Suggested Needle Size

Who comes up with the suggested needle size for each yarn?

I have been finding with some yarns, even when I use the needle size suggested on the ball band my stitches are wonky and irregular. Sure I get the gauge also given by the ball band, but I don’t like the look of the stitches when they are not neat. This doesn’t happen with all yarns so I am sure it has something to do with the fiber content more than anything else. But, this is causing a real problem when I want to use the same yarn called for by the designer, or when I buy yarn with the same suggested gauge, thinking it would work for the pattern, only to find out I don’t like the look of the yarn in that gauge or with that size need, which leads me to having to rework the entire pattern.

Does anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? Am I missing some unknown magically secret that makes the stitches neater?

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2 Responses to “Suggested Needle Size”

  1. jae Says:

    Sometimes the right needle size for nice looking stitches is smaller or larger than the average needle choice. So, manufacturers provide a gauge using…say a US 7 instead of the US 3 that will actually make the yarn look nice.

    A trick I was taught is to double the yarn and loosely twist it – compare it to the needle. They should be about the same width.

  2. Larjmarj Says:

    Good tip Jae.

    I’ve got my fingers crossed right now with a “bulky” weight yarn that I’m using for a shawl. I am using a pattern and needle size that calls for worsted weight. The yarn is a mohair blend that looks more worsted to me so that’s what I’m going with!


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