Hi! I’ve got one of those plastic needle guage sizers. This one is made by Boye. I’ve got a bunch of circulars and they don’t have the sizes on them. To determine size, is the needle supposed to go all the way through the hole, or is it supposed to stop where the point of the needle meets the shaft? Thanks!!
The needle should go all the way through the hole. It should be a tight fit but should go easily.
Until MM sizing, every brand of needle had its own size.
(in US there was no standard (set by government or trade association) --the ARMY did set standards for gauge (the actual knitting) for hand knit garments (mostly pre WWII) but there wasn’t a standard in any general sense!
a Boye size 6 (US) [B]was[/B] NOT the same as a Susan Bates size 6 or and neither of them was the same size as Zepher (a now defunct needle brand)
EVERY company had its own “version” of size 6 --they were similar, (close) but not actually the same size!
they all put out their own gauges, and patterns designed for their needles.
SO–if you have an old needle (or an old gauge!) or a needle from company A, and gauge from company B–you won’t always get an exact fit of needle to hole!
[B]mm[/B] sizing is closer(and newer needles!) … (a 6mm is usually 6 mm–but you can by a tool gauge (calipers) and check all your needles and you’ll find some 6mm needles are really 5.97mm or 6.09mm!
the older your needles and gauge, the more you’ll find differences!
thrift stores, ebay etc are a great place to buy needles, but you’ll find that the sizes of the needles vary!
this can be a good thing… sometime if your gauge is just a bit off… a different brand of the same size will resolve the problem…
and the same goes for unevenness between knits and purls… Knit with Brand A (a 5.09mm size 9) purl with brand B (a 4.91 mm size 9) the slight difference in sizes can help you ‘correct’ the problem with loose purls!
In addition to the great information from of Troy you also need to understand that even with the same needles and yarn each member of a group of knitters may have a different gauge (stitches/rows per inch/MM). This all depends on how tight or loose they knit. The gauge of a practice swatch is more important that the size of the needle.
Always knit a practice swatch and change needle size if necessary to get the proper gauge for the pattern.