How big can needles be to make gauge?

I want to try mittens and got some great instructions from a woman on Ravelry. I actually found a knitting store about 40 miles from me and picked out some yarn and they gave me a pattern. She said to start out with 8US needles, which is suggested for the yarn and go from there. It actually takes about 10 1/2 needles to get a decent gauge. It is weird, because the loops are big until I slip them off the pointed needle. Will this work for the mittens? I don’t want to start it and then end up having to frog it because of the needle size. Any help will be appreciated.:think:

Well, the bigger the needle the looser the stitches. If you knit tight you might be able to go up a size or two, but go too far and they may not be good for mittens… :think:

So, I guess I need to knit very loose?

I always make my mittens with worsted weight yarn and #4 dpn’s. That is how my mother taught me with a very old but useful pattern.

No it’s better to use a larger needle than to try and knit loose. Unless you are loose naturally, it’s very hard to sustain it through a whole project. I’ve found I prefer worsted weight on size 10½s to using size 8s and I don’t knit tight at all. Maybe practice on size 10s for a while. If you knit tight, you may be pulling the yarn after you make a stitch. You don’t need to do this, making the next stitch will pull the yarn naturally. Try that for a while and see if your tension loosens up.

I will try that for a while. I can’t remember what wool it is, but I think it was an Aran. I will look when I go home. I’m not very good at identifying yarn, yet. Fabric is more my thang. LOL

Oh, and Kellee, if you would share and PM me, I would gladly take an old reliable pattern.

Thanks everyone.

I’ll look for it tonight and let you know.

Do you knit off the very tip of the needle? I found my gauges were off because I was knitting on the tapered part which made my gauge way off.

Well, I didn’t think I did that. It doesn’t seem that big a deal on the size 8, but when you get to a size 10 1/2, the difference is huge. That is what got me wondering about jumping to a big size, in the first place. The hole is so big coming off these big needles and it slips onto the tip and really looks huge.

when you do a swatch what does the fabric feel and look like? is it very loose and drapey or is it very stiff and dense? if ti produces the sort of fabric you want then it doesnt matter so much what size needles you use as long as you can accomodate the gauge in the pattern.
if 8 seems to small and the 10.5 to big why not try a 9?

The 10 1/2 looks loopy and loose. The 8 looks good, but it has 6 stitches instead of the 4 stitches it calls for.

So the reccomended gauge for the yarn is 4 stitches per inch - and with US 8’s you are getting 6 stitches per inch?

Does the pattern also call for 4 stitches per inch? Because if it does, and you follow the pattern, your item will be only 2/3rds the size it should be.

But the pattern may call for a different gauge then reccomended on the ballband.

If the pattern calls for the 4 stitches per inch and you don’t like the look of the fabric AT GAUGE then you need to find another pattern, or recalculate the one you have.

if the pattern is calling for a different gaug than you are getting, and you definately want to use that yarn, then you may be able to alter the numbers of the pattern a little (as long as it is not to complicated). For example if the pattern recomends a guage of 4 per inch and you cast on 40 stitches then that is 10 inches. you have 6 stiches per inch so to get 10 inches you would have to cast on 60 instead (6 x 10 inches) to get the right size, and alter any decrases etc in the pattern apropriately.

Yes, the pattern calls for 4 stitches per inch.

Since this is my first mitten, I don’t know if I should try this. I thought I might run into some problems doing the thumb, so I didn’t want to get off of the pattern too much. I just bought the yarn and I kind of love it.

oh i had another idea! if you are not going to start on a project right away but are worried that squares could be a bit boring or they might feel that they are a waste of yarn, not good for anything, how about suggesting that when they are ready to move onto usable projects you take all their swatches and sqaures and sew them into an oddball blanket which can be donated on behalf of the group to a local preemie ward?
It could be a good way of compromising between squares are good for learning the basics and wanting to produce somthing usefull.

Well try a 10, or maybe 9, see if you can get closer. 6 sts per inch is pretty tight, but if you can get 5 or 4½ st/inch that would be better than 6.

I am trying a size 9. It might be a little more than 4 stitches, but not 5. I’m doing 4 inches of ribbing right now. It is fun and it is Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Willow. It’s pretty yarn. Thanks everyone for helping me.