Choosing Knitting Needle Sizes and Gauges

Get great results in your knitting projects by mixing and matching yarns and types of knitting needles.
Related To:

Lion Brand representative Stephanie Klose shares expert tips to achieve beautiful results when mixing and matching yarns.

Choosing a needle size for a single yarn is easy. Check the manufacturer's recommendation on the label and start from there.

Combining yarns can make it more difficult to choose a needle, however. A simple guideline: Add the measurements (in millimeters) of the suggested needle size for each yarn and then use the needle that is closest in size to that number. For example, for a swatch of two strands of Wool-Ease Chunky, we added 6.5 mm plus 6.5 mm to get 13 mm. The closest needle size is 12 mm, which is a US 17.

The swatch seen here on the right was knit with a single strand of Wool-Ease Chunky; the left swatch was knit with two strands.

dkng209_1ca

dkng209_1ca

The rule also works when combining yarns of different gauges. Lion Brand Watercolors is knit with a US 11 (8 mm) needle. Glitterspun is knit with a US 8 (5 mm); 8 mm plus 5 mm equals 13 mm, so a US 17 (12 mm) could be used with this combination as well.

When knitting with two or more different yarns, put each in a zippered plastic bag to prevent them from tangling in your knitting bag. This will also help keep the yarn clean. If the yarn snags on the zippered edge of the bag, close the bag completely and punch a hole in the bag through which the end of the yarn can pass.

The swatch seen here was knit with one strand each of Watercolors and Glitterspun yarn.

dkng209_1cb

dkng209_1cb

Keep Reading

Next Up

Knitting Socks 101: Heel, Cuff and Toe Tips

Learn how to knit your own socks with these easy instructions.

Choose the Right Size Water Heater

Learn some handy numbers to help you meet your water needs.

Cool Cacti: These Plants Come in a Quirky Array of Shapes and Sizes

See if any of these cacti varieties prick your interest.

Choosing Bathroom Countertops

Get tips on how to find the right surfaces for your bath remodel

Choosing Terrarium Plants

Making a terrarium is even easier with this helpful guide to choosing terrarium plants.

Choosing Bathroom Flooring

Get tips on how to find the right floor surface for your remodel

Choosing a Bathroom Layout

Learn what factors to consider when planning your remodel.

Sizing Up Plants

Trying to figure out what size plant to buy? Learn how big or small to get them.

Choosing Kitchen Countertops

Granite or laminate? Get tips on how to find the right surface for your remodel.

On TV

Living Alaska

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

7:30am | 6:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c
1pm | 12c

House Hunters

1:30pm | 12:30c

House Hunters

2:30pm | 1:30c

House Hunters

3:30pm | 2:30c

House Hunters

4:30pm | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30pm | 4:30c

House Hunters

6:30pm | 5:30c

House Hunters

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

My Lottery Dream Home

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

My Lottery Dream Home

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.