Gauge Question

Is there a rule of thumb for knowing how much sizing up or down your needles will change your gauge?

I often like to use yarns other than those specified for a given pattern. It is easy when the sts/inch are similar. However, often the sts/inch is different AND the needle size is different.

W/o making a swatch, is there a rule of thumb for “yeah, that’s in the ballpark” or “nah, I’d better keep looking”.

(Specifically, I am wondering if I could make the slanted v neck pullover from the Spring IK on the other link in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK. On the other hand, I had better quit buying yarn anyway, so it isn’t the end of the world if I can’t figure it out. More important is whether or not there is a rule of thumb for this sort of thing).

everyone knits so differently and at different gauges, so it’s really hard to say! the best bet is for you to try out what you’re considering and see if you like it. i am working on a sweater now that called for size 8s and WW yarn. i had previously done a gauge swatch with a different WW yarn and it worked, but this one is coming out slightly smaller. BUT, I know that I don’t like the fabric this particular yarn produces on size 9 needles, so I am sticking with the 8s and altering the pattern slightly. That is a big factor. Really, you can use any yarn and any size needles to make anything you want, but do you want a sweater you can see through? :wink:

Suzeeq gave an excellent idea in another post for when your gauge is too large, you can make the size smaller but stick with your needles, making necessary modifications to lengths, of course, I love that idea!

In order to substitute a yarn, you need to find one with a similar gauge. In this case, you need to stick with a DK weight yarn. As long as the yarn is similar, you shouldn’t need to worry about your needle size too much. But, of course, knit a gauge swatch first to be sure.

Once you have the yarn, there’s no real rule of thumb for changing your needle size other than moving up or down one and swatching again. If your gauge is way off, go up or down 2 needle sizes.

I’ve found that going up or down the next needle size really doesn’t change the sts/inch or even 4 inches all that much. But the change can be more apparent with the row gauge.