I found a pattern on How Stuff Works Free Knitting Patterns for a glasses case. It calls for the Plymouth Fantasy Naturale yarn and size 8 needle with the gauge of 26 stitches and 40 rows = 4 inches. I made a rather large swatch with size 8 needles and the needle size proved to be much too large. On Plymouth Yarns’ web site it states that this yarn has a gauge of 4.5 stitches/inch on size 8 needles. I would hugely appreciate some assistance with this pattern and the correct size needles to use to end up with the correct gauge. Do I just keep knitting swatches with smaller and smaller needles to find the correct gauge or does anyone have a suggestion to help with this problem. I am excited about the glasses case but following the pattern directions with the number of stitches to cast on and size 8 needles, I would have a very, very large glasses case! Thank you so much, Karen Brown
Often with this sort of project, the idea is to knit very tightly so that the intended object-- in this case, something such as the ear piece of a pair of glasses-- cannot slip through. So you’ll often find much more compact gauge than you would expect for the yarn. However, that needle size is a little crazy for that yarn and that gauge. There is nothing wrong with what needle size you use to get the correct gauge. If you have to go down several sizes, then that’s fine. You may also find that a non-slippery set of needles works best-- bamboo with give you a tighter gauge than a slick metal.
Thank you for the fast reply. I think I will try the pattern on a size 7 and size 6 needles to see if that makes a more reasonable size. Also thanks for the tip about bamboo needles. You are right, they would keep the yarn from slipping better than using metal ones (which I currently am using). Do you think the pattern calling for size 8 needles is a mistake, a typo, or just uninformed person putting the pattern on the web site without understanding needle size. I could not find a place where I could contact the person writing the pattern to ask about needle size. That is why I wrote to this forum. Thank you again.
I agree with Sandy57th!
My guess would be one of 3 things:
- This is a person who knits extremely tightly, and so size 8 worked for her.
- This is an older British knitter who was thinking of the old UK size 8, which is 4mm (US size 8 is 5mm).
- It’s a typo.
I would go down as far as you need to, to get that gauge. Even if it’s a size 1 needle, it doesn’t matter-- the gauge does.
And you’re welcome!