Can you try needles before you buy?

I don’t know what size needles I need to obtain the gauge for the project I’m trying to make, and was wondering if there was a place that you could go to and try different sizes out. I’ve never heard of being able to do that, but it would be neat if you could. Have any of you ever heard of anything like that?

Try an actual yarn shop that holds classes. They may have some needles available for trying in the store.

That’s why a great many knitters have interchangeable needles. I don’t know if a yarn shop would allow you to do that or have needles available to test, but it’s worth a try. You may have to just buy a few sets that seem the mostly likely ones you’d need.

The best thing is to call your local yarn shop and ask. I like my LYS. Phyllis lets you try out needles and even yarn if you want to. You can browse the books to your heart’s content. She will wind a skein up for you in a center pull ball on her knitting winder. She’ll offer you a cup of coffee. This is the way all LYS’s should be run. It’s a very inviting place.

I’ve never heard of a large, mainstream craft store allowing that. Maybe the ones here are just that way. I have heard of the local yarn shops, the ones that specialise in the mysterious workings of yarn, occasionally allowing ‘test drives’ of needles.

Fatoldladyinpjs, where in WI is your LYS? It sounds like such a nice place I wanted to go there if it wasn’t too far away from me.

This is Iris Fine Yarns in Appleton, Wisconsin. Just as an example, I heard about the Wonderful Wallaby pattern that another poster mentioned and wanted to get it. It’s not available as a download, only a paper pattern. The shipping charges were almost as much as the pattern. I emailed Phyllis and asked her if the store carried it. She replied that they didn’t, but she went ahead and ordered some for the store. She said she’d let me know when it came in. This is personalized service! She didn’t have to do this for me. I would much rather give her my business.

I frequently see people bringing their knitting into the store for some personalized help when they have a problem. The clerks are all accomplished knitters and take the time to show them how to do something.

This is one reason why it is good practice to support your LYS even if the price is a little higher.

Think of the service you get at the Big Box?

Oh, how I wish there were a LYS near where I live that cordial, but alas, none whatsoever. I’d love to be able to actually ‘feel’ yarn prior to purchasing as I have to do on the Internet. We are talking about relocating to another state (Northern Nevada hopefully) and that is certainly on ‘my list’ of important things to look for. :teehee:

Jimmy Beans wool is located in Reno, and there’s a couple other yarn shops too. I think there’s one in Winnemucca, but other than that, there’s not much in N Nevada. Only a handfull of towns over 300 too. But Reno’s easy to get to and you can make a day trip out of it.

How is Jimmy Beans yarn? Is it nice to knit with? Lately, I’ve been working with Walmart type cheap acrylics that split. It’s very frustrating. Once I get rid of my Lion brand stash, I’ll never buy it again. I’m beginning to understand that you get what you pay for. I think I’m going to stop being cheap and buy all wool yarns from now on. It’s worth it for the sheer pleasure of using it, and in reducing frustration. I’m sick of having to purposely drop stitches and fix them because the yarn split and I didn’t get it all on my needle. Those cheaper brands aren’t worth it.

Edit: Although I will say that as far as acrylics go, Bernat is excellent. I never have any splitting problems with that.

JB carries a lot of different well known brands, I don’t think they have a house brand. Here’s their website.

Not all acrylic yarns are horrible to work with and some very expensive ones can be awful too. So price doesn’t really have a lot to do with it, but it’s good to experiment with different fibers.

Another beef I have with Lion is that their website is so hard to navigate. I’ve sent them several emails telling them so, and they just don’t seem to care that it’s not user friendly. Their response was, use the advanced search option. Well, I did that. I type in the object I want patterns for and the skill level. They still give me beginner patterns which I don’t want, crochet patterns I don’t want along with the knitting patterns I do want, and items that have nothing to do with what I’m looking for. I spend so much time trying to weed through useless c*** that I’m just boycotting their site altogether. If you’re not willing to make it easier for us knitters who have jobs, families, and not a whole lot of time, you don’t need my business either. Sorry, just blowing off frustration with them here.

Another suggestion is to ask around at work/school/church to find someone who knits, and ask if you can try out a size or two. Who knows? She (or he) may even turn out to be a knitting mentor for you.

When I was in VA. in July I went to this store The Knitting Corner. I didn’t get to spend a lot time there due to daughter in law needing to be somewhere else a little later or I would have stayed all day. The owner of the store was a Master Knitter and I would have loved to have spent some time talking with her. I was able to purchase some really nice yarn of a brand called Queensland Sugar Rush. The yarn is made from 100% sugar cane viscose(the fibrous tissue left after the sugar cane is crushed to extract the sugary liquid. I bought 5 small skeins of it in a really pretty silver gray.
The other store I was able to visit was just as welcoming as the Knitting Corner was. The ladies there were surprised to learn that I was not from Va. but was from FL and I was shopping in their stores. I do not have a LYS except for the yarn that Walmart, JOANNS and Michaels carries. I bought 5 skeins of Misti Alpaca 100% baby alpaca 2 ply lace weight. I have a shawl pattern all picked out for this yarn, a very pretty blueish gray

I do know Jimmy Beans carries a wide variety of yarn as I have ordered from them on the Internet. Also, about once a week (or so) they post interesting short videos. A while back I had reason to call them regarding a previous order and they were more than helpful and very friendly. If and when we get to N. Nevada, Reno area, will certainly visit their shop.