I dislike working with light weigh yarns. Suggestions?

I started a project that is supposed to be exciting and it doesn’t go well at all. It’s a little newborn purple hat for The Period of Purple crying campaing for the local childrens hospital. (Not to hijack the thread but the Purple campaign teaches parents about colicky babies and how to deal with scary newborn crying).

So, the project is inspiring. But all patterns are for fine gauge yarns, in sport and DK weight. And I just can’t make myself work with them. (On a few occasions I bought this type of yarn, I ended up holding the thread double). It’s not that I need my knitting to be ‘fast’, just the feeling like it’s too loopy on 3 mm needles or just too tiny on 2 mm.

That’s why I am still to produce a ‘nice’ pair of socks with fine yarn and 2.25 mm needles. The smallest needle size I own is 3mm bamboo dpns and two random metal 2 mm our of a dpn set that I can try things with but not really use.

I wonder if it’s a novice thing… Anyway, did anyone had similar problem and then tried something that turned things around? Other than just wrestling yourself into it and fighting the annoyance with every stitch?


I really don’t like working with needles smaller than US10/6mm though I have a few smaller ones. When I use thin yarns I make scarves or shawls where you can get away with using larger needles.

If you want to double the yarn, that’s fine, but that will work a lot easier if you also use a larger needle, like a 5mm to 6mm. A sport or dk weight should use a 4mm anyway, not something as small as 3mm, so maybe that’s ones of the reasons you’re having trouble with it.

I didn’t like working with them when I started and I still prefer a US 5 - 8. I do use the smaller ones when a specific project, like yours, calls for it, but I wouldn’t want to do a lot of stuff on size 2 needles for instance. I also don’t like big needles except for the occasional project. If I’m looking for a sweater pattern for gift or for me I look for worsted weight patterns.

Some special project require a special yarn or fiber. You may have to find another charity to work with.

Yes, you are right, there were two projects and I got them mixed up. I was using 4 mm with DK, and there was another project with merino yarn (the lining for the itchy hat) that was probably fingering (?) weight and 3 mm was too large.

I wonder–is it the project maybe and not so much the yarn?

For example, I often see (but have yet to make) shawls that are made with very fine yarn. I dream of making (well okay, having made–past tense, and more importantly, wearing) one of them some day.

I know they’re worked on needles several sizes larger than what’s recommended for the yarn, but I’m wondering if doing a more personal and enjoyable project (such as a shawl) might make working with the finer yarns more bearable. Plus the stitches for a shawl or similar type of project are [I]supposed to be[/I] loopy.

Of course, this is all coming from someone who has trouble completing any size project on any size yarn, so here’s your grain of salt to take with this post: .

Yeah, depending on what you want to make you can sometimes use much larger needles. I’m making a shawl with fingering weight yarn, but using US 8 needles. That makes it lacy of course.

I have to ditto all of the sentiments put forward here. Yarn, maybe? Project, maybe? Novice, not so much.

Preferences aren’t a bad thing or a good thing, they just are.

I don’t mind hand knitting with smaller needles or yarns. I do mind large projects of any sort. Anything bigger than socks on fine gauges is a large project for me because of the number of stitches involved. Anything bigger than a baby sweater is likewise a large project. So, no blankets, baby or otherwise. No scarves or shawls. Those are just my preferences at work.

Maybe something like that is in play with you & lightweight yarns, Olha. At any rate, my feel on it is that life is too short to knit with something you don’t like.

Why not contact the person(s) in charge of this project and ask if it is mandatory to use the pattern(s) you were given or if you could substitute something else? There are a lot of baby patterns out there for worsted weight yarn and larger needles (US 5, 6, 7, 8) that I bet your charity would be just as happy with. I would think the main idea would be that you end up with the sizes they need or want.

But don’t give up on lightweight yarn and small needles all together! Those projects can be very rewarding!

Thank you, everyone.

