Knitting Needle Sizes + Conversion Chart (Free Printable)


In this blog post, you will learn about knitting needle sizes and grab a conversion chart you can print out.

If you’re a knitting enthusiast, you know how important it is to have the right needle size for your project. 

With so many different sizes and variations, it can be overwhelming to track them all. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive knitting needle size guide with a handy chart that you can have for free.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this guide will come with a handy chart for all your knitting needs.

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Knitting needle sizes and conversion chart

Knitting Needle Sizes Conversion Chart

This knitting needle conversion chart compares knitting needle sizes (metric sizes) from the US (US Size) and the UK (UK Size).

Scroll down to learn about different knitting needles and grab your free printable PDF copy of a knitting needle size chart. 

Knitting Needles Sizes Chart

Grab Your Free Printable Here!

What Are Knitting Needles?

Knitting needles are essential tools used in the craft of knitting. 

They come in various materials, different sizes and lengths depending on the project’s requirements. 

Knitting needles have a pointed end on one side to help pick up and manipulate yarn stitches and a blunt end on the other side for holding onto the needle comfortably. 

They are used to create loops of yarn, known as stitches, which are interconnected to form fabric. 

Plus, there are various types of needles, each serving different purposes and techniques in knitting.

How many types of knitting needles are there?

There are several different types of knitting needles, each designed for different purposes and preferences:

  1. Straight Needles: These are the most traditional type of knitting needles, consisting of a straight shaft with a point at one end and a knob or stopper at the other end to prevent stitches from sliding off. Straight needles are great for a smaller or a larger project. They are typically used for flat knitting, such as scarves, blankets, and panels.
  2. Circular Needles: Circulars have two needle tips connected by a flexible cable. They are used for knitting in the round, such as hats, socks, and seamless garments, as well as for flat knitting of large projects like sweaters where the circular shape helps distribute the weight of the fabric.
  3. Double-Pointed Needles (DPNs): Double-pointed needles have points at both ends and are used in sets of four or five needles to knit in the round, especially for small projects like socks, gloves, sleeves, and mittens.
  4. Interchangeable Needles: Interchangeable needle sets consist of multiple needle tips and cables that can be screwed together to create custom needle lengths. They offer versatility and convenience, allowing knitters to use different needle sizes and cable lengths for various projects without needing to purchase individual sets of fixed-length circular knitting needles. 
  5. Short Knitting Needles: Short knitting needles are typically shorter than standard straight needles and are designed for knitting smaller projects or for knitters who prefer shorter needles for comfort or portability. Short needles are available in both straight and circular varieties, providing flexibility for different knitting techniques and preferences. They are particularly useful for projects with limited space, such as knitting in confined areas or on-the-go knitting where longer needles would be uncomfortable.
Knitting needle sizes

What types of materials are used to make knitting needles?

Knitting needles come in a variety of materials, each with its own unique qualities and benefits. 

Common materials include wood, metal, plastic, bamboo, acrylic, and glass. 

  • Wooden needles, such as bamboo or birch, are lightweight, warm to the touch, and provide a natural grip, making them comfortable for extended knitting sessions. 
  • Metal needles, often made from aluminum or stainless steel, are smooth, durable, and slick, allowing stitches to glide easily along the needle shaft. 
  • Plastic needles are lightweight and affordable, while acrylic needles offer a smooth surface for easy stitching.
  • Bamboo needles combine strength with a warm feel and are environmentally friendly. 

Knitters can choose the material that best suits their preferences, knitting style, and project needs.

How do you measure knitting needle size? 

To measure the size of knitting needles, you can typically find the size indicated on the needle itself. 

However, if it’s not labeled or you’re unsure, you can measure the diameter of the needle using a knitting needle gauge or a ruler with millimeter markings. 

