Choosing needles to satisfy gauges

I am knitting a scarf & hat using a Bernat Roving pattern. The scarf called for a US 10 1/2. I used an 11. The hat calls for us 8 and 10 1/2 double-pointed needles set, plus a 10 1/2 circular knitting needle 16 inches long. The scarf should be 7 in wide. If I lay it down and smooth it out it just reaches 7 in. My first question is should I use double pointed needles 8 1/2 and 11 for the hat, instead of what the pattern calls for?

All I have ever knitted before was an afghan, so I didn’t see a gauge being so important. I am concerned with the hat because I don’t want it too big or too small.

My last question is, can the circular needle be 29 in? I’m pretty sure it can’t because I believe with the hat I will need to just keep going around. Any help will be appreciated. Mary

For any item when fit is important I’d suggest a doing a gauge swatch first. It’s really the only way to figure out what size needle you will need in order to get the proper fit. I’d just go ahead and start knitting the hat in the round the way the pattern called for it cause I am of the opinion that in order to get a proper gauge you have to be using the knitting technique you are going to use for the finished item. In other words, don’t knit a flat gauge swatch for an item you are going to knit in the round.

Did you do a gauge swatch for the scarf before you started using the size 11 needles? Just because your gauge worked on the 11s on your scarf doesn’t mean you will get the same gauge in the round.

Unless you knit in the round using the Magic Loop technique you should use the size circ recommended in the pattern. Otherwise you will stretch out your hat trying to fit the stitches on the larger size circular.

I’d recommend watching the video on Magic Loop for circular knitting on this site and forget the double points altogether. I used to use double points for circular knitting but once I learned to Magic Loop I never picked up my dpns again.

Good luck!


If it seems like the scarf is wide enough on the 11s, then use them for the main part of the hat. You can try 9s for the beginning instead of the 8s, you may knit tight and need to go up in needle size. There are no size 8½ needles.

You can still use the 29" circs, look at the magic loop video on the Advanced Techniques page or the single loop method on this page.