Doubling yarn is giving me a headache.?
I have a knitting pattern that calls for the use of 17ga knitting needles, which will be used with a super bulky yarn. Problem: I’m allergic to most sheep’s wool (save merino) and all alpaca, cashmere, et cetera yarns are hardly ever sold in chunky-super bulky weight yarns without wool.
My question: can I use a yarn that calls for #7-9 knitting needles DOUBLED to use with #17 needles? I’m not quite sure how doubling affects knitting, and I found a whole bunch of confusing math equations to do on some websites. Any suggestions?
Sure, I’ve done that before, knitting doubled strands with the super-sized needles. Just knit a sample square with the doubled yarns and check your gauge against what the pattern states. Using a yarn with a fuzzy texture works better than one with a “hard” finish since the fuzziness tends to make the two strands sort of bond together as you knit and keeps the finished garment surface dense. I also found it was easier to take the skeins and wind a ball with the two strands together rather than trying to pull off with the same tension from the skeins or two separate balls as I knit. Personally, I think using a double strand is safer with fragile yarns since it is better insurance against weakness and strand breakage that can happen with some of them.
You can do equations by figuring the comparable grams per 100 yards, etc., but I think it’s a waste of time (and some loftier yarns are comparably light, like Alpaca). The needle size and your tension pretty much determine the gauge on the piece, way more so than the yarn thickness, and doing a sample swatch is going to be a better “calculation” than any math equation.
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