Learn how to knit a tube

Learn how to knit a tube

If you are a knitting enthusiast or just starting out on your knitting journey, learning how to knit a tube can open up a world of possibilities. Knitting a seamless cylinder allows you to create items such as hats, sleeves, and even socks without any bulky seams or unsightly joins. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of knitting a tube, from casting on to binding off, so you can master this technique and create beautiful, seamless projects.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Needles and Yarn

Before you start knitting a tube, it’s important to choose the right needles and yarn for your project. The size of your needles will depend on the thickness of your yarn and the desired gauge. Generally, circular needles are recommended for knitting tubes as they allow you to work in the round without the need to join the ends.

Pro tip: Consider using a yarn with a high percentage of natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, as these fibers have good stretch and memory, making it easier to shape your tube and ensure a comfortable fit.

Step 2: Casting On

To begin knitting a tube, you will need to cast on stitches onto your circular needles. You can use any cast-on method you prefer, such as the long-tail cast-on or the provisional cast-on. Make sure to cast on an even number of stitches to create a balanced tube.

Pro tip: If you are new to knitting, using stitch markers can help you keep track of your stitches and ensure they don’t slip off your needles while working on your tube.

Step 3: Joining in the Round

Once you have cast on your stitches, you will need to join them in the round to start knitting your tube. Carefully slide the stitches from the left needle to the right needle, making sure not to twist them. The working yarn should be positioned at the back of your work.

Pro tip: It can be helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round, especially if you are knitting a project with multiple rounds.

Step 4: Knitting in the Round

With your stitches joined in the round, you are ready to start knitting your tube. Hold the needle with the working yarn in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to knit. Wrap the yarn around the right needle and pull it through the stitch, slipping the stitched off the left needle. Repeat this process for each stitch until you have completed one round.

Pro tip: It can be helpful to use a stitch marker to mark the end of each round, especially if you are knitting a project with shaping or pattern repeats.

Step 5: Repeating the Rounds

Continue knitting in the round, repeating Step 4, until you have reached the desired length for your tube. Depending on your project, this could range from a few inches to several feet. Make sure to check your gauge periodically to ensure that your tube is the correct width and length.

Pro tip: Take breaks and stretch your hands and fingers to avoid any fatigue or strain from prolonged knitting.

Step 6: Binding Off

Once you have reached the desired length for your tube, it’s time to bind off. Knit the first two stitches of the round, then use the left needle to lift the first stitch on the right needle over the second stitch and off the needle. Knit the next stitch on the left needle, then lift the second stitch on the right needle over the new stitch and off the needle. Repeat this process until you have one stitch left on the right needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail, and pull it through the last stitch to secure.

Pro tip: To create a more stretchy bind off, you can use a larger needle size or try a stretchy bind-off method like the Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Now that you have completed the step-by-step guide for knitting a seamless cylinder, you can take your newfound skills and start knitting a variety of tubes for different projects. Whether you want to knit a cozy hat, a snug pair of socks, or a stylish sleeve, you can now do so with ease and confidence.

Tools and Materials needed for Knitting a Tube

To successfully knit a seamless tube, you will need a few tools and materials:

  • Knitting Needles: You will need a pair of knitting needles suitable for the yarn you are using. Circular needles are recommended for knitting a tube, but you can also use double-pointed needles.
  • Yarn: Choose a yarn that is appropriate for your project. Make sure to check the yarn’s recommended needle size and tension gauge to ensure you get the right results.
  • Tape Measure: A tape measure will come in handy for checking your gauge and measuring your progress as you knit.
  • Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are helpful for marking the beginning of each round when knitting in the round.
  • Tapestry Needle: A tapestry needle is used for weaving in loose ends and finishing your project.
  • Scissors: You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors for cutting your yarn.
  • Row Counter: Keeping track of your rows is important for maintaining consistency in your knitting. A row counter can help you keep track of your progress.

Having these tools and materials ready before you start knitting will ensure a smooth and enjoyable knitting experience.

Casting On Stitches for a Seamless Cylinder

Before you begin knitting a seamless cylinder, you will need to cast on the stitches onto your knitting needles. This is the starting point for your project and will determine the size and circumference of the tube you are knitting.

