If you’re a beginner knitter or have only ever knitted flat projects using straight needles, learning how to knit in the round with circular needles can open up a whole new world of knitting possibilities. Whether you want to make seamless hats, cozy cowls, or even socks, knitting in the round allows you to create projects without the need for seams.
One of the main benefits of using circular needles for knitting in the round is that they can hold a large number of stitches, making them ideal for larger projects such as sweaters or blankets. They also distribute the weight of the project more evenly, reducing strain on your wrists and hands.
To get started, you’ll need a set of circular needles in the appropriate size for your project, as well as some yarn. It’s also a good idea to have a stitch marker or piece of scrap yarn to mark the beginning of each round.
When knitting in the round, you’ll typically begin by casting on your desired number of stitches onto one needle. Then, instead of turning your work at the end of each row, you’ll simply join the last stitch of the round to the first stitch with a slip stitch, creating a continuous loop.
What Are Circular Needles and How to Use Them for Knitting in the Round?
Circular needles are knitting needles that are connected by a flexible cable. They are typically used for knitting in the round, where you create a seamless tube of fabric. Knitting in the round is often used for projects like hats, socks, and sweaters.
There are two types of circular needles: fixed circular needles and interchangeable circular needles. Fixed circular needles have a fixed length cable attached to the needles, while interchangeable circular needles have detachable needles and cables that can be switched out for different lengths.
To use circular needles, you will need to cast on your desired number of stitches onto one needle. Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle so that they are bunched up against the cable. The working yarn should be at the back of the work, ready to start knitting the first stitch.
Hold the needle with the stitches in your right hand, and hold the other needle in your left hand. Insert the tip of the left-hand needle into the first stitch from left to right, just as you would with straight needles. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle and pull it through the stitch, sliding it off the left-hand needle.
Continue knitting each stitch in this way, pulling the new stitch onto the right-hand needle and sliding the old stitch off the left-hand needle. The stitches will start to form a circle around the cable. Always make sure the working yarn is at the back of the work before you start knitting each new stitch.
When you reach the end of the round, the last stitch you knit will join with the first stitch, creating a seamless circle. You can then continue knitting in the round, following the pattern instructions for your project.
Circular needles allow you to easily knit in the round without having to seam the project later. They also distribute the weight of your project more evenly, making it more comfortable to hold. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, circular needles are a versatile tool for your knitting projects.
Step-by-step Guide: Learn How to Knit in the Round with Circular Needles
Knitting in the round with circular needles is a versatile technique that allows you to create seamless projects such as hats, socks, and sweaters. It eliminates the need for seams and provides a continuous, seamless finish. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Materials You’ll Need:
- Circular knitting needles
- Stitch markers
- Tapestry needle
Step 1: Cast On
Start by casting on the desired number of stitches onto your circular needles. Make sure the stitches are evenly distributed around the needles.
Step 2: Join the Round
Once you have cast on, join the round by bringing the first stitch to the front needle tip and knitting it together with the last stitch. Be careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.
Step 3: Knit in the Round
Continue knitting in the round using the desired stitch pattern. Hold the needle with the stitches in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, wrap the yarn around the right needle, and pull the new loop through to make a stitch. Slide the stitch from the left needle to the right needle. Repeat this process until you have worked all the stitches.
Step 4: Shaping and Finishing
If your project requires shaping, such as decreasing for a hat crown or adding increases for sleeves, follow the specific instructions for your pattern. Use stitch markers to help identify the stitches for shaping.
Once you have completed the desired number of rounds for your project, you can bind off the stitches. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through a tapestry needle and slip the needle through the remaining stitches, removing them from the needles. Pull tight to secure.
Tips and Tricks
- Use stitch markers to keep track of the beginning of the round, as well as any shaping points in your pattern.
- Make sure to knit in a relaxed manner to avoid tension issues.
- If you want to try a different stitch pattern, make sure it is compatible with circular knitting.
- Practice knitting in the round with a simple project, such as a basic hat or a cowl, before moving on to more complex patterns.
Now that you have a step-by-step guide on knitting in the round with circular needles, you can start creating seamless and beautiful projects. Happy knitting!
Gather Your Materials
Before you can start knitting in the round with circular needles, you’ll need to gather a few materials. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Circular needles: These are knitting needles that have a cable connecting them. The length of the cable will depend on the circumference of the item you’re knitting. Choose a size that is suitable for your project.
- Yarn: Select a yarn that is appropriate for your project. The thickness and fiber content of the yarn will depend on the pattern you’re following. Make sure you have enough yarn to complete your project.
- Stitch markers: These are small rings or clips that are used to mark specific stitches in your knitting. They’re particularly useful when working in the round to mark the beginning or end of a round, or to mark certain pattern repeats.
- Tapestry needle: This large-eye needle is used to weave in loose ends and seam your finished project. It’s important to use a tapestry needle with a blunt tip to avoid splitting your yarn.
