Where can I find needle size comparison charts?

I need to know how to figure out what size needles match up with “American” needle sizes!! Stephanie McPhee has a pattern that uses size 5mm needles for a scarf.

What size needles is this in “American”??
Thanks for your help.

5mm would be a US 8. Here’s a chart - http://www.yarnforward.com/needleconv.html

I am putting that chart into my Favorites!!! :muah:

Now, here’s another question - When I come across other patterns, how will I know if their recommended needle size is metric, US or UK/Canadian?? Will there be some sort of abbreviation?


Usually most patterns give the metric size along with the US. UK sizes aren’t used a lot in patterns, though some knitters do refer to them.

Almost all patterns written today in the UK and territories will give the metric size of the needles required, as the older numbered system is fading out. The only time you might run into trouble, is if it’s an older pattern, and then you will probably only have the number of the needle, not its metric size. You can tell if it’s British or from the territories (including Canada) because you’ll see the spelling “colour”, etc. And here’s where it gets even more complicated: in the US, there were sizes for steel needles, vs. celluloid and wood, and Boye had its own sizing system!

But here’s where you’re in luck-- the important thing is the gauge, and no matter what needle size they give you, you need to use the one which gives you the required gauge. So you can often figure out what exactly you’ll need by doing a test swatch. In really old patterns, they often don’t give you either, gauge or expected size, because you were supposed to figure that out. So if you find yourself knitting something from 1910 (check out www.ivaraose.com – very fun stuff!), just take your measurements and figure out what is going to work. In other words, if you have a 38" bust and they have 200 sts around the chest of the pattern, and it needs to be a sort of close fit, you will want to end up with 40" around (that gives you a 2" positive ease) and 200 divided by 40 is 5 sts per inch, so whatever yarn and needles you use, needs to give you 5 sts per inch.

I know what you mean sandy57th!!! I have a couple of old pattern books of my grandmother’s and I almost always break out laughing when I read those instructions! They really knew their stuff way back then!

Fortunately, I’m sticking with new(er) patterns so that won’t be a problem for me!