How to join a round in knitting

How to join a round in knitting

Knitting in the round is a popular technique used by knitters to create seamless and continuous projects, such as hats, socks, and sweaters. Joining a round is an essential step in this process, as it allows you to begin knitting in a circular pattern instead of going back and forth on straight needles.

To join a round, you will need a set of circular needles or double-pointed needles, depending on your project. These needles are specially designed to accommodate a large number of stitches in a round formation. Once you have your needles and yarn ready, you can follow these step-by-step instructions to join a round in knitting.

Step 1: Cast On

Begin by casting on the required number of stitches for your project onto one of your needles. Make sure the stitches are not twisted and are evenly spaced across the needle.

Step 2: Slide the Stitches

Once you have cast on your stitches, you need to slide them onto the other end of the needle so they are in position to begin knitting in the round. Hold both ends of the needle together, making sure the working yarn is at the back, and gently slide the stitches across.

Step 3: Join the Round

To join the round, insert the free end of your needle into the first stitch on the right hand needle, as if you were going to knit. Instead of knitting, however, simply slip the stitch onto the free end of the needle. This effectively joins the round, and you can now begin knitting in a circular pattern.

Prepare Your Supplies

To join a round in knitting, you will need a few supplies to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Here is a list of the items you will need:

  • Knitting Needles: Choose a pair of circular knitting needles that are the appropriate size for your project. Make sure the needles are long enough to accommodate all of your stitches.
  • Yarn: Select a yarn that suits your project and personal preference. Consider the weight, color, and fiber content of the yarn. Make sure you have enough yarn to complete your knitting project.
  • Tapestry Needle: A tapestry needle will be used for weaving in loose ends of yarn once your knitting project is complete.
  • Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are small rings or clips that help you keep track of specific stitches or sections in your knitting. They can be helpful when joining a round to mark the beginning or end of the round.
  • Scissors: A pair of scissors is essential for cutting yarn and trimming any stray ends.
  • Row Counter: A row counter is a useful tool for keeping track of the number of rows you have knitted. It can be especially handy when joining a round, as it helps you maintain consistency.

Gather these supplies before you begin joining a round in knitting. Having everything prepared and within reach will make the process much easier and more enjoyable.

Start with a Slip Knot

Before you can join a round in knitting, you need to start with a slip knot. This is the first step in casting on stitches and creating a foundation for your round project.

To create a slip knot, follow these steps:

  1. Take the working end of your yarn and form a loop.
  2. Pass the working end of the yarn through the loop, creating a loose knot.
  3. Hold the loop with one hand and the working end with the other hand.
  4. Gently pull the working end to tighten the loop, creating a secure slip knot.

Make sure the slip knot is not too tight, as it needs to easily slide along the needle during the knitting process.

Once you have created your slip knot, you are ready to proceed with joining the round in knitting. The slip knot will serve as the first stitch on your needle, and you will begin knitting the subsequent stitches in a circular manner.

Cast On Stitches

Before you can join a round in knitting, you first need to cast on your stitches. Casting on is the process of creating the initial set of stitches on your knitting needle.

There are various methods of casting on stitches, but one common method is the long tail cast on. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Hold the knitting needle in your right hand with the slipknot on the needle.
  2. With your left hand, hold the yarn between your thumb and index finger, leaving a long tail.
  3. Using your right hand, loop the needle under the yarn held by your left thumb.
  4. Bring the needle over the yarn held by your left index finger.
  5. Hook the needle behind the yarn held by your left thumb, creating a new loop on the needle.
  6. Slide the new loop onto the needle by letting go of the yarn held by your left thumb.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.

Once you have cast on all your stitches, you are ready to join the round in your knitting project. Make sure the stitches are evenly distributed around the needle and that they are not twisted. Then, you can start knitting in the round according to your pattern instructions.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if your first attempts at casting on or joining the round don’t turn out perfectly. With time and practice, you will become more confident and proficient in knitting.