Here is a step-by-step guide to casting on stitches:

  1. Choose your desired cast-on method. There are many different ways to cast on stitches, such as the long-tail cast on, the knitted cast on, and the cable cast on. Choose the method that you prefer or are most comfortable with.
  2. Estimate the number of stitches. Depending on the size of the tube you want to create, you will need to estimate the number of stitches to cast on. You may need to refer to a pattern or use a gauge swatch to determine the correct number of stitches.
  3. Hold your knitting needles. Hold one knitting needle in each hand, with the working yarn attached to the ball or skein.
  4. Make a slip knot. Create a slip knot by making a loop with the yarn, passing one end through the loop, and pulling tight. Slide the slip knot onto one knitting needle.
  5. Start casting on stitches. Insert the empty knitting needle into the slip knot loop on the other knitting needle. Hold the working yarn in your right hand, and use the needle in your left hand to wrap the yarn around the right needle in a clockwise motion.
  6. Form the first stitch. Bring the right needle under the yarn loop, catching the yarn with the needle, and pull it through the loop, creating a new stitch.
  7. Continue casting on. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Make sure to keep the tension of your stitches even.
  8. Arrange your stitches. Once all the stitches are cast on, arrange them evenly on your knitting needles. Ensure that the stitches are not twisted and that the working yarn is at the beginning of the row.

You are now ready to begin knitting your seamless cylinder! With the stitches cast on, you can follow the pattern or instructions to start knitting in the round and create a beautiful tube without any seams.

Knitting the Body of the Tube

Once you’ve finished casting on and joining your stitches in a round, you’re ready to start knitting the body of the tube. This is where you’ll create the length of the tube by working in a continuous spiral.

Here are the steps to knit the body of the tube:

  1. Row 1: Knit all stitches in the round.
  2. Repeat Row 1: Continue knitting all stitches in the round until the tube reaches the desired length. You can measure the length of the tube by laying it flat and measuring from the cast-on edge to the current row.
  3. Change colors (optional): If you want to add color changes or stripes to your tube, you can do so by switching to a new color yarn at any point during the body. Simply cut the old yarn, leaving a tail to weave in later, and join the new yarn by tying a secure knot and continuing to knit.
  4. Finishing: Once you’ve reached the desired length for your tube or completed any color changes, you can start preparing for the next step in your project, whether it’s decreasing for a hat crown or continuing to knit for a longer tube.

Remember to keep your tension consistent throughout the body of the tube to ensure an even and professional-looking fabric.

If you’re new to knitting or want to try different stitch patterns, this is a great time to experiment with different types of stitches, such as ribbing, cables, or lace, to add texture and interest to your tube.

Continue knitting the body of the tube according to your pattern or personal preferences. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step in your knitting project.

Shaping the Ends of the Tube

Once you have completed knitting the desired length of the tube, you will need to shape the ends to create a finished and polished look. This can be done using various techniques, depending on your preference and the design of your project. Here are a few methods you can consider:

  • Kitchener Stitch: The Kitchener stitch is a popular method for seamlessly grafting the ends of the tube together. It creates an invisible join and is commonly used for socks, hats, and other projects where a smooth finish is desired.
  • Mattress Stitch: The mattress stitch is another technique that can be used to sew the ends of the tube together. It involves sewing through the loops of each side of the fabric to create an invisible seam. This method is often used for garments and accessories made from knitted fabric.
  • Three-Needle Bind-Off: The three-needle bind-off is a method that involves binding off the stitches at the ends of the tube using a third needle. This creates a sturdy seam and works well for projects where a visible seam is acceptable, such as in blankets and bags.

Before shaping the ends, it is important to secure your knitting by carefully cutting the working yarn, leaving a tail long enough to thread a tapestry needle. This will prevent your stitches from unraveling while you shape the ends.

Once you have chosen your preferred method for shaping the ends, carefully follow the instructions for that technique. Take your time and work slowly to ensure that the seam is neat and secure. Once you have finished shaping the ends, weave in any loose ends of yarn to further secure your project.

Remember to refer to the pattern instructions or seek guidance from experienced knitters if you are unsure about shaping the ends or selecting the appropriate technique for your project. With practice and patience, you will become skilled at creating beautifully finished knitted tubes!

Joining the Ends of the Tube

Once you have finished knitting your tube, it’s time to join the ends together to create a seamless cylinder. Follow these steps to seamlessly join the ends of your tube:

  1. Option 1: Three-Needle Bind Off
  2. If you have live stitches on both needle tips, you can use the three-needle bind off method to join the ends. This method creates a clean and secure seam.

    Step 1: Hold the two needle tips parallel to each other, with the working yarn behind the needles.
    Step 2: Insert a third needle into the first stitch on both needles as if to knit.
    Step 3: Knit the stitches together as if performing a regular knit stitch.
    Step 4: Slip the stitch from the third needle onto the left needle tip.
    Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 until all stitches have been joined.
    Step 6: Bind off the joined stitches as usual.
  3. Option 2: Kitchener Stitch
  4. If you have bound off stitches on one needle tip and live stitches on the other, you can use the Kitchener stitch to join the ends seamlessly.

