Better with Bigger Needles and Bulky Yarn?

I’ve been having a much easier time knitting and learning with larger needles and bulkier yarn.

Is this normal for a beginner?

I started with size 10 and a worsted weight yarn. Red Baron…some baby color blend, and I ended up with a VERY loose, dreadful looking little thing that I’ve bound off and generously call a potholder. :rollseyes:

Since I bound off and that skein was now free (I still only have a few) I tried using it to learn purling on size 11 needles. And had the WORST time trying it. Same with the double cast on that I’d just gotten right MOMENTS before…

Then I decided that maybe it was because it was BABY yarn…so I switched to another worsted wieght. No good. Swtiched to a bulky yarn that was twirly and weird - no good.

Decided instead to ditch the idea of trying to learn to purl tonight (since my “play yarn” - the free skeins - wasn’t working out for me and casted on to my size 11’s with bulky yarn. Easy as pie…

I feel like I can only buy bulky yarn and big needles now… :frowning: Is this a learning curve thing…or like how kids like to use big crayons? I love big fat chunky scarves, but how many can a girl own? :frowning:

I generally will use a worsted weight yarn with a needle size 6-9, a bulkier yarn I will use a size 10 and up. You probably ended up with a loose knit because you were trying to knit a middle-of-the-road weight yarn on a fairly large needle.

I would suggest you try a size 8 needle with your worsted weight yarn and see if you have any better luck.

I generally only knit with size 15, my favorite. I’m a beginner still too. I recently attempted a project with size 10, but found that too small for me at the moment. Tweaked it so I could use my 15s by doubling the yarn, as suggested by Ingrid.

But, if you’re trying at swatch to see what a pattern looks like, it shows up better with smaller needles.


Which is why (on many fronts) my valiant and delusional attempt at trinity stitch (before I had even gotten purl squarely down, at that) using sz 15’s with a super-bulky weird, twisty yarn was a bust. Duly noted. Thank you. :slight_smile:

And thank you too, knitqueen. Knowing what the vets’ “go to” needle sizes and corresponding yarn weights are, is HUGELY helpful. :notworthy:

Well, I’m hardly a vet but glad I could help! Seriously, I’ve only been knitting since February, but lots of practise and just trying different things, you slowly start to figure it out and what works for YOU!!

Good luck!

Knitqueen is right–that was my first thought, too 10 is too big for worsted. The label ususally gives you a range of suggested needle sizes for each yarn.

Knit with whatever you feel comfortable with. Remember those really big Kindergarten crayons?

I think with big needles each stitch seems to be more deliberate and individual. That may be why it works for you. Give yourself time in all of this. It’s certainly not a race, and no one’s timing you.

Thanks Ingrid. :slight_smile:

It wasn’t really that I’m in a rush (although I am… :shock: ) it’s just that I don’t see me being able to much with these bulky yarns besides scarves and maybe the occasional VERY HOT poncho or two… :slight_smile:

And there definitely something to this:

I think with big needles each stitch seems to be more deliberate and individual.

I’ll stick with what’s working well for me. But that means I’m gonna need recs for good bulky yarn…preferably in shades of pink. :thinking:

I haven’t done much knitting with bulky yarn. I will say to avoid Lionbrand Homespun and Bernat Breeze–one stretches and shreds and the other feels nasty–on my opinion–other people do love them. I think Plymouth Encore has a bulky, and I have worked with a Patons that was nice. I don’t know what bulky’s KnitPicks has, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a complaint about any of their yarn.

I’m sure other people will have more experienced recommendations than mine.

You’ll ‘graduate’ to being able to use any yarn–just keep the needle size appropriate for the yarn. We’ll have you knitting on size 1’s in no time. :rofling:

Personally I’ve found it easier working with larger needles and bulky yarn too… and I still consider myself a beginner (I’ve only completed 3 projects.) My last project and my current project use bulky yarn and size 15 circs.

You’re the best, Ingrid. :heart: Thanks so much.

I feel bad - I’m sure I can figure some of this out of my own, but it’s so FUN here. :rofling: And I’m having the best time :XX: so I want to talk about it aaaaalllllll the time. :slight_smile:

Uh–did you notice how many posts I have? I knew how to knit before I came here! It’s just nice to ‘be’ around people who share the same passion and understand the need for a kazillion yards of yarn around the house. Or who don’t think you’re crazy when you race around looking for a small knitting project before you go to the dentist! :rofling:

I’ve found I like the Red Heart Grande… it’s cheap, somewhat soft and not too furry like the fun fur stuff. Plus it’s machine washable… which is a big plus to me.

Hi babybear,

The funny thing about needle sizes, is that once you’ve used one size for awhile, anything else will feel odd until you adjust to it again.

In August, I was knitting baby socks on size 2 and 3 needles with fingering weight yarn and they felt “normal”. :thumbsup:

After I’d finished three pair of them, I started on some doubleknit potholders in ktichen cotton with size 5s. The needles felt HUGE :shock: for about the first 5 or 6 rows, then I got used to it. From there I went on to placemats with the same yarn on size 10s and again there was a period of adjustment for several rows, and one round of :frog: frogging.

Then I got my Knitpicks order :happydance: and started on the famous CLOGS! :cheering: They are on size 13 needles with a double strand of worsted weight yarn. Initially, I thought I was knitting with broomsticks!, but they soon became second nature. After three pairs of these, I picked up the size 10s with one strand of worsted again, and it felt like I was knitting with sewing needles and thread they were so tiny!

After seven or eight rows last night, I finally stopped dropping needles and yarn again. Your hands will eventually get used to it. I’ve been knitting for years, and I just wanted you to know that switching around feels awkward for most of us at times!

It IS a great help when your using a needle size at least somewhat appropriate for the yarn weight, but finding something that feels “right” for you is the most important, especially at the beginning!

Hang in there, and we’re around if you need encouragement! :thumbsup: :cheering:

Happy Knitting :XX: :XX:


I learned on LionBrand WoolEase Thick-N-Quick and size 17 needles! :shock:

My best project yet was one I did on the same yarn with sz 15’s…

I’m sensing a pattern. I’m normal! :happydance:

Joel thanks for the rec. :slight_smile:

Mary - wonderful information! Thank you! :thumbsup: It’ll save me a trip back here when I try the 8’s, and then back to 15’s, and am again wondering if I’m weird. :slight_smile: Happy knitting back! Is there another kind of kniting…I can’t imagine… :inlove:

I couldn’t use anything smaller than a size 13 until I had been knitting for 4 months. smaller needles and yarn were too frustrating for me.

Ok, good. Thanks Jodi…

I am normal. I am okay, and people like me. :rofling:

OK, Sally. :wink:


FYI for anyone that this might help, that Homespun Ingrid keeps warning us newbies about is the weird twirly yarn I mentioned.

Awful. I couldn’t get ONE decent stitch in. Not one.