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MrCat

Advice needed.

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Hey folks,

 

I'm pretty much totally new to knitting, and I'm liking it chunky :)

 

I've got me some size U needles and have been trying some stuff with rags.

 

I recently went and bought some yarn wich is fairly chunky and some 10mm needles as it said I think 9-10 on the yarn label. I'm finding that my stitches are very loose tho. They're consistent :) but loose. Does this mean I should use some smaller needles for a less holey finnish, or do I need to try just making them tighter. I quite like the loose holey effect with this yarn tho as it's very tactile but I did imagine it'd come out slightly tighter than it is.

 

Any tips would be great

 

Cheers

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Slightly smaller needles should take care of it. Don't be surprised if your gauge changes a little as you get more experience.

You'll also find that you like one kind of needle better than another, just as you prefer one kind of hook.

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I know you mentioned U crochet hooks in another post. In the US, (just to be difficult ;) ) we use a different system for knitting needles (numbers, not letters) which is different again than the mm measurement.  Here's a chart which shows US, UK, and mm.  Actually I'm surprised it doesn't go smaller, there are needles smaller than zero (00, 000 etc)

 

http://www.lismoresheepfarmwoolshop.com/needles/conversions.htm

 

Anyway, yes, you will find yourself collecting all sizes of needles.  Some needle connoisseurs will object to what I'm about to say; I got back to knitting about 5 years ago and bought inexpensive needle sets from Amazon, and have been happily using them with no trouble.  As in, most of the sizes in the above chart (except the biggest) of circular needles (Boye, with interchangeable cables) for about $30, 5 needle sets of the same sizes of double pointed needles for about $20 (no-name brand).  If I were to have bought the sizes separately it would have cost several times that, even more for higher-end needles.

 

I recommend circulars over long straights because you can use them in the round or straight, and the small actual needles is less stress on the hands (the work is on the cord, on your lap usually, not all hanging out on the needle supported by your wrists).

 

Double pointed needles are for working on small things in the round, but if you are working on bulky yarn you might not need them...would be for socks and hats, smaller things mostly.

 

Anyway, to answer your question, it's a good thing to have multiple needle sizes at your disposal; if you need to match a designer's gauge for example, you may need to use a different tool that is called out; or like what you are describing, you might want to experiment for looser or tighter fabric.  Everybody's tension is a little different.

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Thanks, yes I asked the woman in the shop, it didn't say mm on the yarn label but she said it refered to mm, maybe she was wrong, I'll have to look up what size that is! I was a bit keen saying all my stitches were consistent too haha :) On doing a bit more I realised that keeping the same tension throughout is actually more tricky than it looks. I think I'm just going to need some practice :)

 

Ahh ok I've looked at the conversion chart, size 10 is about 5mm! half the size I'm using, that does seem a bit small but I've some smaller needles I got from a charity shop I can try,

 

My big big size U are 25mm, they were very cheap from amazon but they're not very long. I saw a great vid on youtube of someone knitting with some pieces of plastic drainpipe tho I'd quite like to try :D

Edited by MrCat

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Check out your charity shop for big spools of macrame cord--when people drop off their unwanted stash they leave tons of it, because the old plant hangers and wall hangings took a lot of yardage at a time. I knitted a sock out of some one-centimeter cord with a pair of broomstick lace needles so I could show my sock class how to turn a heel! It really is a lot of fun.

 

Another thing you'll enjoy if you like knitting with big needles is a scrap rug--three, four or more strands held together at random, and just keep going in garter stitch until you run out. If you want to be fancy, you can use a couple of strands of black, gray or another neutral and a couple of strands from balls wound from bits of who knows what.

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