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Old 11-26-2007, 06:55 PM   #1
Limey
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Confusion with US sock-size needles
Hi

Hope nobody minds that this is a sort of supplementary topic to the one posted by Brandy-M about sock needles.

Jan says she uses a US size 1 needle and Mrs Levite a US size 2.

According to this chart: http://www.fibergypsy.com/common/needles.shtml

A US size 1 can be either 2.25 mm or 2.5mm

A US size 2 can be 2.75 mm or 3mm

Could some kind soul please tell me that if a US pattern stipulates Size 1 or Size 2, how do you know which needle size to use?

Do you have to buy both, or what?

It would be really useful to know (especially to Brits, Aussies and Kiwis) which is the more 'usual' size referred to in knitting patterns.

Does anyone know why there is this ambiguity about these two sizes?

Many Thanks
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:59 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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Hmmm..good question. I just bought a "1" without thinking about it and I'm not sure what it is as far as mm. I'm not sure that .25 makes much difference though anyway.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
Hmmm..good question. I just bought a "1" without thinking about it and I'm not sure what it is as far as mm. I'm not sure that .25 makes much difference though anyway.

With my luck, though, do ya wanna bet?
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:59 PM   #4
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I tried to knit Monkey socks -- using what I thought was the correct size US 1 (what I already had - 2.25mm) But the sock in progress was too tight. I looked closer at the pattern -- US 1 (2.50mm); so I had to order them. I do think it makes a difference.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:22 PM   #5
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I've actually seen 2.50 mm needles labeled as size 1.5 and the 2.25 mm needles labeled as size 1, if that helps. I think it depends on the brand of needles though.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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Most patterns will give the needle size in mm, so you should go by that. After you've knit a few of them, I imagine you will sort of know which size to use if it's not given.
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:09 AM   #7
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I use the 2.5 mm needles mostly, big feet. I don't know why we have to have these arbitrary US sizes anyway when it would be so much easier just to use mm. Most patterns do give the mm size as well.
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:12 AM   #8
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Limey,
maybe you should check if a gauge is given in the pattern, that way you can knit with a swatch with both sizes and see what fits the best. I bought the Knitpicks DPN set and they state mm there as well and because i'm used to the metric system, i always go by mm.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:07 AM   #9
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This is why I never really go by US sizes. It's strange how much difference .25mm can make. Do you know how small .25mm is? It's about the width of the letter l! Yet it can make a difference. So can how tight or loose you knit. I always swap new sock yarns rather than go by the label.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:13 PM   #10
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Thanks so much everyone for your input- it's really appreciated.

I didn't know if US knitters used metric measurements instead of American when it comes to the smaller sizes and I wasn't sure if US patterns gave mm sizes as well

It's more confusing when it comes to even smaller sizes - according to the above chart: US 0.5mm is 8/0
US 0.75 mm is 6/0
US 1.0mm is 5/0
US 1.25mm is 4/0

Just as well I'm familiar with the totally logical (yeah - right!) old UK sizes - the bigger the needle, the smaller the number!


Yours (I think!)

Thanks again.

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