Arrange Stitches on Double-Pointed Needles

Once you have cast on the required number of stitches for your knitting project, you will need to arrange them on your double-pointed needles before joining in the round. Follow these steps to arrange the stitches:

  1. Divide your stitches evenly between the number of double-pointed needles you are using. For example, if you have 40 stitches and are using four double-pointed needles, you would put 10 stitches on each needle.
  2. Hold the needle with the first set of stitches in your right hand, and position it so the needle tips are pointing to the right.
  3. Take the next set of stitches and position it on the next needle to the left of the first needle, with the needle tips pointing to the left.
  4. Repeat this process for the remaining sets of stitches until all the stitches have been evenly distributed across the double-pointed needles.
  5. Make sure that the stitches are not twisted and that they are all facing the same direction on each needle.

If you are working with a small number of stitches or find it difficult to work with multiple double-pointed needles, you can use a technique called the Magic Loop method or use circular needles instead.

Once you have arranged the stitches on your double-pointed needles, you are ready to join in the round and start knitting your project!

Close the Circle

To close the circle and join your work in the round, there are a few different methods you can use. The method you choose will depend on your personal preference and the stitch pattern you are working with.

Method 1: Slip Stitch Join

One common method for closing the circle is the slip stitch join. To do this, simply slip the first stitch from the left needle onto the right needle without knitting or purling it. Then, insert the left needle into the front of the second stitch on the right needle and knit or purl it as usual. Continue knitting or purling in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.

Method 2: Knit or Purl Join

Method 2: Knit or Purl Join

Another method for closing the circle is to simply start knitting or purling in the round without joining the first and last stitches. This creates a small gap at the beginning of the round, which can be closed up later with the tail end of your yarn. To close the gap, thread the tail end of your yarn onto a yarn needle and sew it through the gap, pulling it tight to close the circle.

Method 3: Magic Loop Method

If you are working with a smaller circular needle, you can use the magic loop method to close the circle. To do this, begin by pulling out a loop of cable from the middle of your circular needle. Then, slide half of your stitches onto one side of the loop and the other half onto the other side. Pull the loop of cable through your stitches so that both sides of the loop are equal in length. This creates two separate circles, which you can then join by knitting or purling across the stitches.

Method 4: Circular Knitting Needles

If you are using circular knitting needles, closing the circle is even easier. Simply start knitting or purling in the round without the need for any extra steps. The cable connecting the needles creates the circular shape, allowing you to work in the round with ease.

Regardless of the method you choose, it is important to make sure that your stitches are not twisted when joining in the round. Take a moment to double-check that all of your stitches are facing the same direction before you begin working in the round to avoid any issues later on.

Joining in the Round with Circular Needles

When knitting in the round with circular needles, joining your work is the first step before starting your project. It’s important to join your stitches correctly to avoid twisting and ensure a seamless finish. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to join in the round with circular needles:

  1. Cast on your desired number of stitches: Before joining in the round, you will need to cast on the required number of stitches for your project. Make sure to leave a long tail of yarn for ease of joining.
  2. Arrange your stitches: Slide your stitches from your double-pointed needles (if any) onto one of the circular needles. Make sure all the stitches are facing the same direction and are not twisted.
  3. Hold the needles properly: Arrange your needles to hold your stitches. The needle with the working yarn should be in your right hand, while the empty needle should be in your left hand.
  4. Joining the round: To join in the round, you will knit the first stitch of your cast on with the last stitch on your left needle. Insert the right needle into the first stitch as if to knit and knit it together with the last stitch on your left needle. This creates a closed loop of stitches.
  5. Mark the beginning of the round: Place a stitch marker on the right needle to mark the beginning of the round. This will help you keep track of your progress.
  6. Continue knitting: Once you have joined in the round and marked the beginning, you can start knitting your project as instructed in your pattern. The stitches will now form a round tube, allowing you to create seamless projects such as hats, socks, or sweaters.

Remember to regularly check your work to ensure that your stitches are still facing the same direction and that there are no twists in your project. Twisted stitches can result in an uneven appearance or a twisted garment.

