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Old 10-16-2006, 01:24 PM   #1
Orchid22
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Switching Yarn question
Hello There!
My name is Martha, and I have been knitting for about 6 months now. I learned when I was 5 (my Mom was a knitting instructor at the YWCA), but it took me almost 30 years to get back to it. Fall/Winter is quickly upon us here in Columbus, Ohio, so I am anxious to start some warm projects!

Up to now I have only made very simple projects, but would like to try a sweater. My problem is that the yarn I like has recommended a size 17 needle and the pattern calls for a size 13 needle. Can I still make this pattern? Will I need to get more yarn than the 700 yards the pattern calls for? Will the sweather turn out too big if I use the larger needles? Can I just use size 13?

Sorry for all of the rambling questions in a row!!

Help!!!
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Martha
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:28 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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Knitting with a smaller than recommended needle can often result in a very dense fabric that's not as soft/pliable. What type of yarn does the pattern call for? Changing to a yarn with a different gauge can be tricky. Definitely do a gauge swatch and see where you need to go from there.
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Old 10-16-2006, 01:49 PM   #3
 
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Hi Jan!
Thanks for your quick reply. Here is the sweater that I want to make: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/kws-turtleneck.html

This yarn in this sweater is discontinued, so I couldn't even buy it if I wanted to.

Here is the yarn that I would like to use: http://www.joann.com/catalog.jhtml?C...&source=search

Do you think that the yardage that I need would be the same for either yarn? I would really like to get this yarn soon because it is on sale.

Do you think that I could just knit by the measurements of the sweater using the correct needle, regardless of the gauge?


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Martha
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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Pretty sweater! I noticed that there is a list of possible substitutions for the discontinued yarn. Apparently it was a super bulky yarn with 10 stitches over 4 in. The Joanns yarn doesn't give you a gauge which complicates things. If you have a Joanns near you you could check it out and see if it's a #6 (super bulky) yarn as well or maybe call if you were planning on ordering online. If so then it might be fine, but you really need to do a gauge swatch to be sure it will work out. I don't think I'd do a sweater based on measurements alone.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA
Pretty sweater! I noticed that there is a list of possible substitutions for the discontinued yarn. Apparently it was a super bulky yarn with 10 stitches over 4 in. The Joanns yarn doesn't give you a gauge which complicates things. If you have a Joanns near you you could check it out and see if it's a #6 (super bulky) yarn as well or maybe call if you were planning on ordering online. If so then it might be fine, but you really need to do a gauge swatch to be sure it will work out. I don't think I'd do a sweater based on measurements alone.
I've seen the yarn at JoAnn's and it might be either a worsted (4) or bulky (5) yarn. One way to use it would be to make a different size of the pattern like the large or extra large.

sue
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Old 10-18-2006, 02:51 PM   #6
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Swatch completed!
Well, I went ahead and got the yarn last night and completed my gauge swatch. The pattern says that I should have 8 stitches and 12 rows = 4 inches on size 13 needles.

My swatch, on size 13 needles, was 1.5 inches short on both the stitch and row gauge.

The label for the yarn says 9 stitches and 13 rows = 4 inches on size 17 needles.

I am going to reswatch on 17 needles tonight.

If my swatch matches the stitch and row gauge for the pattern, then I am good to go right? Even though I am using different needles?

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Martha
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:12 PM   #7
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The most important gauge measurement is the stitch gauge. If you get that one to be correct, then you should be good to go. Most patterns call for the number of inches to be knit, so row gauge isn't as important. You can always adjust your row gauge by knitting more or fewer rows, but you can't make something wider or narrower.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:16 PM   #8
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If you try to knit a sweater on size 13s when it calls for 17s, one of these things will happen:
1. Your finished sweater is way too small and stiff as a board.
2. You force yourself to knit super-loosely to get the right gauge and drive yourself INSANE.

Don't do this to yourself! Either way, it won't be fun.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by psammeadred
If you try to knit a sweater on size 13s when it calls for 17s, one of these things will happen:
1. Your finished sweater is way too small and stiff as a board.
Not necessarily true. If the yarn is thinner than what's supposed to be knit of the 17s, it will definitely be smaller, but not stiff.

sue
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by suzeeq
Originally Posted by psammeadred
If you try to knit a sweater on size 13s when it calls for 17s, one of these things will happen:
1. Your finished sweater is way too small and stiff as a board.
Not necessarily true. If the yarn is thinner than what's supposed to be knit of the 17s, it will definitely be smaller, but not stiff.

sue
Very true! (I was assuming the yarn was the same, but thanks for pointing that out!)
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