What Sized Needles to Use?

Every pattern poses new questions! I am ready to start “Wings of Peace” shawl. The pattern calls for sized 10 needles using worsted weight yarn. I have lace weight yarn and need to know what sized needles I should use. Thanks for your help.


If it’s a lacey, open shawl you can use anywhere from size 4 to 8 needles. If it’s not meant to be quite so open, then from size 3 to 5 should work.

I looked at that pattern. It’s lovely. However (and that’s a big however) I see no mention of gauge anywhere in it. And she says the one shown is done in worsted weight. If you use lace weight and needles appropriate to that weight, and you follow the pattern as written, I’m afraid you would end up with a very small shawl. If I were going to make that shawl - and I’ve considered it a few times - I’d use worsted weight.

Some patterns you can just keep knitting until it’s big enough, which you can do with laceweight and small needles, it would just take about twice as much yarn.

Could you link it please?

What I usually do is to look it up on Ravelry and see if anyone else used that weight yarn. I did so for this one and one person used lace weight and size 6 needles.

Here’s what it looks like.

Thank you Gingerpeach, I knew I’d seen it somewhere. With size 6 needles that would come out nice and lacey, much lighter than the worsted on size 10s.

Will I need to add more “feathers?” I did write to the designer (see below) and as you can see, her answer was somewhat vague. This appears to be a work of some effort and time and I would not be happy to have it turn out too small. I find it confusing that on thinner yarn, smaller needles are required and with heavier yarn the larger ones are used. My little brain just doesn’t want to take that in!

Ginger wrote: “I have bought some lace weight yarn which was intended for another project until I saw this shawl. I would love to make it using this yarn. Like Cindy, I would like to know what the finished size should be and do you know what sized needles I should use with the lace weight yarn”?

November 9, 2009 12:34 PM

ReBorn Again said…
“It’s hard to say the finished size because of the shape of it. The shortest part from the neck to the edge (measured straight down as if you’re wearing it) should be around 18 inches. From the center of the back to the tips of the wings would be closer to 3 feet.
Making it for a petite person it could be shorter, for a large person it should be larger”.

I have considered buying the worsted weight wool but I really am into the lace - I just want it to be right and besides, if is too easy, it might not be as much fun! Also, I wouldn’t get to learn so much from all of these talented folks on KH.

I think this is made starting at the neck so the more rows you do, the larger it gets. You can make the feathers longer.

Thanks so much - will let you know how well it goes as I move along. As usual, I appreciate the help and learn a lot from the different posts.