop video on this site, and it seems pretty easy to do... I hope!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chixdilla View Post
I also can't stand the cable in the circs. Maybe it's just the set I have (I got a set of Boye needles at Michael's), but the cable is stiff and plasticky and I feel like it kept getting in the way and it was extremely annoying.
Not all cables are created equal. There are "taming" tricks to straighten out those stiff ones, but they aren't permanent and the often don't work that well. I bought ONE circ when I started..I think it was bamboo and shortly after that I bought my Knitpicks needles and never looked back. Life is too short to use crappy needles. Knitting is supposed to be relaxing and fun and fighting with a cable is not fun OR relaxing.

As for the cool factor of straights... you can't use them on everything as you can circs and they are way more awkward to keep and find what you need than circs. They are awkward to travel with, too. No contest to me.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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I wish someone would get me those knitpicks needles for my birthday next week!

ETA: Thanks a lot, Jan, now I'm sitting here staring at these with a look of longing in my eyes.

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