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Old 04-03-2009, 11:29 PM   #1
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US and UK needle sizes
So I was looking at the conversions between UK and US needles sizes, and I noticed there's no equivalent for the US 4 in UK sizes.
Is the .25mm difference between US4 and UK9 or 10 really noticeable at all?

The reason I ask is because I currently have a set of US sized 16" circs, and I'm thinking of buying this set of 17 sizes of 32" UK circs because they're on sale really cheap. But I don't want there to be a noticeable gauge difference if I have to decrease from UK size 10 to my 16" US4 circs (like for the sleeve of a sweater or something).

Should I just try to find a set of US sizes instead, or should I go for the UK sizes?
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Old 04-04-2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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.25mm is really, really small. You should be ok.

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Old 04-04-2009, 05:10 AM   #3
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I have both, and I use whatever the pattern calls for, but I frequently have to change down needle sizes to get the right gauge. I'd say use the UK needles and when you swatch for a new project use the3.25mm or 3.75mm and see which gives you the best result
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:14 AM   #4
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I'm a tool freak, so my advice is.... Buy them. Then get another 32" US 4, so you have the complete set of sizes. I like tools and gadgets.

There are a few circumstances when you can visibly see the .25mm difference. (Vast fields of st st, for instance, on high definition yarns such as cotton and cashmere.) But it depends on both how fussy you are and how even your stitches are in the first place -- as Elizabeth Zimmerman once wrote, a few good washes and wears and, voila, no more differences, not even to a very discerning eye.

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Old 04-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the responses and suggestions!

I think I'll probably do what globaltraveler said and buy the UK needles, then just get a US4 32" circular, especially since UK sizes have those extra two sizes between US 10 1/2 and US 11, and have sizes for both the 2.75mm and 3 mm US 2.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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Also, keep in mind that different materials in needles will make a huge difference. So if you were using 5.0mm needles in plastic and then switched to bamboo, or in glass and then switched to Boye aluminum, or in rosewood and then switched to the gray "teflon", ad infinitum, you could experience an extreme difference in gauge.
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