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Old 01-04-2009, 12:52 AM   #1
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Circular knitting w/ 2 different size needles
This may be a dumb question, but...

If I'm knitting in the round using my Options, can I put a smaller needle tip on the left hand needle? I knit very tightly, especially when knitting in the round, and having a smaller size on the left hand makes it easier to slide my stitches along. Since the right hand needle is forming the size of the stitches, is that okay?

I was transferring to a larger cable and noticed that when I had a smaller needle on the left side it was much smoother and I didn't have to stop to feed more stitches onto the needle every so often. They just slid on their own!

Maybe I need to lighten up, but if this is not going to affect my gauge, I like my solution!
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:12 AM   #2
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I've never done it, but it sounds like it could work. I imagine that there would be some gauge change, but that's just a guess.

Why not try it on a swatch and see what happens?
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:24 AM   #3
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I have a goofy pair of Inox needles that have unequal tips, one is a sz. 5 and the other is a sz. 6 . I marked the sz. 5 tip with a permanent marker and am able to use these needles for circular knitting as a sz. 6 by always knitting from the sz. 5 tip onto the sz. 6 tip. These are 16 inch circs and I use them for hats. I didn't realize at first that there was a difference until I was putting them away and checked the size with my needle gauge just to make certain that they were going back into the correct bag. The sizer read 5, but the package was a sz. 6 and I didn't have any empty sz. 5 packages so I checked the size of the tip again and it read sz. 6. I decided to double check and when I did I ended up checking the sz. 5 side. I know I'm slightly nutty at times, but usually not within a couple of minutes!


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Old 01-04-2009, 03:48 AM   #4
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I knit tight also and I just finished a hat in the round that was lacy. I put a smaller tip on my left needle to help with the k3tog's. Works great if you ask me. I don't think it affected anything.

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Old 01-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #5
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2-needle sizes
Hi, Maureen!

You may well have stumbled onto a brilliant technique here, Maureen! Great way to start the knitting new year!

I'm pretty sure that it's the right hand needle, the one you form the stitches on, that determines the size of the stitch. When you're knitting from a cable needle, for instance, it's usually smaller than the needle size you're using for the project yet the stitches come out the right size. And that, I believe, is because you're forming them with your right hand needle which is the correct size.

If you were knitting flat you might have a problem with the differently sized needles, but knitting in the round, your right hand needle is the one that consistently forms the stitches.

So it sounds like you're in great shape with this and the next project I have on circs I'm definitely going to try it out!

Thanks for writing in with this and have a happy knitting new year!

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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I agree! I think your solution is brilliant!!! Good luck and show us how your project turns out.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:46 AM   #7
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Absolutely you can! As you said, it is the right hand needle that sets the guage.

I do it when knitting small circumfrances using the 2 needle method and my interchangable needle set.

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:08 PM   #8
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Yes of course you can, many knitters recommend this. And it's great for knitting with 2 circs when you have a set - just put the correct tip on one end of the needle and a smaller one on the other end, provided you don't knit with the smaller end.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:10 PM   #9
Turning the Heel
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Thanks guys! This is awesome. My hand is much less sore this AM than it was yesterday AM, and I knit most of the night in between patients!
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