Q about wonky Boye needle sizing

My background: I am a long time craft/hobby store knitter who has just recently discovered that there are nicer yarns and nicer needles to be had. :wink: So until recently, my needle experience has been with Boye and Susan Bates. I have noticed that some Susan Bates needles are different in mm than the Boyes of the same size but have for some reason figured the SB were to blame.

I have recently realized that it’s the Boyes that are funny. Some of their sizes are just off a wee bit. Their 6 is 4.25mm whereas others are 4.00mm, for example.

OK. I am making a sweater which is ribbed at the bottom and then stockinette above that. (Very original, ha ha) The pattern calls for size 6 needles for the ribbing, then 7s for the stockinette. Gauge is 20 stitches per 4 inches in stockinette, which is what I get on size 7s.

Now. If I use Boye needles for this, this means a 4.25mm needle for the ribbing and a 4.5mm needle for the stockinette. IMO that is too tiny of a contrast for the ribbing to look quite right. If I use a size 5 instead, which is 3.75mm, then it is just a wee bit too small… which is better, too big or too small? (I am making a sweater for my son, who wears a 4T, but I am making the sweater in size 6 so it will be big anyway)

Not so long ago I wouldn’t have given any thought to this, I would have just jumped in with my size 6. Now I am obsessing over that .25mm difference. I bought a Denise kit yesterday and started out using that with size 6s (4.00mm) but I HATE the Denise kit. Switched to Boye, size 6. Rethought it, did it on 5s. Gave the Denise another shot, hated it again. Back to Boye and size 5, halfway through the first round of ribbing, considering ripping back and using 6 after all.

What would you do? :slight_smile: Aside from ordering the options kit which I think may be in my future. :wink:

Also WHY are the Boye sizes wonky?? Is it just the Boye? It really seems like the other brands are more consistant.