As you might have noticed we at SKEINO love to encourage knitters to experiment and leave the safe harbor of instructed knitting. In this post, we’ll be talking about needles and using the right size for the yarn weight of your project. Be a knitting rebel and throw overboard those rigid guidelines! Here’s how:
Over the years the yarn industry created charts with yarn weights and the right Gauges. However these charts are a guideline and not set in stone.
Over the years the yarn industry (I guess that includes us as well) created charts with yarn weights and the right Gauges for them. However, these charts are a guideline and not set in stone. We won’t be repeating these charts, because at SKEINO we believe that it’s the knitter who has to make the decision about the Gauge.
So how can you do this? To start with, if you like a yarn and you have a project or pattern in mind it’s always a good idea to knit up a swatch. Spend a good amount of time to do so. Try different needle sizes and you will figure out, which Gauge is pleasing you. Feel free to ignore the recommended Gauge, take it just to get started!
As you change the Gauge your piece becomes what you like, your decision will be the anchor of your work, because YOU are knitting and not the industry.
For example, if you like lace knitting and you just bought a thin brushed Mohair Yarn, there is no need to knit it up with a small needle according to the lace weight as you’re told in the pattern! Try a much larger needle and you might love the loser texture it creates. This way you will end up knitting with a lace yarn but using the worsted weight Gauge.
A scarf, shawl and also an afghan needs to be fluffy. As you change the Gauge your piece becomes what you like, your decision will be the anchor of your work, because YOU are knitting and not the industry. You’ll end up with a piece to cuddle up with and you’ll love to use a larger needle to create a more open texture. This is easy to do and you won’t have any trouble so look at it as your first work as a knitting rebel!
Get active and ask for help in your knitting community to see what other knitters’ experience is.
Now let’s increase the level a little for our more experienced knitters who like to knit garments that come in different sizes. With a garment piece, you have to consider how your Gauge change will affect the size of the garment. Since you’ll need to keep its shape your knitting will also need to be tighter in order to prevent the piece from “growing”. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a Size-S Knitting kit that will come out as an XL with a too loose texture – unless your goal is just to achieve that effect.
Even if a pattern provides the Gauge, try knitting a swatch and find out if the gauge is your Gauge. Often it’s good to spend some time to do the math accordingly to your swatch and find out for yourself. Also get active and ask for help in your knitting community to see what other knitters’ experience is. You can use your local knitting groups, friends or family and of course Ravelry. We hope that this will encourage you to start experimenting and be a knitting rebel. Remember that knitting is a creative hobby and you are the person who decides what is done.