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Any knitting experts about? Pattern help needed for a dunce!

(16 Posts)
NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 19:31:38

I found several thousand a nice pattern on Ravelry for a cushion cover. At the same time as I found the pattern, my MIL also gave me a voucher to treat myself to some yarn from the Toft Alpaca shop as it is just down the road. So, after a long conversation with the lady in the shop, we chose some yarn which we thought would do the job. The only problem is that it was some time ago and I've gone a bit fuzzy on the detail!

So, the pattern is knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran held double throughout. Apparently this requires 8 balls.

I have 4 balls of Toft Alpaca Aran.

Should I hold this double?
What size needles should I use? The pattern says size 8 but the yarn says 5.

I have only been knitting for a few years and this is the first time I haven't bought the exact yarn specified in a pattern. I don't understand how you select a substitute yarn, so if anyone has (understood what I'm on about) and can help, I would be very grateful!

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 20-Nov-13 19:40:05

I would Google to see if the needle requirements on the Debbie Bliss yarn and the yarn you have purchased is the same. Chances are it will be as all the aran I have worked with knits on similar needles. I suspect that the 8mm needle requirement is due to using 2 strands if yarn - if you used a single strand it would be 5mm as specified on the ball band.

Unless the yarn you have is a bigger ball size than the Debbie Bliss - say a 100g rather than a 50g ball - then I suspect you may not have enough yarn. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

steeking Wed 20-Nov-13 19:42:20

They are both aran so yes it needs to be double. When substituting yarn you need to look at the length of yarn you get per 100G to make sure you buy enough. Use the needle size the pattern says. It's bigger as you are using it double. It's really important to do a tension square before you begin. Then adjust your needle size if it comes out too big or small.

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 19:45:23

Aha - thank you.

So the Debbie Bliss yarn seems to be 50g balls and my yarn is 100g balls. The needle sizes seem to be the same. So it's looking hopeful.

Is there anything particular I need to know about knitting with two strands together? Do I need to twist them together or literally just hold two strands at the same time?

Dutchoma Wed 20-Nov-13 19:50:00

Not a dunce at all. Everything else the other two have said. You will need 400g held double throughout on 8mm needles.

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 19:50:08

I have discovered a small flaw in my plan to get started tonight. I don't have any 8mm needles blush.

I wonder whether Father Christmas might bring me some!

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 19:51:29

Thank you very much for your help all thanks

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 20-Nov-13 19:57:15

I might have a pair (plastic) I can send you. I'll have a rummage and PM you if I can find them. I had a full set of bamboo for Xmas last year so I don't use them anymore. smile

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 20:15:40

That's so kind of you, but please don't worry. DH has just seized gratefully on the knitting needles as Christmas present option!

Dutchoma Wed 20-Nov-13 20:16:41

So you have 400g and that should be fine. Also the needle siz;e you are all set
Just work with two balls and hold both threads in your one hand. Make sure that both threads actually go over the needle at every stitch. I love Toft Alpaca yarn.

TheWoollybacksWife Wed 20-Nov-13 20:23:08

In that case I recommend a full set of bamboo needles. Worked wonders with my arthritic thumb and solved the annual "What can I buy Woolly for Xmas" problem. He hasn't taken the bait about rosewood needles yet though...

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 20:44:04

Poor DH - I don't think he has any idea what he has just suggested grin

I will investigate bamboo - any specific recommendations?

NigelMolesworth Wed 20-Nov-13 20:45:56

Thank you Dutchoma for the double knitting advice. I'll let you know how it goes although it'll be after Christmas now!!

Dutchoma Thu 21-Nov-13 11:00:39

The only thing I am thinking is: here we have an inexperienced knitter (beginning knitters tend to knit tight) with two strands of wool and 8mm needles. That is going to be one heck of a first job. Might I suggest a couple of 6" x 6" squares knitted in bog standard acrylic and 4mm needles just to gain some knitting experience?

NigelMolesworth Thu 21-Nov-13 12:41:58

I think I'm pretty good with the basics, it's just that this is the first time I haven't bought the exact yarn specified in the pattern. And you're right - I was pretty tight to start with (although that could have been because my mum was trying to 'help' me!).

I started with scarves, and have gradually progressed onto patterns with different combinations of stitches, trying out cables etc. I've also been trying different types of yarn (I managed to get a few balls very cheap in the sale) so I've been experimenting really to see what I like the feel of and how different yarns handle. I've just finished my first cardy for my nephew which I was pretty pleased with, and I've made a lovely lacy shawl along with various hand warmers, cowls etc. Next step is working in colour which I haven't tried yet.

Instead of the cushion cover, I've started a little hat for my friend who is expecting a baby. Nice and straight forward for knitting in the evenings!

Dutchoma Thu 21-Nov-13 15:59:24

Oh good, this is not a first project. I could ust see you struggling with those pokers and two strands of wool. Little baby hat sounds lovely.

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