The Sewing Place

Needle size question

b15erk

Needle size question
« on: August 28, 2018, 12:38:50 PM »
Over the weekend, I found a UFO which I still like.  The reason I didn't finish it was because of the tension issues - I was never sure if the size was coming up true, and it looked very small.

The pattern is a vintage one from Purple Kitty Yarns - Lady's Shawl Collar Cardigan

The problem is the Knitting needle instructions.  1 pair of Boye Size 8, and 1 Boye Circular needle, size 4-24.

I'm just not sure this is right.  The size 8 seems OK for worsted, but the size 4? 

Can anyone enlighten me please?  I don't even know if Boye is an English company or American....

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

jesster

Re: Needle size question
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 13:08:03 PM »
I have many old sets of Boye needles.  Mine were purchased in the US.  A size 8 = a 5mm needle and a size 4 is a 3.5 mm, per an old chart.  I've used a size 4 with worsted without difficulty for ribbing.  Larger needles create looser ribbing.  It all depends on what you prefer.  I would try working a swatch of ribbing with your yarn with any size 4/3.5 mm needle you have or can borrow.  That will give you an idea of the gauge of the ribbing and whether it will be comfortable both to wear and to knit.  If you find you prefer a larger needle, just adjust the number of stitches for the ribbing gauge.

b15erk

Re: Needle size question
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 13:15:53 PM »
That's great, thank you Jess!  Thinking about the needle size and the yarn type, I think DK may not be thick enough.  I thought Worsted type yarn was a DK, but it's an Aran thickness, DK is Light Worsted.

So, maybe I have to increase the size and decrease the needle size? 

I swear this is why I never finish things!  I make everything so complicated!  :S

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

jesster

Re: Needle size question
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 18:25:51 PM »
What we call worsted in the US is apparently slightly thinner than UK Aran/10 ply.  If your yarn is DK, which is even thinner, using a larger needle would get you closer to the right gauge but may give a drapier, more open fabric.  Again, it depends on your preferences. 


If it's a UFO, do you have enough already knit to measure how many stitches per inch in the fabric?  Whichever size needle gives you 5 stitches per inch should result in the right size, per the pattern.  As one who regularly chooses a different yarn than the pattern specifies, I understand the pain of getting things to turn out the right size.  :wool: :gin:

BrendaP

Re: Needle size question
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 00:38:52 AM »
The pattern finishes with "Bind off in ribbing" so it's an American pattern - an English / British pattern would say "Cast off in ribbing".  So te needle sizes will be American.

There are lots of needle conversion charts on the web but US size 8 = 5mm = old UK size 6.

Yarn thicknesses are never very precise, but worsted weight is somewhere between DK and Aran, so a 5mm needle is in the right ball park.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/