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Old 05-22-2006, 01:33 PM   #1
bethie
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changing needle size?
On a whim, I bought some size 9 and size 10 needles during lunch.

I'm wondering if using these size needles would help the project move along a bit faster (in re: to my previous post of knitting a 12.5x12.5 pillow cover for a pillow form I bought)

The yarn I am using does call for size 8 needles (the wrapper with specific gauge details is at home right now) but the yarn is 100% mercanized (forgive me if I spelled that wrong) and quite thick, or at least thicker than the other cotton yarn they had that called for either size 6 or 7 needles (I forget which one)

It seems on the size 8 it is a bit tedius to knit, would bumping up make it any easier? I defintely don't want to bump down a size at that would have me casting on soooooo many stitches. Plus I believe I used this same yarn (different color) on size 7 needles (to make a wash cloth for mother's day) and it was even more tedius to knit since the yarn was too thick for the needles. The finished washcloth came out great though....

I am also doing my best to relax and not knit tight. I already started over once because I cast on too tight and the few rows I tried to knit was torture
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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You are knitting for a 12 in pillow form correct? In that case you would need to adjust the number of co stitches because using a larger needle will affect the final size making it larger. So you might have to experiment with gauge to see how many to co.

There are no hard and fast rules about needle size in a pattern, you just have to remember that it will affect the final outcome and make adjustments accordingly.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:02 PM   #3
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I would do a test swatch to see if you like the look (and gauge)-- it will probably be fine, expecially if the yarn is thick. I'm assuming you don't a fairly solid fabric to cover your pillow form, and the swatch would show you if the fabric will be tight enough.

I've done several projects that called for a fairly small needle and thicker yarn, and it was killer on my hands (even trying to knit loose)!
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:25 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your comments. I really appreciate all the helpful and quick responses I have gotten since I have joined this site. I do have a couple of follow-up questions...

Although it is sad that I have already done 13 rows of 55 stitches each, I will pause and try making a sample gauge swatch later tonight on size 9 needles. I'd rather frog everything now and have a much much more enjoyable knitting experience for the entire project.

Do you think 10s would work too?

Another question: Can I make a gauge swatch WITHOUT having to bind off and sever the yarn from the bundle?


I am pretty sure that this is what I bought
http://www.yarnexpressions.com/yarn_...files/fnc.html
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:40 PM   #5
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Oh no, purty yarn on sale! MUST NOT LOOK NOW.

A larger needle will give you a larger, more open stitch. If you're putting it over a prestuffed pillow form (a blank white pillow) I think you'd be fine, but keep in mind you may be able to see some of the pillow form through the stitches. If you're actually stuffing the pillow yourself with fiberfill, I don't think that would work the best as the fibers may work themselves out.

If you're going to swatch comparing the 9's with the 10's, you can just start knitting with the different size needle, and that would give you a side-by-side (or top-over-bottom) comparison. Once you've established your gauge with your preferred needle size, you can frog your swatch and start into your project and reknit the yarn you used for your swatch.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:45 PM   #6
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If gauge isn't essential (as it would be for a garment) I have done a small swatch that I didn't bind off just to get a good idea of gauge (so I could pull it out and re-use the yarn). It depends on how accurate you need your size to be. I imagine the more care you take with a gauge swatch, the better gauge reading you will get.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:47 PM   #7
bethie
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Originally Posted by gardenmommy
Oh no, purty yarn on sale! MUST NOT LOOK NOW.

A larger needle will give you a larger, more open stitch. If you're putting it over a prestuffed pillow form (a blank white pillow) I think you'd be fine, but keep in mind you may be able to see some of the pillow form through the stitches. If you're actually stuffing the pillow yourself with fiberfill, I don't think that would work the best as the fibers may work themselves out.

If you're going to swatch comparing the 9's with the 10's, you can just start knitting with the different size needle, and that would give you a side-by-side (or top-over-bottom) comparison. Once you've established your gauge with your preferred needle size, you can frog your swatch and start into your project and reknit the yarn you used for your swatch.
Yes, the gauge part I get. I know that knitting with 9s or 10s is going to give me less stitches per inch because the stitches will be bigger. This is what I want as knitting currently with the 8s is not going literally as smothly as I'd like.

