Pole Miscellanea

Almost nearing the end of the circular section of Opposite Pole. I can smell victory!

In the meanwhile, here are a couple of quick tutorials:

Joining Loosely Spun Yarn
Twist a 5” tail of the old yarn tightly and lay the new yarn over it.

small 1 join

Release the end and let the yarn twist over itself, trapping the new yarn.

small 2 join

Twist a 5” length of tail of the new yarn and centre the old yarn in the middle.

small 3 join

Release the end of the new yarn and let it twist over itself. Done!

small 4 join

Note: this works with yarn that is really loosely spun and can be easily compressed so that doubling it doesn’t significantly change the thickness. For firmer yarns, best follow the similar but more laborious practice of splitting plies before twisting together, best described here.

Finding Equivalent Round Size of Square Needles
I made the central section of the cardigan on square needles, foolishly assuming that they’re the same as round needles of the same size. They’re not! Here’s how to calculate what size round needles they are actually equal to. My numbers are in red, substitute your own where necessary.

Given size of square needle is 5.5 mm
Ie, widest diagonal of needle is 5.5 mm

Length of path of yarn wrapped around the needle is s + s + s + s = 4s (since it’s a square).

To find s, we use Pythagoras’ theorem: 5.52 = s2 + s2 = 2s2
Solving, s = 5.5 / √2 = 5.5 / 1.414 = 3.89
Ie, the length of path taken by the yarn around my square needle = 4 x 3.89 = 15.56 mm

So what size round needle is that equal to?

If my needle were round, the length of the path taken by yarn around it would d be expressed by the formula for the circumference of a circle = 2πr

So if 15.56 = 2πr, then r = 2.48
And diameter = 2r = 2 x 2.48 = 4.95
Ie, approximately 5 mm

018 Square and Circ

So my 5.5 mm square needle = 5 mm regular round needle.
Now that’s good to know before starting to knit with it, right?!


3 thoughts on “Pole Miscellanea

  1. i also tested the square-vs-round knitting needles and I found it also so confusing for starting knitters that the sizes of those square and round needles are different. They often think they’re identical … sadly the manufacturers don’t follow our common sense to look at the real result 😦

  2. Oh this explains a lot! I’ve never knit with square needles before so there was no need to check the sizes, but a few of my friends have and they seemed to knit more evenly and a little tighter, which they liked, but if your needle size is smaller than you think the knitting of course will look neater. Thanks for the little math, I will have to share this in my next blog loving post! Have a great weekend

  3. Jeesh! I didn’t even know that square needles existed!!! Nice trick with the twisting join…thanks for that!

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