Conversions from larger to smaller needles and ply

Hello. This is my first post here. I am Australian and our needle sizes and yarn measurements are different from the US ones, but with a conversion chart it’s ok. I have a US pattern which says to use size 8 (5mm) needles and a 10 ply yarn. I have 4mm needles and 8 ply yarn, which I bought with another pattern in mind. The size of the finished blanket is 35 x 35 inches on the pattern as written. Roughly, how much smaller is it going to be using my needles and yarn? I am not good at working stuff out like that and would appreciate some idea from you. Thankyou.

Have you used your needles and yarn to knit a gauge swatch? Once you know your stitch gauge, you have 2 options:

  1. Take the given number of cast on stitches and divide by your stitches per inch from the swatch to determine the final size

  2. Take your stitches per inch and multiply by 35 to give you a number of stitches to cast on to have the given final size.

The second option can be tricky if the pattern has a repeat to it. Some pattern repeats say “multiple of X plus Y” so you sometimes have to adjust the cast on number to match. Be sure to read through the pattern to see if this is the case.

If you need more help, we are more than willing to offer it. A link to the pattern will help.

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I don’t know how to do a link but suzyp posted the pattern as she had a query way back in July 2013, which brought me to your site as I put in row nine in google search. I got the answer I was looking for before I came up with my own query,The title was Baby Blanket. Are you able to find it? Sorry to be a bit of a dunce, but I am functioning on post night shift brain :slight_smile:

There’s no way around it. You need to knit a gauge swatch, keeping in mind that since nobody’s going to be wearing it, gauge is only relevant to how big you want the blanket to be, and to how much drape the fabric will have. Going down a needle size may make the blanket too dense if the yarn is thicker or your tension is greater than the original pattern.

A Google search tells me that 10-ply in Aussie-speak is worsted or Aran. Unless your tension is very loose, you may find the fabric doesn’t drape well.

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Welcome Fiona!
Maybe this pattern:

ETA: Here’s the link to the web page:
(You can copy and past the URL into your post in order to give us a link.)
I agree with Ouisi. There’s no substitute for a gauge swatch.
In addition, 8-ply is rather loosely defined as 18-20sts/4 inches, depending on the thickness of each ply. A rough calculation puts the blanket at 10-20% smaller. Best thing all around is to try a gauge swatch with your yarn and needles. See if you like the knit fabric and then calculate how many sts to cast on.


If that is the correct pattern and I’m reading it right, you’ll need a multiple of 12 plus 1.

Ply isn’t really a good measurement anymore because each ply can be lighter or heavier depending on how it’s spun. Do you have a gauge? Is there one on the yarn?

What I have ended up doing is adding, as you say multiples of 12, so added 36 more stitches. I think that should be adequate. If not and I can’t work it out I’ll just knit it as written and it will be smaller. It’s only meant to be a cot/pram blanket not a shawl, so in many respects size doesn’t matter. I was curious, more than anything, to get a rough percentage of reduction of size. 10-20% is what I was thinking.

The link hasn’t come up but that’s the pattern. I’m knitting it in almost pearlised cream. Don’t know the gender yet, hence the neutral colour. Thankyou everyone for your suggestions. The fun is in the trying and in the end succeeding, regardless of the methods. Cross stitch is more my thing these days.

Ok, run into a bit of a problem. I added 36 extra stitches (3x12). Row 9 worked perfectly, row 11 leaves me with 2 extra stitches when I get to the last 17 (19 in my case) after doing the complete patterns. I have unpicked and done it several times. Unpicking, not my favourite thing, but sometimes it has to be done. I can’t see where I’ve gone wrong. Maybe I’ve just lost concentration along the row somewhere. I think I’ll start again from row 8.

On row 11, are you remembering the k2 after the first 6 border sts? If you’ve done that then it must be a random error in a repeat. If you haven’t unpicked the row, place markers now to mark off the 12 stitch repeats and count the sts in the repeats to see if you can find the mistake. It sometimes also helps to name the sts as you look at the repeats (the yarn overs, double decs, etc.).
You may also need to check row 9. Even though you had the correct number of sts to work across the row, you may not have ended the row with the same number. Maybe a forgotten pass 2 slipped sts over?
Lifelines are so helpful in just this situation.

Yes, I have remembered them. I am going to unpick and go back to row 8. Start from scratch, so to speak. With all of the knit 3 every second manoeuver, it’s easy to get lost and forget your place. I’ve even said each instruction out loud for a while, lol. Stay tuned as sooner or later, I’ll have it and will be on rows 12 and 13 and will be very happy with myself.

Put in markers which may help with row 9. Good luck. You’re going to get this to work. It’s always the set up row or the first time through the pattern that causes the most problems.

Agreed. Every pattern I ever do, it’s the same, until it’s becomes established. Part of the fun and challenge of knitting. Thanks.