wrong size knitting needles

I have a pattern that calls for 3.75mm needles but I accidentally bought 3.5mm needles. Do you think it would be okay for me to use these instead of purchasing a new set of needles? I know there can be some problems with using different size needles but I’m still learning and got a bit confused trying to work it out - I saw a lot about tension, I tend to knit a bit too tight so I’m not sure if this changes anything? thanks in advance, emily <3

If you know that you knit tightly, using smaller needles might not work for you.

That’s because:
Knitting tightly = tighter stitches
and
Smaller needles = tighter stitches

But the only way to know for sure is to knit a swatch and measure your tension/gauge.

Can you exchange the needles if they haven’t been used?

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What is your budget for buying needles? I don’t think it would hurt to buy just a few pairs or cheap set off eBay of various sizes (bamboo is probably the cheapest, but not always the best, if you like smooth needles that don’t grab the yarn. It depends on your preference, however). If you want to make other things later, the other needles could be handy to have.
You might even need larger needles than you think to get the tension you want for this project.

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I agree with kashmir that the smaller needle is not going to be helpful if you already knit tightly, but, if it was me I’d probably go ahead with them just for the sake of being able to get started and practice.

It depends what you want to make too, if it’s a sweater then the size might come out too different to make it wearable, but if it is a scarf you might not mind it coming out a bit smaller than planned.
Some people make dish cloths in different stitches when learning and it wouldn’t really matter if they were a slightly different size.

One thing I never realised until recently (I have not knitted much at all but I’m not a total beginner), is that the swatch you knit to measure up the gauge is supposed to be washed and dried before you measure it. I didn’t do that with mine and the sweater I made grew when it was washed the first time. I’m not bothered, it was for my son and he doesn’t care, plus it will last another year before he out grows it. But if the size matters to you then you outht to do the swatch, wash, dry, measure and then change your needles to a size which might help get closer to the right gauge, and make a new sample with the new needles. Bit of a drag if you want to just crack on with a project, which is why I suggest that it depends what you have chose to make and how important the sizing is to you.

When I decided to take up knitting recently I found a bundle of needles priced very reasonably which means I’ve got more sizes than I need but it means I have a bit of flexibility on the patterns I’m looking at.

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Thanks so much for your help! I think I will go with Shintonga’s suggestion and purchase a couple different size knitting needles. I was planning on knitting a scarf so the size doesn’t matter so I think I will give it a go with the needles I have but still buy some more just so I have them on hand. Thanks again for all your help, its so lovely of you all to help me out.

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