Question re comparing amount of yarn needed for two different needle sizes

Hi, I’m new to this forum but I’ve been knitting since I was a kid (I’m now 76). I’ve also been hand spinning since about 1970 So here’s my question. I have spun up a bunch of sport weight yarn and have started knitting a top-down raglan sleeve sweater. I’m getting a bit nervous wondering if I have enough yarn (and there’s no way to get more of this particular blend of fleece. My gauge is about 5 stitches per inch on #5 needles so I’m wondering if I switched to #6 needles which might give me a gauge of 4 stitches per inch would I end up using more or less yarn using the larger needles. Thanks.

Theoretically, working the same yarn in a larger gauge should use less yarn for the same area of fabric. (Though it will take someone with more advanced math skills than I to quantify exactly how much in this case…)


It may be that the best way to figure this is to weigh the ball, knit a couple of rows with one size needle, weigh the ball and calculate the difference. Do the same for the second size needle and compare.

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Hi, Thanks for your suggestion. I think I would have to knit much more
than a couple of rows to see the difference. I would also want to
determine how many yards difference between the two swatches. Joyce Keay

Yes, the more rows or the bigger a swatch, the more accurate the weight will be. If you then pull out the swatch you can convert grams to yards or whatever measure you prefer.

It’s all good to do a swatch, but seriously it is only the length that is important.

Your yarn goes around the needle and the circumference of that needle is 2 times pi (approx. 22/7 or 3.141) times the needles size
you also need some extra to actually make a stitch. Weight is really irrelevant if you think it is close.

I have not found any yarn that is perfect and truly uniform in the last 10 years and if you are doing it yourself and unsure so just putting it out there you cannot change pi nor 2 times. so theoretically smaller needles will cover more area, however the length is decreased with smaller needles and that needs to be addressed and seriously I have never heard of #4 needles doing only 4 stiches an inch. i was born in 66 so know both metric and imperial and am awake and willing to try to help. #4 are only 6 mm where i live

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