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I was about to start a hat which called for #10 needles and stockinette stitch. I'm going to make it with circular needles and discovered I don't have #10 16" circulars. Do you think I can use #9 circulars and do a garter stitch instead of stockinette? It seems like garter stitch is stretchier.
 

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Have you done a swatch to see what gauge/tension you get with number 9 needles? If not, that is your starting point. You will then know how much smaller the hat will be on the smaller needles and can, perhaps just cast on a few more stitches to get the size you need.
 

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If you are knitting in the round, wouldn't it be easier to do stockinette stitch? That way you won't have to purl at all.

Also, if you have #10 in a longer circular needle, you could use the magic loop method (search YouTube if you are unfamiliar with magic loop.), or knitting in the round on two circs.
 
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