Knitting Needles and Ball of Yarn

Perhaps you recently inherited a set of knitting needles, or maybe discovered some unmarked ones at a garage sale. Whatever the case, identifying a mixture of unmarked needles can be challenging without the right tools. Read ahead to learn more about the most common ways to identify the size of your knitting needles.

Sizing On the Needle Itself

A majority of needles have a ball end, which is where you can sometimes find the size.

Another place you might find the size displayed is near the point of the needle.

Using a Needle Gauge

A needle gauge is a special tool specifically for identifying needles, and probably the easiest way as well.

Just insert the needle into each hole to identify the best fit.

The needle should fit perfectly in the correct hole and slide in easily with little to no room on the sides.

There are many affordable options online for various designs of needle gauges made from different materials.


Using a Ruler with Millimeters

The metric gauge of a needle is simply the diameter of the needle in millimeters.

Diameter is the length across a circle, so you are measuring the width across the needle.

NOTE: This method isn’t perfect and measuring millimeters exactly can be difficult.


Manufacturer Importance

There are some variations according to the manufacturer. Knowing the manufacturer that made the needles can be helpful. Buying a gauge from the original manufacturer can help ensure the most accurate measurements.

Conversion Charts

It’s important to consider how different US sizes are versus Metric sizes. There are various measurement systems for different countries around the world. Below is an example of a more common chart, allowing you to compare sizing between US sizes, metric sizes, and crochet hook sizes.

Use the chart to convert metric sizing to US sizes and vice versa.

Needle Labeling

Once the size is identified, you can color coordinate your needles with tape or paint. Having a good system in place will save you time when determining your needle size for a project.



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