- Scissors: You’ll need a pair of scissors to cut your yarn at various points during the knitting process. Make sure they’re sharp enough to cut through your yarn cleanly.
Once you have all of your materials gathered, you’ll be ready to start knitting in the round with circular needles. Make sure you have a comfortable and well-lit workspace, and don’t be afraid to practice with scrap yarn before starting your actual project. Happy knitting!
Cast On Stitches
To begin your knitting project in the round with circular needles, you first need to cast on stitches. Casting on is how you create the foundation row of stitches on your needles. Here are a few different methods you can use to cast on stitches:
- Long-tail Cast On: This is a popular method that creates a neat and stretchy edge. It requires a longer tail of yarn to be cast on than the length of the final row of stitches.
- Knitted Cast On: This method is similar to the long-tail cast on but does not require you to estimate the length of the tail. It creates a slightly less stretchy edge.
- Cable Cast On: This method creates a firmer edge than the previous two methods. It is often used for cast on stitches that need to be picked up later for ribbing or buttonholes.
- Old Norwegian Cast On: This cast on method creates a decorative edge and is often used in traditional Norwegian knitting.
Choose the method that you are most comfortable with or follow the pattern instructions for the recommended cast on method. Make sure to cast on the specified number of stitches for your project.
|Cast On Method||Description|
|Long-tail Cast On||Creates a neat and stretchy edge with a longer tail of yarn|
|Knitted Cast On||Similar to long-tail cast on but does not require estimating tail length|
|Cable Cast On||Creates a firmer edge, often used for stitches to be picked up later|
|Old Norwegian Cast On||Creates a decorative edge, commonly used in traditional Norwegian knitting|
Once you have cast on your stitches, you are ready to start knitting in the round with circular needles. Happy knitting!
Join the Round
To begin knitting in the round with circular needles, you first need to join the round. This step is important because it prevents your work from twisting and ensures that your stitches are aligned correctly.
To join the round, follow these steps:
- After casting on your desired number of stitches, bring the working yarn to the front of the first stitch.
- Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle as if to knit.
- Wrap the yarn around the right needle from back to front, just as you would for a regular knit stitch.
- Using the right needle, pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Slide the newly-created stitch onto the left needle, being careful not to let it slip off the needle completely.
By completing these steps, you have successfully joined the round and are ready to begin knitting in a continuous circle.
Knit in the Round
Knitting in the round is a technique where you use circular needles or double-pointed needles to create seamless tubes of fabric, such as hats, socks, and sweaters. It is an essential skill for many knitting projects and can be used to create a variety of patterns and designs.
To knit in the round, you will need circular needles, which consist of two pointed needle tips connected by a flexible cable. The cable length should be shorter than the circumference of the item you are knitting. Alternatively, you can use double-pointed needles, which are shorter straight needles with points at both ends.
Here is a step-by-step guide to knitting in the round:
- Cast on: Start by casting on the required number of stitches onto one of the circular needles or double-pointed needles. Make sure the stitches are not twisted, and join them in a circle by bringing the first stitch to meet the last stitch.
- Join for knitting in 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 and ensure that your work is not twisted.
- Knit in the round: Hold the needle with the stitches 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, sliding it off the left needle. Repeat this process for all the stitches, knitting each one as you go.
- Continue knitting: Keep knitting in the round, working each new round in the same way. The right side of your work will always be facing you, so you don’t need to turn your knitting.
- Switch needles: If you are using circular needles, once you have completed a few rounds, switch which needle you hold in each hand to prevent strain on your hands and wrists. This will also help create an even tension in your knitting.
- Finishing the project: Once you have finished knitting the required number of rounds or reached the desired length, you can finish your project by binding off the stitches. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail, and thread it through the remaining stitches, pulling tight to secure.
Knitting in the round can take some practice to get used to, but once you have mastered the technique, it opens up a whole new world of knitting possibilities. So grab your circular needles or double-pointed needles and start knitting in the round!
Purl in the Round
Purling in the round is just like purling in flat knitting, but done in a continuous circle. The technique is used to create a distinct texture on your knitting project or to create ribbing, among other things. Here’s how you can purl in the round using circular needles:
- Hold your circular needles with the working yarn in back of your work.
- Insert the right needle into the next stitch on the left needle from right to left, just as you would for a regular purl stitch.
- Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, bringing it to the front of the work.
- Use the right needle to push the yarn through the stitch on the left needle, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Slide the new stitch onto the right needle, and let the old stitch on the left needle slip off.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the left needle until you have completed a round.
- Continue purling in the round for as many rounds as your pattern calls for.
Remember to always keep the tension of your stitches consistent. Practice purling in the round on a small sample project before starting a larger project to get comfortable with the technique.
