The Oddness of Sizing on Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks
It's even stranger than you thought
Knitting needle and crochet hook sizes can be kind of confusing. It's not uncommon for a crafter to get the wrong size needle because they mistook the metric size for the US size.
So what do the different sizes come from and how can you prevent confusion?
Back in the day, when publishing of knitting and crochet patterns was a newfangled idea, nothing was standardized, including the sizes of yarn and needles. Eventually, different regions began to standardize inside each region, but there were still differences from one area to another. In the US, knitting needles were sized numerically, with the smallest having multiple zeroes (the more zeroes, the smaller the needle), then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc, getting larger with each number. In the UK, the sizes were numbered the opposite way, with an Imperial size 14 being equivalent to a US size 0, an Imperial 13 to a US 1, etc, getting larger as the numbers got smaller.
Meanwhile, crochet hooks began to be marked in alphabetic sizes, except for the smallest sizes, which are referred to as "steel" hooks.
As publishing became more international, this became a BIG problem! It got better when most of the world switched to the metric system and needles and hooks began to be marked in metric sizes outside of the US. Americans, though? We hung on to our US sizing.
All of that means that knitting needles and crochet hooks have two sizes marked on them - the US size and the metric size.
How to tell which one a pattern calls for? Look for the "mm" and the "US"!
For knitting needles, if it says "US 8," it means a US size 8 needle, which is 5 mm in diameter. If it says "8 mm," it means a US size 11 needle, which is 8 mm in diameter.
For crochet hooks, if it says a letter, that's a US size - except for US size 7, which is 4.5 mm in diameter and comes between G & H. Size I is also weird, since there is both an I (5.25 mm) and I-9 (5.5 mm). If your crochet pattern calls for a "7 mm" hook, that is a size that doesn't have a corresponding letter.
Are you even more confused now? That's not surprising. Click here to see the modern conversion chart between US and metric sizing for both knitting needles and crochet hooks.
Featured Yarn and Pattern
One of our customers recently completed this top and we can't get over how cute it looks! Gelato by Amy Christoffers is a super easy pattern perfect for our warm climate. It's all garter stitch, so there is no purling at all! It's designed for Berroco Medina, a self-striping cotton/acrylic/viscose blend with a beautiful drape! The pattern is $8 in-store, on Ravelry, or on Berroco.com.
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In-store and online private lessons are available! Please call 210-979-8255 to schedule a lesson! Wendy, Dawn, Moses, and Nancy are all available to help you with your projects! Private Lessons can also be scheduled outside of regular hours at the discretion of the teacher.
The Tip Jar
Have you searched in vain for US size 12 knitting needles or an A crochet hook? You won't find them! US knitting needle sizes are sized with every number from 1-10, then go 10 1/2, 10 3/4, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 35, and 50.
Crochet hooks go from A-G, then SIZE 7, H, I, I-9, J, K, 7 MILLIMETER, and then it gets weird...
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