Knitting Needle Sizes - A Conversion Chart

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Knitting needle sizes range from 2.0mm right up to 25.0mm, and just to make it even more complicated there are three main measurement schemes for needles sizes US, Canadian/UK and Metric.

The sizing in any pattern you want to use could use any one of these sizes schemes depending on which country the pattern was printed in.  

© andykleinphotography  | - Needle Collection

As a beginner, unless you are familiar with how the sizing schemes compare, it is sometimes difficult to work out which size knitting needle you should use.  Perhaps, a knitting needle conversion chart make things a bit clearer for you? 

2.25 1 13
2.75 2 12
3.0 - 11
3.25 3 10
3.5 4 -
3.75 5 9
4.0 6 8
4.5 7 7
5.0 8 6
5.5 9 5
6.0 10 4
6.5 10 1/2 3
7.0 - 2
7.5 - 1
8.0 11 0
9.0 13 00

The size that is recommended by your knitting pattern will depend on where you live and where the pattern was printed.

If you are in Australia for example, most knitting needles are marked with both the metric size and the UK/Canadian sizes, but if you are buying needles manufactured in the United States the manufacturer will have used the US sizes.

In other words, a 2 in one country is not necessarily the same size as a 2 in another country!

I tend to use metric sizes as no matter where you are 2.0mm is still 2.0mm, and here in Australia, most of the patterns you buy will list both the metric size and the equivalent United Kingdom and/or Canadian size.

As a general guide for selecting your needle size if your yarn is:

  • Two or Three Ply - use 2.25mm and 3.0mm needles
  • Four Ply Wool - use 2.75mm and 3.25mm needles
  • Double Knit or Eight Ply Wool - use 3.25mm and 4.0mm needles
  • Triple Knit or Twelve Ply Wool - use 5.0mm and 6.0mm needles

What Knitting Needle Sizes to Use

If you need to work out what size you should use for to knit a particular item, I recommend that you knit yourself a tension square or two.

tension square is a piece of knitting that you do before you begin knitting your garment that allows you to measure the tension of your knitting to determine which size of needle you should use.

Do You Need to Purchase New Knitting Needles?

When you have worked out what knitting needle sizes you need for your project, you may be in the position of having to purchase new needles, particularly if you are a beginner.

If you spend a little more upfront, you may not need to buy knitting needles ever again.  My needles of choice are KnitPro Zing.  I tend to use mainly circular needles (for pretty much everything as they are much more travel friendly than single pointed needles) and I love the colour coding for each size.  I never pick up the wrong needle!

But we each have our own preference when it comes to our knitting needles.  If you are planning to purchase new needles, please do check out the range on offer in my store.  If you can find what you are looking for, flick me an email and I will see what I can do to source them for you.

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