So there I was, merrily re-knitting my Weekend Sweater, minding my own business. Everything was going along swimmingly, it’s a simple stockinette stitch sweater so what could go wrong, right?
I split for the v-neck, then split for the armholes and switched to a shorter pair of needles for the front sections. I finished the left and right side when I looked at my two pairs of size 6 needles and realized that the shorter pair really looked smaller than the longer pair. I checked the size stamped on them, both claimed size 6. I compared them to a pair of size 7 needles, the seemingly larger was definitely smaller than it. I broke out the needle sizer and both sets were definitely too big for the size 5 hole and too small for the size 7 hole. But I knew my eyes were not playing tricks on me. When held up to each other the shorter pair of size 6 needles were definitely smaller than the longer pair.
I looked at the size stamped on them again and this time I noticed the millimeter sizing. The shorter pair read 4.0mm while the longer pair read 4.25mm. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve had these needles for years and never noticed the difference. What really annoys me is that the needles are both Clover Takumi Bamboo needles. You would think that a manufacturer would stick to the same sizing every time.
So I took a close look at my knitted fabric and, sure enough, the top portion of my sweater had a tighter gauge than the bottom portion. I had no choice but to frog those sections and re-knit them with the larger needles. And I realized that I wasn’t sure which needles I used for the gauge swatch. Luckily, the sweater is for me and it’s an over-sized fit so it won’t make much difference, but if it were fitted the difference would have been quite noticeable!
From now on I’ll be sure to check the millimeter size before I switch needles! And I’ll be sure to specify millimeter sizing in all of my patterns.
Don’t forget to enter my Name That New Pattern Contest! The winner will be announced February 13th.