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Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Most of the time, when I’m making a quick project, I expect it to be QUICK.
Like, grab the D*&%#! needles,
cast-on with given yarn and
WAIL!

Sometimes this happens and a few hours later, VOILA! Painless project (spelled S-C-A-R-F) wraps neck in almost instant GLORY!

Today was not that day.

I’ve spent the morning casting on and knitting the same few rows over and over.

babyalpaca.jpg
My luscious gifted Baby Alpaca Grande was misbehaving. It’s ball band says the gauge is 3 sts per inch using #10.5 needles.

Not for me, it isn’t! So I went up to #11 needles and got about 3″ done and just hated the slightly loose way it was working up. This yarn is SOOO soft and drapey that it needs a little stitch discipline to, I believe, enhance it’s durability.

FLASH!

I suddenly rememebered I had, of all things, lurking in the forest of Circular Needles that live in the studio, a #10.75 – 24″ circular bamboo. WHOOT! Now, if you look at a regular USA distributed Bates needle gauge, there is not a 10.75 size. I accidently acquired it when I thought I was purchasing a #10.5 needle at my LYS.

needles.jpg
from left to right:

#10.5 = 6.5 mm

#10.75 = 7 mm

#11 = 8 mm

WOW! The 10.5 is a whole 1.5 mm less than the #11. It appears as needles sizes enter the HUMuNGO range that the needle diameters jump larger too. But the 10.75 is a smooth 1 mm different than the #11. And, that TINY .5 millimeter makes a BIG difference! Now my scarf is going to do what it’s told! Who’s the BOSS!~

14 Responses to “Wednesday, January 5, 2005”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I’ve always wondered why the sizes were so wonky when they get big and I’ve run into situations when I wish I had an in between size where did you get yours? Do you remember? All anyone ever does is harp about gauge and then they don’t give us all the tools we need to get gauge…go figure. But leave it to the great Bonne Marie to kick a little gauge arse and show it who’s boss!

  2. chris says:

    Ahhh, the elusive US 10.75 . . . I had to search high and low for one when I was on a project that I couldn’t get gauge on with 10.5 or 11. I had one LYS owner tell me they didn’t exist, and another bullied me into buying and Addi Turbo 10.5 (which is ok — I’m glad I have it). Anyway, I found it, and have used 10.75 many times since!

  3. mia says:

    Yes, baby alpaca grande! I love the yarn but it can be a problem getting gauge on it. Although it is great for hats. I am using it to make a second Canadian hat from Sally Melville’s Purl book. It is a super fast knit and very warm in case you are looking for other ideas.

  4. Laurie says:

    I have that exact shade of baby alpaca. Isn’t it divine? *sigh*

    I was thinking about attempting the elusive mobius scarf so I could literally wrap my head in its soft goodness.

    I did a capelet out of the charcoal and it turned out beautifully. I used 11s and my gauge was 4 st/in but I was making up my pattern as I went along.

  5. Shetha says:

    Well wouldn’t you know — I first heard of the 10.75 two nights ago when I watched one of the second-season knitty gritty shows. A when she said a 10 and three-quarter sized needle I thought she was mistaken… but obviously not! Never seen one with my own eyes, though. It’s understandable why they would have them looking at the mm sizes… Who screwed up and named the sizes 10 and 11, though?

  6. Ann says:

    Whoda thunk it? 10.75?!? Is that a European thing, I wonder? Good to keep my eyes peeled at tag sales and the like. I would’ve otherwise assumed it was a mistake. There you go, spreading wisdom again!

  7. Lorette says:

    That is a luscious color..can’t wait to see the finished scarf! (hee hee…it matches my new sweater perfectly!) OH NO! Now I have to go shopping again!

  8. jo says:

    I guess this is where metric sized needles (as used in Canada and Europe) have an advantage. They tend to go up in .5 mm increments (.25 at the smaller guages). I bought a 7mm circular needle the other day because it was recommended on the ball band of the ribbon yarn I wanted to use. It didn’t seem odd at all.

    For US knitters looking for this size, perhaps trying a Canadian retailer or a retailer who stocks metric sized needles would work.

  9. Maria says:

    Both Crystal Palace and Addi (Natura and Turbo) make needles in 10.75! ^__^

    I think Colonial rosewood needles might also come in 10.75, but I’m not sure. I know they come in some wonky sizes, like 5.5. Oh yeah, and Pony pearl makes 10.75 too.

    (Just thought I’d leave some tips for all the people looking for some 10.75 goodness. ^_^’)

  10. Sheila says:

    I had to do the same with that yarn – it worked out great for me on the Addi Natura 10.75!

    I made my first felted bucket hat the other day and I have to tell you – I don’t gush much but this is now my favorite hat of any I’ve ever made. Fun to knit, felted beautifully in Debbie Bliss Soho (the reddish one), comfortable to wear and cute as anything.

    Thanks!!

  11. Bonne Marie says:

    Great Suggestions! I found some sources for this size needle – I *think* I got mine at the Knitting Workshop on Lincoln Ave in Chicago.

    These are what I have – Crystal Palace Bamboo @Yarnmarket:
    http://www.yarnmarket.com/product.cfm?action=show_product&product_id=613

    Here is a source (Camilla Valley Farm) for 7mm Addi’s:
    http://www.camillavalleyfarm.com/knit/inox.htm#addi

    BeeHive Wool:
    Inox Aeros
    http://www.beehivewool.com/page/bee/PROD/needcir/needcir7mm80

  12. shobhana says:

    my 10.75 is a life-saver! hard to believe how wide the gap is between a 10.5 and an 11!

  13. camille says:

    I have made two lovely scarves, a pair of mittens and a hat all from Baby Alpaca Grande. I love that yarn! I used size 10’s on the mittens and hat, and I think I used 10.5’s on one of the scarves. None of that probably helps you, because I made up all my patterns for that yarn. You definitely have to go a little under size 11’s or it’s too drapey, at least with the casual knitting tension I have. The color you picked is very pretty, by the way.

  14. lm says:

    regarding the baby alpaca have you tried knitting into the back of the stich its makes it a little firmer

 
 
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