Needle sizes

Hi I’m knitting my husband a sleeveless v neck vest. The pattern says 8 ply and size 3.75mm (no.9) and 3mm (no.11) knitting needles. I have only bought size 4mm (no.8) Can I use my size 4mm (no.8) instead of both? Due to self-isolating I don’t know if I can get the right sizes. I bought the yarn and needles before the pattern, hence the problem.

Welcome to KH. Using needles you already have work a swatch at least 6"x6" (15 cm x 15 cm?) and if you make gauge (tension?) for the main part of the vest you should be fine. Usually a stitch count over 4"/10cm is given in the pattern. If the smaller needles are used for rib or other edge stitches there are ways to adjust to use the same needles, usually working rib on fewer stitches will do just fine. To know how far off base I might be, what is your pattern? A link to it would be great.

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Hi thanks so much for getting back to me. I’m going to knit Villawool Donegal 8 ply mens sleeveless vest L758

Hi I have done a tension check as per instructions- 24 sts and 32 rows but using 4mm (8) needles. I’ll try and attach photos. Could you please tell me what I can do. Thanks

Hi I’ll try and attach 2 photos. Please let me know what to do. Thanks

Gauge/tension is usually given for stockinette. Did you use garter stitch? That could affect the number of stitches.

If the smaller needles are used for the rib you could decrease the number of stitches used by about 10% if you need to use the same needles as for the rest of the vest and increase after the rib. @salmonmac is much better than me with this stuff. I can tell you it’s possible not how to do it.

GG is right as ever. Gauge swatches are usually knit in stockinette (knit one row, purl one row) and measured over the middle 4 inches/10 cm. Your pattern doesn’t specify but that’s usually what’s meant. Here’s a video on gauge and measuring stitch and row gauge.


Knitting a stockinette stitch swatch will give you a closer idea of your gauge with your yarn and needles. The pattern stitch in the sweater has twisted stitches but if there is a basic background stitch it’s stockinette.
Once you determine your gauge and whether you like the knit fabric, you can decide if you want to make the size given in the pattern.

Thanks. I’ll re-do it in stockinette stitch. I haven’t knitted for many years as you can tell​:thinking::persevere:

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Hi, I went to Kmart and bought some other sized needles but I still don’t have 3.75 (9). I have 3mm (11), 3.5mm and 4mm (8). So now I can use the 3mm for the band rib and neck and armhole ribs. But can I use the 4mm instead of 3.75mm for the rest of the vest.
I’ll attach photos of the sample I have done. I’d appreciate your help so I can get started. Thanks

Watch the video linked to above to measure the number of sts you are getting along 4 inches or 10cm. If your swatch isn’t wide enough to measure 4 inches across the center of the swatch, measure 2 inches and calculate how many sts you get in 4 inches. Compare that number to the gauge given in the pattern (24sts)
Then you’ll be able to see if you need to go up or down a needle size for the main body of the vest.