Knitting Needle Size Conversion Chart

Above you will find a free conversion chart for knitting needle sizes! Check your needle size!

Knitting needles are sized by the thickness of the needle.

In the US, the needles are labeled with one sizing, while in other parts of the world, they are measured and given a metric label.

Whether you’re on your first knitting project, or if you’ve knitted hundreds of things before, you’ve probably come across a pattern that uses the opposite type of sizing that your own knitting needles are labeled with.

It should be noted that whether your needles are bamboo or steel, or whether you’re using straight, circular, or DPNs — this will have nothing to do with the size of your needles!

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What about a sizing ruler?

It is also possible to use a knitting needle sizing ruler to measure the size of your needle.

Here’s a nifty one for only a few dollars that fits conveniently in a knitting bag!

With a sizing ruler, you can be sure that you have the correct needle size, AND that your needles have proper sizing labeled on them!

A sizing ruler is also convenient for well-loved needles in which the marking for size has worn off.

What about vintage knitting needles?

Perhaps you’ve inherited some antique knitting needles, or are looking at an old knitting pattern.

If so — it’s important to note that US knitting needle sizes used to be labeled differently.

In fact, it used to be that the thinner the needle, the LARGER its name!

That’s the opposite of how US sizes are labeled today!

Here’s a bonus chart if you’re curious about new vs old US knitting needle sizes!

vintage knitting needle old us and new us size chart

What about needle length?

The length of your needle doesn’t change your needle size.

The size of your needle references how thick your needle is, while the length is how long.

The longer your needle, the more stitches you can fit on your needles!

Straight needles usually come in 3 sizes: 10″, 14″, and 16″.

You’ll want longer needles for larger projects, such as a blanket!

Some people prefer to use circular needles for large projects like blankets. (myself included!)

Circular needles also come in different lengths — usually 16″, 24″, 32″, and 47″.

With circular needles, the length is adjusted by how long the “plastic string” between the needles is.

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