When I first got started knitting there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I bought some wool and a bunch of needles from eBay and got to it.
It took several tries before it seemed to “work”, this was because I had no idea about needle sizes and yarn weight.
Knitting needles come in a variety of sizes and styles- the size is the circumference of the needle in mm’s .
This picture gives you an idea what I mean…
The needles in this photo range from 15mm to 3mm. They come in whole,and some half and quarter sizes so you will sometimes get for example, 6.5mm or 3.25mm needles.
These are standard needles, they are usually made out of metal, plastic or bamboo.
There are also double pointed needles which have no stopper on the end, and circular needles where the needles are connected via cable.
For now we’ll just stick with standard needles
The needle size works in combination with the yarn weight to create a taut, neat fabric.
Yarn comes in several weights which just basically means the thickness. Here is a table of UK yarn weights and their recommended needle sizes (U.S terms in brackets)
UK Yarn Weights Needle Size
2ply/Lace (Baby) 2.25 – 2.75
3ply (Fingering) 2.75 – 3.25
4ply (Sportweight) 3.25 – 3.75
Double Knitting or DK (Worsted) 3.75 – 4.5
Aran (Fishermen/Medium) 4.5 – 5.5
Chunky (Bulky) 5.5-8mm
Super Chunky (Super Bulky) 8mm plus
Generally, smaller needles create a tighter fabric and larger needles create a looser fabric. However there are exceptions and it depends on the effect you are trying to create.
The band on your ball of yarn should give you a recommended needle size as will any knitting pattern,
Now that we’ve covered the basics the next step will be casting on