Conversion ChartsThere will always be bizarre units of measurement like the foot (US) in common use. I can only guess that when people were measuring the trees they had just felled, walking the length of the tree and saying “Hey, this is 10 foot lengths long” made a whole lot of sense. But now, to look at a 2 x 4 and to say “I need an 8 foot length” is kind of strange. Like who’s foot are they going by? Mine, well, I would need about 12 feet then because my feet are certainly not 12 inches (whatever an inch is) long. I’ve always wondered about this and that same curiosity and frustration is now a daily knitting/crochet dilemma. Like who decided these arbitrary numbers to define a 2.00mm as “US 1″ or “UK 14″ for that matter. Canada and the UK stuck pretty close by, but in usual fashion we had to buck the “imperial trend” and not only make up our own arbitrary numbers, but reverse them too! Ha! Take that! We sure taught you when we decided how to size our knitting needles! What a mess. And then you through manufacturing sizing in there too, what a mess. Trust me, when it comes to checking your needle size, stick with the metric. As far as I’ve been able to tell it’s the only way to know for sure that your US 1 is the same as the US 1 the pattern calls for.

Knitting Needles

Metric(mm) US Sizes UK Sizes CA Sizes
2.00 1* 14 14
2.25 1* 13 13
2.7 12
2.75 2 12
3.00 - 11 11
3.25 3 10 10
3.50 4
3.75 5 9 9
4.00 6 8 8
4.50 7 7 7
5.00 8 6 6
5.50 9 5 5
6.00 10 4 4
6.50 10 1/2 3 3
7.00 2 2
7.50 1 1
8.00 11 0 0
9.00 13 00 00
10.00 15 000 000

*Depending on the brand of your needles of course

Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks are just all over the place in the ol’ US of A. Not only do we have random numbers to give us a sizing mystery, but letters too! I think it’s safe to say that all of these are depending on the brand of your needles.

Metric(mm) US #’s US Letters UK/CA Sizes
2.00 0 14
2.25 1 B 13/12
2.50 2 B 12
2.75 2 C
3.00 2.5 C 11
3.25 3 D 10
3.50 4 E 9
3.75 5 F
4.00 6 F/G 8
4.50 7 G 7
5.00 8 H 6
5.50 9 I 5
6.00 10 J 4
6.50 10.5 K 3
7.00 K 2
8.00 11 L 0
9.00 13 M 00
10.00 15 N 000

Now I checked and cross checked these charts with about 5 others + my knitting needle gauge, but I still feel like there could be more added to it. Do you have a size in your tool kit that isn’t in the charts? Let me know by leaving a comment and I will get it added in there.

Oh I’m also going to make a permanent link to this over on the “Resources & Links” page so you, as well as I, will be able to look it up nice and easy.

I did read here that, “The Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA) has worked with cooperating hook manufacturers to develop U.S. size standards for knitting needles and crochet hooks.” Good, it’s about time. And I have noticed that things are getting a little better. But we all have our grandmother hooks and needles so it’s not like we are going to chuck them for the sake of standardization. There is this great gauge that is tapered and I think that would work very nicely, because I have yet to find a gauge where my needles and hooks fit into it well enough. I always feel like I’m playing a guessing game when it comes to sizing.

Are you interested in the general history of crochet and knitting?

Check out these links for some interesting history summaries:
Implements of Leisure
Crochet Wikipedia Entry
Knitting Wikipedia Entry
History of Knitting on Knitty.com

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I’m going to start training at my new job tomorrow and I need to leave here by 7:20! Yikes. I’m not sure when I’ll get done, so the Apartment redo post will be a bit later on in the evening. I’m hoping to get preliminary work on it done today so it will just be writing it up and posting it tomorrow night.

Things have been a bit out of sync this week because of the food poisoning over the weekend and the unexpected interviews/etc yesterday. But I think I’m pretty much all caught up this morning and will be spending most of my after lunch/before dinner time working on product shots and getting some new things into both shops (Craft Leftovers and Green Prairie Fibers), so make sure to check those both out later today or tomorrow morning.

I’ll see you all tomorrow! Have a great Midweek Day and Happy Crafting!
Kristin