Joining in the round with circular needles is a great technique to master if you enjoy knitting seamless projects. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful, seamless garments and accessories.

Ensure a Tight Join

When joining a round in knitting, ensuring a tight join is important to prevent gaps or loose stitches. Here are a few tips to help you achieve a tight join:

  1. Start with a slip knot: Begin by creating a slip knot and placing it on your knitting needle. This will be your first stitch.
  2. Hold the working yarn tightly: When making the first few stitches after joining, make sure to hold the working yarn tightly. This will help secure the join and create a neat appearance.
  3. Tug gently on the tail: After making a few stitches, give a gentle tug on the tail of the slip knot to tighten the join. Be careful not to pull too hard, as it can cause the stitches to become too tight or distorted.
  4. Use a smaller needle size: If you find that your joins are consistently loose, try using a smaller needle size for the first few rounds. This can help create a tighter fabric and prevent gaps.
  5. Practice consistent tension: Maintaining consistent tension throughout your knitting is key to achieving a tight join. Take care to keep your stitches even and avoid pulling the yarn too tightly or loosely.
  6. Block your work: Once you have finished knitting, blocking your work can help even out any uneven stitches or gaps in the join. Wet blocking or steam blocking can be effective techniques to tighten up the join.

Remember, practice makes perfect! With time and experience, you will develop your own techniques and preferences for achieving a tight join in your knitting projects.

Continue Knitting in the Round

Once you have successfully joined your round in knitting, you can continue working in the round. Here’s how:

Step 1: Follow the Pattern

Refer to the knitting pattern you are working on to determine the specific instructions for continuing in the round. The pattern will guide you on the number of stitches to knit, any stitch pattern repeats, and any shaping that needs to be done.

Step 2: Knit in a Circle

When knitting in the round, you will continue working in a spiral, creating a circle. Place your working yarn behind your knitting needle, and insert the right needle into the first stitch, just as you would for a regular knit stitch. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle from back to front, and pull the loop through the stitch, dropping the original stitch from the left needle.

Continue knitting each stitch in the round in the same manner, always working from the right needle to the left needle. You will not turn your work as you would in flat knitting.

Step 3: Tracking Your Rounds

It can be helpful to keep track of your rounds as you work, especially if your pattern requires a certain number of rounds for specific stitch patterns or shaping. You can use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round, or you can simply count your rounds as you go along.

Step 4: Finishing

Continue knitting in the round until you have completed all the necessary rounds or until your pattern instructs you to do otherwise. To finish, you can bind off your stitches, or follow the pattern instructions for any additional finishing steps.

Remember to always follow the specific instructions in your knitting pattern, as different patterns may have variations in the way you continue knitting in the round.


What is a round in knitting?

A round in knitting refers to a complete circuit of stitches made in a circular motion, creating a seamless tube or loop. It is commonly used when working on circular knitting projects such as hats, socks, and sweaters.

Why is it important to join a round in knitting?

Joining a round is important in knitting because it connects the first and last stitches of the round, creating a seamless loop. This is crucial for circular knitting projects to ensure that the stitches are continuous and there are no gaps or holes in the fabric.

What is the most common method to join a round in knitting?

The most common method to join a round in knitting is the “magic loop” method. This involves using a long circular needle and dividing the stitches onto two halves of the needle, with the loop formed in the middle. This method is versatile and suitable for various project sizes.

Can you join a round in knitting using double-pointed needles?

Yes, you can join a round in knitting using double-pointed needles. To do this, you will distribute your stitches evenly onto three or four needles, depending on the number of needles you are using. Then, you can begin knitting in the round, ensuring that the stitches are joined and there are no gaps between needles.

Are there any alternative methods to join a round in knitting?

Yes, there are alternative methods to join a round in knitting. Some other popular methods include the “seamless join method” which involves slipping the first stitch of each round, and the “circular cast-on method” which starts with a provisional cast-on and then joins the round. These methods offer different techniques and finishes for joining rounds.


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