Thankfully, I bought 3 thingies of yarn (one is on the size 8 needles now). I guess I can just use one ball for the 9s and one ball for the 10s and see what the gauge compares at.

But my big question is: When I'm making my gauge swatch, can I leave it on the needles so I don't have to cut the yarn?
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Holly
If gauge isn't essential (as it would be for a garment) I have done a small swatch that I didn't bind off just to get a good idea of gauge (so I could pull it out and re-use the yarn). It depends on how accurate you need your size to be. I imagine the more care you take with a gauge swatch, the better gauge reading you will get.
Oops, I missed your note while I was replying to another piece of advice

Gauge is sorta important, I need the piece to be 12.5 wide and long, any less it might not match up with the other piece I plan on knitting when I seam it all up to put on the pillow (12x12). A little bit big would be OK, not a major problem.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:12 PM   #9
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I posted this the other day in regard to a similar question:

Originally Posted by Holly
I just finished reading the section on guage in The Sweater Workshop, and she suggests doing a swatch that starts with 3 ridges of garter stitch, then stitch 4" using one needle size, in stockinette, make a ridge of garter stitch and switch to the next needle size, and repeat for 3 different needle sizes -- end with another 3 ridges of garter (to help the swatch lay flat for measuring). I hope I just explained that OK! In any case, I have always done one swatch per needle size (OK -- if I *actually* made a guage swatch !), but with this method, you can get an idea in one swatch of how several needle sizes might work for your project. This way you can pick what guage seems to work the best, while comparing several sizes all at once.
I liked the suggestion from this book for comparing several needle sizes in one swatch, and the garter stitch on the edge will help the swatch lay flat for accurate measuring. If you don't bind off your swatch, I'd be afraid that it could distort your measurement. However, if you made a large enough swatch, I guess you could measure near the cast on edge and not bind off near the top :thinking: I know that Amy wrote a very good essay on correct gauge that you could consult also. IMO, it depends on how exact you feel you need to be.
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Old 05-22-2006, 03:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Holly
I posted this the other day in regard to a similar question:

Originally Posted by Holly
I just finished reading the section on guage in The Sweater Workshop, and she suggests doing a swatch that starts with 3 ridges of garter stitch, then stitch 4" using one needle size, in stockinette, make a ridge of garter stitch and switch to the next needle size, and repeat for 3 different needle sizes -- end with another 3 ridges of garter (to help the swatch lay flat for measuring). I hope I just explained that OK! In any case, I have always done one swatch per needle size (OK -- if I *actually* made a guage swatch !), but with this method, you can get an idea in one swatch of how several needle sizes might work for your project. This way you can pick what guage seems to work the best, while comparing several sizes all at once.
I liked the suggestion from this book for comparing several needle sizes in one swatch, and the garter stitch on the edge will help the swatch lay flat for accurate measuring. If you don't bind off your swatch, I'd be afraid that it could distort your measurement. However, if you made a large enough swatch, I guess you could measure near the cast on edge and not bind off near the top :thinking: I know that Amy wrote a very good essay on correct gauge that you could consult also. IMO, it depends on how exact you feel you need to be.

Yes, thank you. I feel like I am making a mountain out of a molehill. I'm still trying to figure out how much yarn will knit up for this project and am hesitant to cut off from the ball of yarn. However, I guess if I run out I can always unravel my sample gauge swatch I suppose.

I'll just cast on like 16 stitches and knit for a few inches and we'll see what happens.

Wait, when you do gauge, are you doing knit knit knit knit rows, or are you supposed to do the stockette stitch of knit row purl row knit row purl row?

The back of the pillow I plan to all knit.

The front of the pillow is a combo of knit and purl,

the edges are knitted, the middle is knit row purl row, and the letter 'b' in the middle is all knit so it stands out against the stockinette background
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