QUES­TION OF THE MONTH

THE OLD SWITCHEROO

Simply Knitting - - Ask The Experts - Faye

Q I’ve got a lovely pat­tern writ­ten for an aran-weight yarn, but I would like to knit it in DK. What size nee­dles do I need to knit my DK with to make my gar­ment the cor­rect size?

Es­ther Chard, via Face­book

As a gen­eral rule, chang­ing the weight of the yarn used isn’t worth the has­sle – there are lots of gor­geous aran-weight yarns at all sorts of prices, so we rec­om­mend that you choose your favourite and use that. How­ever, if you are de­ter­mined to swap a DK yarn for an aran yarn there are sev­eral ways you can try, although none of them give you quite the same re­sult as us­ing an aran yarn. We strongly rec­om­mend test­ing your skills on a small pro­ject, such as a baby jumper, be­fore launch­ing into an adult one. 1 Use one strand of DK and in­crease your nee­dle size un­til you find a pair which gives you the ten­sion di­rected for the aran. This will pro­duce a very loose, open fab­ric. 2 Try knit­ting with two strands of DK held to­gether to see if the fab­ric pro­duced is suit­able and gives the ten­sion re­quired. It it’s too large, ex­per­i­ment with other com­bi­na­tions such as a strand of DK and a strand of 4ply to­gether. 3 Knit a larger size. Cal­cu­late how big the piece you would like to knit should be in the aran-weight yarn (eg 100 sts at 4 sts per in = 25in) and how many stitches you would have to cast on us­ing the DK to get the same width (eg 25in at 8sts per in = 200sts). Go back to the pat­tern and knit the size in­di­cated. (These sim­pli­fied num­bers are for ex­am­ple only.) Of course, as the num­ber of rows per inch will be smaller, any mo­tifs will be shorter and you’ll have to ad­just the length of the gar­ment in ev­ery in­stance, as well as al­ter­ing the arm­hole and neck shap­ing. If you don’t, you’ll wind up with a sweater that is too short, with sleeves you can’t get your arms into, so don’t at­tempt this method un­less you’re con­fi­dent you can make these ad­just­ments.

Con­vert­ing an aran pat­tern into a DK one (like this great one from Sim­ply Knit­ting is­sue 139) can be done with some skill, though you might find it’s trick­ier than it’s worth

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