All About Knitting Needle Conversions

yarnbazaarMay 28, 2012

All About Knitting Needle Conversions

Do you remember the time when you were a kid and your granny used to send you

sweaters she knitted by hand herself every Christmas? Yes, at that time, you probably

didn�t appreciate the hard work she did to make that as you were too focused on getting

the shiny new toy you have been begging Santa for. Well, you are not alone. There are

a lot of other people who share a similar memory. Today, now that you know more

about life, you really get to appreciate what she gave you back then and how she made

it because knitting is quite a tough skill to master. A high level of hand dexterity and

nimbleness are basic requirements for mastery of such a skill. One will also need to

understand the various techniques and equipment used in knitting. Take needles for

example. They come in a variety of sizes labeled based on geography. This is why most

knitters often consult a knitting needle conversion charts when using patterns from


Knitting needles in the US are assigned standard numbers from 0 to15 with 0 being the

smallest (although, the US technically have needle sizes smaller than 0 however, it is not

recognized as a standard globally). In the UK, the needle size assignment is likewise from

0 to 15 except that 15 stands as the smallest needle size there. Both Australia and New

Zealand follow the UK standard. Canada and most of Europe follow a different system,

which is based on the actual metric diameter of the needle as opposed to assigning a

number for each needle.

While no one can concretely explain how these differences in standards came about

and evolved, the UK does base their system on how they gauge wires, the standard for

that being the smaller the wire: the larger the assigned number. The system in the US

is supposedly based on how die cutting tools were standardized. However, that is mere

speculation as there is no real evidence as to how the standard evolved.

Aside from needle sizes, anyone looking to enter the world of knitting must also

understand that needles do come in a variety of materials as well. Metal, plastic, bamboo,

glass, and wood are just some of the most common. Whatever the needle is made of,

though, does not affect the size assignments. It will still be based on where the needle

was manufactured in.

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...I had no idea... Thanks for the share...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Great information. Thanks. And I love the first paragraph. It applies to me. (I'm the Grandma)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 1:26PM
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