A few points to address – I made a scarf with lace yarn and it was Ok, even though it was fuzzy sticky acrylic/mohair blend.

Maybe it is just a project… I don’t think the pattern is mandatory, I will look into that.

The bottom line of today’s soul searching: returned that yarn, will start over with worsted weight.

Thanks y’all, now I can sleep better :slight_smile:

And you’re a busy mom who knits for her kids. You just don’t have the time to use the smaller needles. It’s probably the pattern and maybe the color. You’re purpled out. lol

Actually, now I have a line of people who I knit for… and I just realized that most of them would be kids I [I]don’t [/I]know :slight_smile:

And, yes, the colour is, ahem, alarming :slight_smile: Which is supposed to be. But I will make a wide white brim so that the baby doesn’t look purple just by wearing a hat. (It can be any combination of colours as long as 50% is purple).

You know what’s funny? Small knitting world. The lady who posted the pattern is also a relative of someone in my knitting group and the pattern we are using is written by Shandeh (Hi, Sandy)!

Sandy has a Rav page with patterns…any chance it’s one of these?

It’s this one http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stretchy-ribbed-newborn-hat---in-the-round

It was linked directly to the Flikr page so I didn’t notice who wrote it first. But while searching Ravelry to see if it’s there and how other hats turned out (mostly what yarn was used), and figured out who it belonged to.

I noticed that the original yarn was Bernat Baby Coordinates and it has a homespun look. I used regular acrylic in DK on 4 mm dpns and my hat was way too small. Checked the number of stitches 3 times. Dunno… So I wonder if it’s the yarn difference? (The lady who posted it says her hats are fine, she sent me measurements, and she is using the same Bernat yarn)

So it IS our Shandeh! :yay:

Everyone knits differently. Perhaps you knit a little tighter than the others, or they may knit looser. The end result is what’s important so I’d do whatever you need to do to get that. Whether it’s a stitch count change or yarn weight change.

I don’t mind DK weight yarn at all. I like knitting with worsted and aran the best.

However, sport, fingering (and finer) are trickier to get used to. And I really believe if you stick with it,
you [B]will[/B] get the hang of the gauge. It’s a ‘hand memory’ issue, really.

Knitting sweaters with fingering isn’t on my TO DO LIST any time soon. The knitting goes on and on and on.

But I’ve knit numerous sweaters using dk, and you really do get the hang of it eventually.
I like Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold a lot. And Maiko by Noro.

Anyway, that’s my 2 cents.

OK, I got it.

It was a [I]combination[/I] of yarn and needles. Apperantly, acrylic yarn behaves differently on bamboo needles – it doesn’t slide and makes this unpleasant sqeeaky sound. That affects everything – gauge, speed, and overall experience.

It just so happened that I switched to wool and bamboo needles for my recent projects. And before I would use metal needles and acrylic yarn that also worked for me. Now bamboo + acrylic made me feel like I developed some kind of hatred for acrylic which I couldn’t understand… I really enjoy wool but embrace all fibers that are useful for their intended purposes.

So I bought different yarn in worsted weight and switched to 16’ circulars and it’s soooo much better. I will post my hats later – I hope to make all of them (about 8 or 9 out of 2 skeins), as I plan to make a cost per hat calculation.

Thanks everyone for your advice.

I think the Bernat baby yarn is the best in its class. I like that it’s fairly soft, not scratchy like some. This one doesn’t split like other brands. Out of all the acrylics, I like Bernat the best. But there comes a time when you knit with it so much that you get tired of it. I’ve knit a lot of baby items with it. I wanted something else. I just bought Sensations Rainbow Classic Pattern at Joann’s yesterday. This is a brushed acrylic in a #5 bulky. I started a hooded top down baby sweater with it. It’s like self striping yarn. Beautiful baby pastel colors. Sometimes you just need a new yarn, new needles, or something different to put a little pizzazz in your knitting. We get bored if we eat the same thing all the time. Knitting is no different.