Model in ski jumper, 1940.

Vintage Purls

Tools

Needle Size Converter

Trying to find the corresponding imperial, US or metric needle size for a pattern?

Imperial (UK)Metric (mm)U.S.
24 0.50 8/0
22 0.75 6/0
20 n/a n/a
19 1.00 5/0
18 1.25 0000
17 1.50 000
16 n/a n/a
15 1.75 00
14 2.00 0
13 2.25 1
n/a 2.50 n/a
12 2.75 2
11 3.00 n/a
10 3.25 3
n/a 3.50 4
9 3.75 5
8 4.00 6
7 4.50 7
6 5.00 8
5 5.50 9
4 6.00 10
3 6.50 10½
2 7.00 n/a
1 7.50 n/a
0 8.00 11
00 9.00 13
000 10.00 15

Weights

Have a pattern that specifies the quantity of wool required in ounces or pounds and you'd like to know how many grams to buy? The table below contains common weights rounded to the nearest gram.

Do remember that wool weight does not convert exactly between wool brands and that modern wool is often heavier than wool brands mentioned in older patterns; it pays to buy extra.

ImperialMetric
½oz 14g
1oz 28g
4oz 113g
6oz 170g
8oz 227g
10oz 283g
12oz 340g
14oz 397g
16oz (1lb) 454g
20oz (1lb, 4oz) 567g
25oz (1lb, 9oz) 709g

Wool Thicknesses

Although the thickness of a yarn differs between brand and type of wool, there are some terms found in older patterns that are not so familar today. Ultimately you need to ensure you have the correct tension for a pattern, this may mean experimenting with different wool and or needle size.

TermPly equivalentWraps per Inch
Lace Very fine yarn 18 or more
Fingering 3ply - 4ply 16 - 18
Sock 4ply 16
Worsted*/Double-knit/
Quickerknit/Sport
8ply 14
Aran**/Worsted* about 10ply about 12
Bulky/Chunky 13ply - 14ply 10

 

* Worsted in a difficult term to pin down. These days it often applies to heavier yarns but in many vintage patterns it seems to apply to a wool about the weight of 8ply.

** Aran too is a less than consistently applied term. Yarns described as aran can differ considerably in thickness and weight.


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