antique textiles Knitting

Boring But Useful – Knitting Needle Size Conversion Chart

cassein needles

Just finally got round to making one of these.

And I thought it might be useful for other fans of vintage haberdashery and knitters of old patterns.  Many charts available only go down in size to the more useful needle sizes for contemporary knitting – ie: around 3.25mm.

Yet many Victorian patterns call for 1mm or smaller.  You can see from gaps in the Old UK sizes’ numbers below, there were some intermediate sizes, based on old imperial wire gauges between and 1mm – that were very non metric, therefore less easily available now. Otherwise, this is a slightly more complete Old UK/metric conversion chart; useful for vintage knitters – or rather, knitters of the vintage.

Feel free to use, or copy for your reference!


Some of our vintage cassein, plastic or bone imperial sized needles

6 replies on “Boring But Useful – Knitting Needle Size Conversion Chart”

I was reading “The Home Knitter: a manual for making useful articles for the family” (from April 1876, published in Edinburgh) on archive(dot)org, and the first two patterns were for a lady’s stocking and a gentleman’s sock using size 16 needles. Your chart doesn’t have this size. Do you have an idea what size that might be? What about in American sizing?


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