Needle Size and Gauge
UK Needle Size vs US Needle Size
The needle sizes we use in the UK are slightly different to the needle sizes used in the US. So if you’re a UK knitter and you’re using a US pattern, or if you’re a US knitter using a UK pattern, you may find this conversion table helpful:
Metric mm (millimetres)
|Lace Weight||4ply (Fingering weight) ||DK weight||Aran||Chunky||Roving|
|Needle Size Metric (mm)||< 2.25 mm||2.25 - 3.75||3.75 - 4.5 ||4.5 - 5.5||5.5 - 8||8 >|
Gauge and Tension
The gauge is very important but often ignored. If your end product is something you intend to wear and you don’t get the specified gauge right, your knitwear will not be the right size for you.
Before you start knitting, knit a swatch square in stocking stitch (or the stitch specified on the pattern). This swatch will show if you are knitting with the right tension.
Below are some suggested gauges; please bear in mind that these are SUGGESTED, and can really vary depending on many different aspects such as tension, needle size, stitch etc.
|Gauge (in stocking stitch)||Lace Weight||4ply (Fingering weight) ||DK weight||Aran||Chunky||Roving|
|sts per 4inches||33–40||27–32||21–24||16–20||12–15||6–11|
The table below shows how much yarn you may need in metres to knit. We stress that this is not always the case and is only approximate. It is of course dependant on the tension, the gauge, needle size, the knit structure (cabling) the size of the person and the style of the knitting (length of a scarf). But this table might help you estimate how much yarn you will need for you project.