Pass the Smelling Salts, Please

Finally, some knitting content!

I did absolutely no knitting on the cruise. Not a single stitch. I did pack the sleeve of Thermal with me, but it never made it out of the suitcase through the entire trip. But actually, I hadn’t planned on knitting anyway, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.

But just in case, I had stopped knitting the back of Thermal and started the sleeve so that I’d have a smaller piece to work on, if I did decide to knit. I had a few inches of the sleeve done before I left, and I’ve done a little more since then.

Last night I decided to return to the back and finish it, so that I could wash it and check the gauge. I put the sleeve on waste yarn, and then went to put the back piece on the needles. Out of habit, and since I had a few different needles sitting out on the coffee table, I poked the end of my #2 Knitpicks Options into my Susan Bates needle sizer.

And nearly fainted.

They didn’t fit in the US 2 hole. They did, however, fit in the US 3 hole. Panic arose. I looked at the coffee table. There were some Options in US 7, Addi Turbos in US 6, and some Boye interchangeable needles. No other Options. What had I done? Had I somehow gotten the wrong needle when I started the sleeve? Had I knit the entire sweater on the wrong size needles? And if so, what did I swatch with?

I looked through my needle case and found my Knitpicks Options case for the US 3 needles, which held needles. The US 2 case was empty. Had I somehow mixed up the needles?

Then the answer occurred to me. The Susan Bates needle sizer doesn’t have holes for half-sizes in smaller needles. Could that be the problem? I grabbed my Knitpicks needle sizer, and sure enough, the needles I’ve been using are 3mm. A standard US 2 needle is 2.75 mm, meaning that the Knitpicks US 2 needles are really 2.5. Which, as it turns out, happens to be the needle size specified in the pattern in the first place. I’d never even compared the metric sizes. But since I tend to knit loosely, I hadn’t worried about using 2’s instead of 2.5’s, and my gauge swatch seemed to be just right.


So, hopefully I’m back on track. But so far, the back looks awfully small. My swatch grew widthwise quite a bit when washed, so I’m hoping my swatch gauge holds true.


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11 Responses to Pass the Smelling Salts, Please

  1. Carrie says:

    I can’t figure out what needle I used to knit Monkey #1. The needle I SUSPECT I used is nowhere to be found, and I didn’t write the size down anywhere. Sob. Glad yours worked out!

  2. Chris says:

    I’m glad I’m not alone in having a paucity of knitting content lately!

    Yikes – I’ve had a similar experience with metric/US needle sizes. Stressful! Love the KP needle sizer. Love love love.

  3. Cookie says:

    Thank goodness the sweater drama turned out alright.

  4. Anne says:

    OMG – and with all that waffle-weave, I would have started crying at even the thought of having to redo it.

    Glad you were smart enough to figure it out. And now you’ll have plenty of knit time, since you are back from the world domination tour, eh?

  5. Nora says:

    Yeesh. A heart attack you did not need!

  6. margene says:

    I love the options because they are available in so many half sizes. Are you going to block the pieces as you finish?

  7. Stacey says:

    I’ve taken to little labels with the actual sizes on all of my needles. I forget those tiny details sometimes.

  8. Miss T says:

    Good thing you doubled checked before ripping the whole thing!

  9. Laurie says:

    I’ve found variation in needle sizers, needle sizeS, between different needles in the same set…it’s confounding.

  10. Norma says:

    Oy vey. I have a completed Ribby Cardi back and absolutely ZERO idea what needle size I used for that. It’s always something, isn’t it? But that Thermal, on those little needles….omg, that is heart attack time! Speaking of heart attacks, I think I need to do a serious cleanse, but I’ve already had two Diet Pepsis this morning. Eek.

  11. elizabeth says:

    OMG! I was holding my breath reading this, I’m so glad it turned out that you were doing it right all along!

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