What knitting needle sizes and crochet hooks should I use?
In general, the size of your needle or hook will depend on the size (also known as the weight or gauge) of the yarn you use - a thicker yarn will need a bigger size of needles or hook and a thinner, lighter yarn will need a smaller needle or hook.
Remember that the goal is to make an 8x8"/20x20cm square that is thick and warm. The important thing is to appropriately match the needle or hook size to the yarn thickness.
The original size of needles that was suggested when knit-a-square was first started was Size 6mm needles (Aus)4 (UK, Canada) 10 (USA)5, but this is just a guideline and is not the only size that will be suitable.
For example, Kyla uses a US size 5 or metric size 3.75mm for my squares.
One our members shares this advice:
“For knitting with UK yarns I find 5mm (UK size 6) is the most useful. I use those for doubled acrylic dk and aran weight yarns and normally (depending on the pattern) need 33-35 stitches to make an 8" square. If using single strand acrylic I knit 40 stitches on size 4mm (UK size 8) and if I have a chunky yarn 30 stitches on 6mm (UK size 4) is usually okay.”
Here is a pretty basic and easy to understand needle chart showing metric, US and UK sizes.
And for those of you who are familiar with and use Ravelry, there is a very good needle size chart available there as well.
We also have more information about needle sizes here.
I'm still confused by all of this, are there any really easy knitting or crocheting instructions for a beginner?
Yes indeed! We have a simple pattern right here that should get you started.
For knitters: knitting instructions.
For crocheters: crochet instructions.