Changing needle size to correct tension

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AnnaH
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Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby AnnaH » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:53 pm

Hi all

This may seem like a daft question but if I have knitted a tension swatch and need to change needle size to adjust my gauge, do I change the size of both sets of needles required by the pattern?

I'm going to knit a sweater and the required gauge is 14 stitches to 10cm over moss stitch on 6mm needles. I got 15 stitches to 10cm so fingers crossed, 6.5mm needles will sort this out..

The ribbing is done using 4.5mm needles. Do I need to change up to 5mm for this part?

Anna

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Joy
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby Joy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:50 pm

I'd say in theory yes but one stitch out is a very small difference which you might find changes as you relax into the knitting anyway.
I would definitely recomend you recheck your tension using the 6.5mm and think what you would do if you then got a gauge of 13st per 10cm.
Also take into consideration how the fabric feels bigger needle floppier fabric.
The shape and style of the garment may be such that it just isn't necessary to change the rib needle size and you might prefer to keep a firmer rib.

I think what I'm saying is that it's a subjective decision probably no right or wrong answer but down to personal choice.
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AnnaH
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby AnnaH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:41 pm

Hi Joy

Thanks for the great advice. I did make another swatch and washed it along with my first one to see what would happen with the wool/acrylic yarn. My first swatch now appears to measure 14 stitches/10 cm and the second is 13 as you said! I'll stick with the 6mm needles.
I think that I have gotten a bit worried about getting the gauge right since I knitted a cable sweater for my husband 30 years ago and although it looked good, it was a little large, but not so large that he couldn't wear it! I've only just started knitting again and am determined to get it right this time.

Again, thanks for the help.

Anna

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Joy
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby Joy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 9:20 pm

Glad that you're happy with the outcome Anna. If only our garments matched our tension squares then we'd all make them and knit perfect fits all the time.
Something I've picked up along the way is to make my squares a few stitches bigger than the necessary number for 10cm so that the first and last stitches don't distort the actual required size. But that's taking things to extremes this is a case of do as I say not as I do.. :rofl:
Keep us posted on your project
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AnnaH
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby AnnaH » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:09 pm

I cast on 23 stitches to make the tension swatch to ensure that I could measure properly.. :)
One thing that concerns me is that my row count is way off - 26 rows instead of 18 on the pattern. The yarn band gives a tension of 20 rows and 14 stitches. I'll end up using more yarn to achieve the dimensions specified on the pattern - I did buy 2 extra balls in case of emergency.

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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby Joy » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:28 pm

I wouldn't be too concerned with row count, usually garments say knit x cm rather than rows. Just make sure you do the same number of rows on corresponding pieces.
I'm not really the best person to give advice my own knitting is often way off. Go with your instincts and what feels right.
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AnnaH
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby AnnaH » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:17 pm

Thanks Joy :)

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sweetpea
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Re: Changing needle size to correct tension

Postby sweetpea » Mon Jan 16, 2017 5:40 pm

My knitting comes up bigger even if I change needle size I just cant get it right :lol:


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