Yarn Size Chart and Knitting Needle Size Chart

Between Ravelry and just the internet in general, knitting patterns get swopped between countries and continents, and  — guess what? — not everybody uses the same system of measurements either of yarn thickness or of knitting needle diameters.  Here are two charts, Ravelry’s Standard Yarn Weighs, and a needle size and conversion chart I found on the internet so long ago I’ve forgotten now where I found it.  I’ve put them both on the same page so you can print them out on a single sheet and keep them handy.   Here is both PDF format and chart format.  To download the PDF, you’ll need to click on the link to go to a separate page, then click on the link again to display the PDF file because I don’t know how to get it to just display the PDF file!

Needle Sizes and Ravelry Standard Yarn Weights

Ravelry Standard Yarn WeightsNeedle Sizes and Conversions


Trinity Shawl

IMG_0007Trinity Shawl

I called this shawl “Trinity” because it has three main, wedge-shaped sections and a three-stitch border along the long edge.  It is a semicircular garter tab shawl that is a great project for beginning knitters because, apart from the tricky garter tab bit, it uses only two stitches: the knit (K) stitch and the yarn over (yo) stitch.  It is a great stash-buster project.  You can use any size needle and any size thread, but if you are buying yarn expressly to make this project, you will need anywhere from 6 to 9 skeins of yarn depending on the size shawl you want to make, the size of your needles and the thickness of your yarn (the smaller the needles and the finer the yarn, the more yarn you will need to buy).  Estimate generously and buy at least one skein more than you think you’re going to need.  Better to have more yarn than you need, because dye lots.  Fringe is nice.

Following the picture of what the edging looks like are two variations on the pattern for knitters who know how to purl.

Note:  The shawl has a yarn over between the border strip and the main body on each side (2 stitches), and a yarn over in between each end section and the middle section (2 stitches) for a total increase of 4 stitches every other row.  Since the number of stitches in the border strip remains constant, that “extra” increase ends up in the middle section, i.e., for every stitch the two end sections increase, the middle section increases two stitches and the center section ends up being way larger than the two end sections.  This is supposed to happen — the part that goes across your back needs to be way wider than the two parts that fall in front of your shoulders, after all.

Yarn: 6 to 9 skeins, or the equivalent amount of odds and ends from your yarn stash.
Needles: At least two sets of double-pointed circular needles (a 36-inch long set and a 48-inch long set) all the same size. (Three sets is better: a 24-inch, a 36-inch, and a 48 inch, again, all the same size.)
Notions: 4 stitch markers.

K = knit
yo = yarn over. (Bring the working yarn forward between the needles to the front of the work. Lay it over the top of the right needle. Work the next stitch. This creates a little bar of yarn. On the next row, work this little bar of yarn as though it is a stitch (unless the pattern says not to).
# = marker. When you come to a marker, take the marker off the left needle and put it on the right needle, and do what the pattern says to do next. Note: on the even numbered rows, when you come to a marker, pass it from the left needle to the right needle and continue knitting.

Pick up stitch = This is a way to add to the number of stitches on your needle (increase).  Slip your right needle underneath a strand of yarn and knit it like it was a stitch.  This makes a new stitch.


Pick up 9 stitches down the side of the work


Pick up 3 stitches down the bottom edge of the work


3 original stitches + 9 stitches along the side + 3 stitches along the bottom edge = 15 stitches










Garter Tab:
1. Cast on 3 stitches.
2. Knit 9 rows.
3. Pick up 9 stitches evenly spaced down the side of the work.
4. Pick up 3 stitches across the bottom of the work: 15 stitches total.
5. Turn work.

Body of Shawl:
1. K3, place marker, yo, K3, place marker, yo, K3, yo, place marker, K3, yo, place marker, K3.
2. Knit.
IMG_00073. K3, #, yo, K4, #, yo, K5, yo #, K4, yo, #, K3.
4. Knit.
5. K3, #, yo, K5, #, yo, K7, yo, #, K5 yo, #, K3.
6. Knit.
7. K3, #, yo, K6, #, yo, K9, yo, #, K6 yo, #, K3.
8. Knit.
9. K3, #, yo, K7, #, yo, K11, yo, #, K7 yo, #, K3.
10. Knit.
From here on out, repeat the following two rows:
Odd numbered rows: K3, #, yo, K each stitch, #, yo, K each stitch, yo, #, K each stitch, yo, #, K3
Even numbered rows: Knit.

When the shawl is as large as you want it, and at the end of an even numbered row:
1. K3, yo, *K, yo, repeat from * until 3 stitches are left on the row, K3. As you come to a marker, remove it and set it aside. You don’t need them any more.
2. K3, K the next yo, *K, slip the yo off the needle without working it, repeat from * until K, yo, K3 is left on your right needle. K1, K in the yarn over, K3.  Slipping the yo off allows the loop of the knit stitches on that row to pull out way long. This is what you want to happen.
3. Knit 4 rows.
4. Bind off loosely.


This is an example of a “doll’ size version of this shawl to show what the edging looks like.

Stockinette Variation 1:
On the even numbered rows: K3, purl until the last 3 stitches on the needle, K3.
This creates a garter stitch border, with the three center sections done in stockinette.
Finish off with the Edging pattern above.

Stockinette Variation 2:
On the even numbered rows: K3, #, P #, K, #, P, #, K3.
This creates a garter stitch border, with the center section in garter stitch, and the sections on either side in stockinette. Finish off with the Edging pattern above.