Here’s how:

  1. Using a Knitting Needle Gauge: A knitting needle gauge is a handy tool specifically designed to measure knitting needle sizes. It usually consists of a flat piece of metal or plastic with holes of various sizes. Simply insert the needle into the different-sized holes until you find the one that fits snugly without being too tight or too loose. The size indicated on that hole is the size of your needle.
  2. Using a Ruler: If you don’t have a knitting needle gauge, you can use a ruler with millimeter markings to measure the diameter of the needle. Place the ruler flat on a surface and align the needle next to it. Measure the width of the needle at its widest point. Be sure to measure in millimeters, as knitting needle sizes are typically denoted in millimeters. Once you have the measurement, you can refer to a needle size conversion chart to determine the corresponding size.

By using either of these methods, you can accurately determine the size of your knitting needles for your projects.

Woman holding knitting needles

Why do countries use different sizes for knitting needles, and what are those sizes?

Different countries have adopted varying knitting needle size systems due to historical, cultural, and practical reasons. 

The United States typically uses a numerical sizing system, while the United Kingdom and Europe primarily use metric measurements in millimeters. 

These differences stem from each country’s traditional units of measurement, standardization practices, and knitting traditions. 

For example, the U.S. system is based on needle diameter in inches or fractions of an inch, whereas the metric system provides precise measurements in millimeters. 

While this can create confusion for knitters using patterns from different regions, many patterns include conversions between sizing systems to facilitate universal understanding. 

Some common needle sizes in the U.S. system include US 0 (2.00 mm), US 1 (2.25 mm), US 2 (2.75 mm), and so on, while the metric system includes sizes such as 2.00 mm, 2.25 mm, 2.50 mm, and beyond. 

Despite these differences, the ultimate goal remains the same: selecting the right needle size to achieve the desired gauge and fit for the knitting project at hand.

Knitting needles

Knitting Needle Sizes

How do you find the right knitting needle size for your yarn?

Finding the right knitting needle size for your yarn is crucial for achieving the correct gauge and ensuring your project turns out as expected.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you determine the appropriate needle size:

  1. Check the Yarn Label: Check the yarn label for information on the recommended needle size. Most yarn manufacturers include a suggested needle size range on the labels, which is a good starting point for selecting needles.
  2. Consider Your Pattern: If you’re following a knitting pattern, it will often specify the gauge or tension required for the project. This information indicates the number of stitches and rows per inch that should be achieved with the specified yarn and needle size. You can use this gauge as a reference when selecting your needle size.
  3. Swatch: Knit a swatch using the yarn and needles you’re considering for your project. Cast on a few more stitches than the pattern recommends for the swatch size (usually about 4 inches by 4 inches or 10 cm by 10 cm). Knit a few rows in the pattern stitch, then measure the gauge of your swatch using a ruler or gauge tool.
  4. Adjust Needle Size: If your swatch gauge matches the pattern gauge, congratulations—you’ve found the right needle size! If the gauge is too tight (fewer stitches per inch than required), try using larger needles. Conversely, if the gauge is too loose (more stitches per inch than required), switch to smaller needles.

Learn more about knitting needles…

Knitting Needle Size Chart

Yarn Weights And Knitting Needle Sizes

This list covers a wide range of needle sizes commonly used in knitting, from the smallest sizes suitable for delicate lacework to the largest sizes for chunky or super bulky yarns.

The weight of the yarn will determine the size of your needles.

Here’s a list of common yarn weights and their corresponding recommended knitting needle size:

  1. Lace Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 000–1
  2. Sock – Super Fine Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 1-3 
  3. Sport Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 3-5 
  4. DK Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 5-7 
  5. Aran – Worsted Weight Yarn Recommended needle size: US 7-9 
  6. Bulky Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 9-11
  7. Super Bulky Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 11-17 
  8. Jumbo Weight Yarn: Recommended needle size: US 17 and up
Needle Sizes For Yarn Weights

Knitting Lessons

If you are new to knitting and need help with the knitting basics, check out these posts here – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know.

Including how to cast on, how to bind off, how to knit the basic stitches, and more.

For an easy level knitting pattern, check out this pattern category for more recommendations – Beginner Knitters

If you need more video tutorials to help you check out my YouTube channel here Handy Little Me – YouTube. 

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