The Confusion of Conversion!

When I was setting up Yarn Me Calm and the website I was super excited, making contact with manufacturers, determining what yarn we would initially stock, thinking about all the amazing squishiness that would soon be mine............I mean available in the store, and contemplating all the things I would share in the Calming Yarn.



I wanted to make the site as user friendly as possible.  In order to do this I needed to come up with a standard way of presenting the yarn and I quickly decided on: description, fibre, size, weight, recommended needles/hook and squishy rating.  This should have been a fairly easy thing to do.......

So.........I started looking at the different yarn categories, classifications and conversions and my head very quickly started to spin, not in a exorcist sort of way, but in total and utter confusion!

I found myself looking at all sorts of conversion charts, some making sense, some not and some just contradictory.  I looked at what are termed 'standard' yarn weights which are great but are not universal.   Does everyone else get as confused between UK, US and Australian yarn weight descriptors and conversions? 

There are some amazing sites that I found that were extremely useful particularly with some of the yarns that I was planning on selling as they didn't have clearly defined information about what category they were.  I found that Ravelry was  helpful with this.

What I ended up doing was using a combination of some of the various charts and descriptions available to create an average.  This was the best way I could make sense of it all, particularly given we have yarns from all over the world!

Hopefully this is as helpful to you as it is to me!


 UK US AUS Hook/Needle
1 Ply


2 Ply

1.5 - 2.25 mm

2 - 3 Ply


3 Ply

2.25 - 3.5 mm

4 Ply


5 Ply

3.0 - 4.5 mm


DK/Light Worsted

8 Ply

4.0 -5.5 mm



10 Ply

5.0 - 6.5 mm



12 Ply

6.0 - 9 mm

Super Chunky

Super Bulky

14 Ply

9 mm - 15 mm

Jumbo -Gigante


15 mm +

We would suggest doing a small knitted or crocheted gauge test swatch before you start on a pattern.  We all crochet and/or knit differently and there is nothing worse than something coming out bigger or smaller than you intended!!  You may need to try a larger or smaller needle or hook depending on the outcome of your swatch.
Picture from Woman's Weekly.