    Step 1: Thread a tapestry needle with a length of yarn that is at least three times the width of your knitting.
    Step 2: Hold the two needle tips parallel to each other, with the wrong sides of the knitting facing each other.
    Step 3: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle as if to purl, leaving the stitch on the needle.
    Step 4: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit, leaving the stitch on the needle.
    Step 5: Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the front needle as if to knit, removing the stitch from the needle.
    Step 6: Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the front needle as if to purl, leaving the stitch on the needle.
    Step 7: Repeat steps 4-6 until all stitches have been worked.
    Step 8: Weave in the yarn end to secure the seam.

Choose the method that works best for you and enjoy your seamless cylinder of knitting!

Finishing and Blocking the Knitted Tube

Once you have completed knitting your tube, you will need to finish and block it to give it a professional and polished look. Follow these steps to finish and block your knitted tube:

  1. Weave in Ends: Start by weaving in the loose ends of yarn at both ends of the tube. Use a tapestry needle to thread the yarn through the stitches on the inside of the tube. Make sure to secure the ends properly so that they do not come undone.
  2. Block Your Tube: Blocking is the process of shaping and stretching your knitted piece to its desired dimensions. To block your tube, you will need a blocking mat or towel, T-pins, and a spray bottle filled with water.
  3. Pin the Tube: Lay the knitted tube flat on the blocking mat or towel. Use T-pins to secure the edges and shape the tube into a cylinder. Make sure to pin evenly and stretch the tube as needed to achieve the desired dimensions.
  4. Mist with Water: Lightly mist the knitted tube with water using the spray bottle. Be careful not to saturate the yarn. This will help relax and set the fibers.
  5. Leave to Dry: Once the tube is misted with water, leave it to dry completely. This may take several hours or overnight, depending on the humidity and air circulation in your environment.
  6. Check the Measurements: After the tube has dried, unpin it and check if it has reached the desired dimensions. If needed, you can re-block and stretch the tube again to achieve the desired size.
  7. Enjoy Your Seamless Cylinder: Once your knitted tube is dry and the measurements are correct, it is ready to be used for various knitting projects. Enjoy your seamless cylinder!

Blocking your knitted tube is an important step to enhance the appearance and shape of your project. It helps to eliminate any unevenness and creates a more professional finish. By following these steps, you can achieve a seamless cylinder that is both visually appealing and functional for your knitting needs.

Additional Tips and Variations for Knitting Seamless Cylinders

Once you have learned the basic technique for knitting a seamless cylinder, there are several additional tips and variations you can try to enhance your knitting projects:

  • Experiment with different stitch patterns: While stockinette stitch is commonly used for knitting seamless cylinders, you can also try out different stitch patterns such as ribbing, seed stitch, or cables to add texture and interest.
  • Change colors: To create stripes or color blocks, you can change colors at specific points in your knitting. This can be done by simply joining a new color yarn at the desired point and continuing to knit.
  • Add decorative details: You can embellish your seamless cylinder projects with decorative details such as embroidery, buttons, or appliques. Be creative and let your imagination run wild!
  • Create different circumferences: By adjusting the number of cast-on stitches and your choice of needle size, you can create seamless cylinders in different circumferences. This allows you to customize your knitting projects for different purposes such as hats, sleeves, or even stuffed toys.
  • Try different yarn weights: Playing with different yarn weights can give your seamless cylinders a different look and feel. Try using a bulky yarn for a chunky and cozy project, or a fine lace-weight yarn for a delicate and lightweight result.
  • Combine different techniques: Once you have mastered knitting a seamless cylinder, you can combine it with other knitting techniques such as increases, decreases, or shaping to create more intricate and complex projects.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to knitting. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try new things. With each project, you’ll gain more confidence and expertise in knitting seamless cylinders. Happy knitting!


What materials do I need to knit a tube?

To knit a tube, you will need a set of double-pointed needles or a circular needle, yarn of your choice, stitch markers, and a tapestry needle.

Is it difficult to knit a seamless cylinder?

Knitting a seamless cylinder may seem intimidating at first, but with practice and following the step-by-step guide, it can become an enjoyable and rewarding knitting technique.

Can I use any yarn weight to knit a tube?

Yes, you can use any yarn weight to knit a tube. The size of the needles you choose will depend on the weight of the yarn you are using.

Are there any specific techniques I need to know to knit a tube?

Before knitting a tube, it is essential to know how to cast on stitches, knit in the round, and bind off stitches. Familiarity with basic knitting stitches such as knit and purl will also be helpful.

What are the advantages of knitting a tube over seaming?

Knitting a tube eliminates the need for seaming and allows you to create a seamless finished product. It also creates a sturdy and durable fabric without any bulky seams.

What types of projects can I make with a knitted tube?

With a knitted tube, you can create various projects such as hats, cowls, leg warmers, and sleeves. The possibilities are endless, and it can be customized based on your creativity and preferences.


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