Choosing Your Knitting Needle: Sizes of Needles

Duration: 3:49

Knitting needles come in many different sizes. In this video, knitting expert Jill Wright shares her needle knowledge with you to give you an overview on choosing the right knitting needle for your project.

When starting a knitting project, the pattern will list the gauge needed to make the piece. The gauge is particularly important as it will affect the final size of a project. If your gauge doesn’t match the pattern, your project will be larger or smaller than the project in the pattern. It’s critical to use a knitting needle that gives you the gauge that matches the gauge listed in the pattern.

Jill works three swatches of Stockinette stitch using a worsted weight yarn. The first swatch is knit on very large needles, which gives her a loose, mesh-like fabric. The fabric also has a great deal of stretch. A fabric at this gauge might work well for a scarf of shawl project.

The next swatch is worked on small knitting needles. As Jill notes, the fabric has little to no stretch. This fabric might work well for a knitted bag. This fabric is too dense even for socks, as there is not enough stretch in the fabric to pull over the heel and onto the foot.

Finally, Jill shows a completed swatch worked in the knitting needles called for on the yarn label of the worsted weight yarn. She notes that the resulting fabric is nice and even, has some stretch, and is perfect for garments.

Discussion
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2 Responses to “Choosing Your Knitting Needle: Sizes of Needles”
  1. Terri
    Terri

    What if you make swatches but none of them work with the gage? I had help choosing the yarn for a pattern with pattern in hand. When I did the swatch it was off. I tried going up and down in needles resulting 10 swatches but no guage. I was aiming for a 16 stitches =4 rows. I tried using cascade 220 super wash wool which says 20-22 st=4 in

    Most patterns I am on target with guage

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Terri. There are those rare occasions that you absolutely can not get gauge. Since everyone knits a little bit different, it can sometimes happen. Did you try blocking your swatches? Typically gauge listed in a pattern is based on a blocked swatch. That might help you get to the gauge listed in the pattern. Just remember, the gauge in the pattern is much more important than the gauge recommendation on the yarn label. And, if the item is a blanket or shawl, it’s probably ok if your gauge is a little bit off – although it will affect the finished size and the amount of yarn needed.
      Jen
      The Knitting Circle

      Reply