Needle size

Can I mess my project up horribly if I don’t use the size that my pattern says. I don’t own the size it calls for an I want to know if I’ll be necessary to make the trip to the store?

1 Like

It really depends on the pattern how big effect it got. If the pattern calls for small sized needles then changing one size up will change proportionally more than if the pattern calls for big needles and you go up one size.

(What I mean is that changing from 1mm to 2mm needles means 100% bigger needles while changing from 8mm to 9mm means 12.5% bigger needles.)

I recommend you knit a swatch piece and judge from it how much it will affect the pattern.

1 Like

My biggest needles are 13 and it calls for 15. I’ll make a Swatch an judge. Just don’t want to screw up the store only had so much of the yarn I want to use.

What kind of pattern is it?? A sweater or blanket or what??



1 Like

Is your yarn the same one that the pattern says to use?? Or the same thickness??

Changing the needle size will change the size of your finished blanket. If your yarn is the same thickness as the one in the pattern, your finished size will be smaller, but not by much.

Fortunately you don’t have to worry so much about gauge when making a blanket. You can try it out by knitting a small sample with your current needles and see how much of a difference there is.


The pattern called for 170 g at 6 of them, I have 220g at 4 of them

One thing I have always said is that needle size is NOT that important… and yet it is. I also tell newbies NOT to be a slave to a pattern. A pattern is a guide ONLY… keep that in mind … and meant to give you some directions, which you do NOT need to follow exactly!

Now, let me explain. Needle size is important, to an extent, but what matters most of all is: Are you getting the fabric that YOU like?? I might like something more solid, someone else may want it drapey, and yet we are all correct! How can that be?

That is because we all, every single knitter, likes something different for what they are making. As you know, you do NOT need to use the same yarn as the designer – but sometimes it helps.But you are free to use anything else you want, as long as you understand it will be slightly different. Not wrong, but not quite the same.

The needle will influence the type of fabric YOU get. So the only way to know for sure, is to make a sizeable sample. We call it a swatch… and everyone, experts alike, will make one so they have an idea of what to expect. Sometimes that yarn just doesn’t make it… so you try another. Sometimes the fabric is too tight, so we make another with a bigger needle. Not a problem… we work it all out before starting the project.

Since you don’t have the needle you think you need, make a swatch with what you have, and maybe it will be what you want. If not, then get more needles!! (I shopped at a lot of thrift shops and built up my collection that way. Yes, it took some time… but wasn’t expensive.)

The thing I want to stress is that you MUST make a swatch, a sample, with the yarn you want, and the needles you have, and see how it works. There may be an adjustment necessary for size (that comes later) but find the materials first. The rest will fall in place, when you take the next step.

Don’t stress yourself over not having the needles in the pattern. Sometimes they are wrong FOR YOU… so become a “thinking knitter” and not a “blind follower” (from EZ)


Thanks for the advice. It makes sense it could change my project size I see that all the time when I use different needles to make wash clothes. It also makes scent to make it my own just a little scared I’ll be short. :slight_smile:

Welcome to KH!
You are going to be a bit short on yarn assuming the yarn weights are the same (worsted, bulky, etc). You might consider a border or some different yarn at the beginning and end of the blanket
What is the name of the pattern?

1 Like

Aspen mountain throw blanket The stitches are Irish moss

Very pretty and in super bulky so it should knit up quickly.

Play around with the needles and yarn to see what feels good to you as the posters above have suggested.


I like salmonmac’s idea of adding a matching color at the beginning and end of your blanket. Making sure that the thickness is the same (worsted, bulky, super bulky, etc). That way you would be sure to have enough yarn to finish the whole project!!



Thanks for the advice everyone

1 Like

Just realized my biggest needles are 11 not 13 like I thought sad face.

And what thickness is your yarn?? Is it 5 or 6??? Like we’ve suggested, cast on about 40-50 sts and make a sample to see what it looks and feels like.

If it was me and I had super bulky (#6)yarn I would use needle size 13 or 15. But start out with what u have and see if u like it. If u do go with the 11’s you will have to make sure you have a lot of the extra color.


I did the first 10 rows of my pattern with what I have and it looks great :grin:.


That’s terrific!!! Sounds like things are going well! Be sure to post a pic here when it’s done!


This is very important – that YOU are happy with the way the fabric looks and feels. You may be able to use the size in the pattern, but not always. This is very personal! Everyone is different; the suggested needle size in the pattern is only a guide, a place to get you started. YOUR own personal tension (for needle size) may very well be different, and THAT is more important than what the pattern tells you to use. You will learn this as you gain more experience.

On the topic of experience, I want to stress to you the importance of swatching. This is making a smaller sample of that pattern in your chosen yarn and needles to see how it works. It only take a short amount of time, and will save you from doing the whole item, and then ripping it out because you don’t like it! Take the time to do a swatch.

If you have extra yarn, you can save this to the end, and then store it away in your “book” to keep as a reference for next time. (If you do run out of yarn, you can always rip this out, and re-use this yarn!) You need to build up some experience, in the form of these swatches. Keep accurate notes of what yarn it was, what needle size, pattern, etc. so you can reference it some time in the future. This will make you a much better knitter (with experience behind you) rather than making the same mistakes over and over again!

Good for you in realizing that sometimes the patterns are not meant to be followed word for word!

I have definitely made this pattern my own. I am not using the same needles or the same Yarn an I am loving how it’s turning out. The only thing I would possibly change next go around is the color to show the center of it better. I picked up my needles an yarn I have yesterday and I’m a good part done with it. I’m hoping to have it done by end of March for a trip I am going on to take it with me. If I work on it like I did yesterday over the course of the next few weeks I have no doubts I’ll be done with it in no time.