Circular knitting needles are versatile tools. Since its invention a century back, it has made its way among the knitter’s trusted tools. And, of course, there are many valid reasons too. Circular needles are two-needle tips (smaller than general knitting needles, 4 and 5 inches) attached with cords that can range from 10 inches up to more than 60 inches. The same needles have multiple uses, from a pair of socks to your largest blanket, the circular needles work for both. The trick is that the same pair can be used to knit back and forth (also known as flat knitting) and seamless rounds (knitting in the round).
While the fixed circulars do not have the option of changing the cord, the interchangeable needles have the option of attaching and detaching the cords. The interchangeable needles allow you to customize your knitting needle to practically any size and length. Also, many knitting needle sets of interchangeable needles have connectors, to further extend the length of your knitting needle.
Knitting with circular needles is no different than any of your preferred needles. You need to follow the same steps of knitting- cast on stitches, knit and bind off. If you are following a pattern you get all the instructions but if you are designing your own project, you must know how to knit with them.
So, let’s take a look.
Knitting in Round with Circular Knitting Needles
Knitting a seamless round with circular knitting needles is very convenient. Cast on the stitches, distributing them evenly. The last cast-on stitch is the last stitch of the round, so place a marker here to indicate the end of the round. Make sure to keep your stitches even. Knit or purl (according to a pattern). Work until you reach the marker again completing the first round. Continue the rounds till you have achieved the desired length. Just remember to keep the length of your circular needles smaller than the diameter of the tube you are knitting, otherwise, the stitches will stretch as you knit.
Some knitters prefer circular needles for even the smallest circumference projects, as an alternative to double-pointed knitting needles. For that, you can work on two circular knitting needles. You need to cast on the number of stitches as required by your project and slip half of them into the second circular needle and begin knitting in the round.
Magic Loop is a technique for knitting in the round the smallest circumferences, say, for example, socks, baby hats, etc. Use longer-than-average circular needles (say the 32 or 40 inches ones). Keep in mind that the ideal needle should measure up to four times the size (width) of your project.
Knitting Back and Forth with Circular Needles
Circular needles are great for knitting back and forth. The needle length accommodates enough stitches for large blankets, etc. Given the ergonomic nature of circulars, it distributes the number of stitches all through the needle length making it convenient for knitters to keep the weight on their lap and free their hands from fatigue.
Cast on your stitches. Let the stitches slide onto the cord. Hold the needle ends, and work across all your stitches. The trick is to turn your project after each row. Continue as the pattern requires.
To conclude, we hope you are inspired to knit with circular knitting needles.