Purling in the round is a versatile skill that opens up many possibilities for your knitting projects. Whether you want to create textured patterns or add ribbing, mastering this technique will allow you to expand your knitting skills and create beautiful, professional-looking garments and accessories.
Increase and Decrease Stitches
When knitting in the round, you may come across situations where you need to increase or decrease the number of stitches in your project. Here are the steps to follow for both increasing and decreasing stitches:
To increase stitches, you will need to add new stitches to your work. There are a few different methods you can use:
- Knit Front and Back (KFB): Insert the right-hand needle into the next stitch as if to knit, but before pulling the yarn through, knit into the back of the same stitch. This creates two stitches out of one.
- Make One (M1): Insert the left-hand needle under the horizontal strand between the last stitch and the next stitch, from the front to the back. Knit into the back loop of this strand to create a new stitch.
- Invisible Increase: Lift the bar between the stitches onto the left-hand needle, then knit into the back loop of it to create a new stitch. This method creates a nearly invisible increase.
To decrease stitches, you will need to remove stitches from your work. Here are a few different methods you can use:
- K2tog (Knit Two Together): Knit two stitches together as if they were one. This decreases the stitch count by one.
- SSK (Slip, Slip, Knit): Slip the next two stitches knitwise one at a time onto the right-hand needle, then insert the left-hand needle into the front of these stitches and knit them together through the back loop. This also decreases the stitch count by one.
- Slip, Slip, Slip, Knit (SSSK): Slip the next three stitches knitwise one at a time onto the right-hand needle, then insert the left-hand needle into the front of these stitches and knit them together through the back loop. This decreases the stitch count by two.
Remember to follow the pattern instructions for the specific increases or decreases required in your project. Practice these techniques on scrap yarn before using them in your actual project to ensure you understand and are comfortable with them. Happy knitting!
Switching colors while knitting in the round with circular needles can add visual interest and create beautiful patterns in your project. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to switch colors:
- Prepare your new yarn: Before switching colors, make sure you have your new yarn ready. You can either cut the old yarn leaving a long tail or simply join the new yarn to the old one and continue knitting.
- Hold the old yarn and new yarn together: When switching colors, hold both the old yarn and new yarn together for the first few stitches. This will help to secure the new yarn and prevent any gaps or loose stitches.
- Drop the old yarn: After a few stitches, you can drop the old yarn and continue knitting with the new color. Make sure to leave a long enough tail of the old yarn to weave in later.
- Weave in the ends: Once you have finished knitting, weave in the ends of both the old yarn and new yarn to secure them in place. You can use a tapestry needle to do this.
Switching colors in knitting can be a fun way to add colorwork, stripes, or other decorative elements to your project. Experiment with different color combinations to create unique and personalized knitted items!
Bind Off and Finish
Once you have completed all the rounds of your knitting project in the round with circular needles, it’s time to bind off and finish your work. The bind off is the final step in securing the stitches and preventing them from unraveling.
To bind off, follow these steps:
- Knit the first two stitches of the round as usual. Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.
- Lift this stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. You will now have one stitch on the right needle.
- Knit the next stitch on the left needle.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have only one stitch remaining on the right needle.
Once you are left with one stitch on the right needle, cut the yarn, leaving a tail that is long enough to weave in later. Thread the tail through the last stitch and pull it tight to secure.
To finish your knitting project, you will need to weave in the loose ends of yarn. Use a tapestry needle to thread the yarn through the stitches on the wrong side of your work. Weave the yarn in a zigzag pattern to secure the end and prevent it from coming undone.
If you are knitting a hat or any other project with a brim, you may need to fold the brim up and sew it in place to give it a finished look. Use a tapestry needle and matching yarn to stitch the folded brim in place, making sure to sew through both layers of the fabric to ensure a sturdy finish.
Finally, give your finished project a gentle block to even out the stitches and improve the overall appearance. You can do this by laying your item flat on a towel, misting it lightly with water, and then shaping it to the desired size. Let it dry completely before handling.
Now that you have completed the bind off and finishing steps, you can proudly admire your work and enjoy your newly knitted item!
Why should I use circular needles instead of straight ones when knitting in the round?
Using circular needles allows you to seamlessly knit in the round without the need to join seams. It also provides more flexibility and makes it easier to handle a large number of stitches.
Can I knit small projects like hats or socks with circular needles?
Absolutely! Circular needles are perfect for knitting small projects such as hats, socks, and baby items. They eliminate the need to switch to double-pointed needles and make it easier to work in the round.
Do I need special circular needles for different types of knitting yarn?
While you don’t necessarily need different circular needles for different yarn types, it is important to choose the correct needle size based on the recommended gauge for the project. Thicker yarns typically require larger needle sizes, while thinner yarns require smaller needle sizes.
Are there any special techniques or stitches I need to learn to knit in the round with circular needles?
Knitting in the round with circular needles involves the same basic knitting stitches as knitting with straight needles. However, you may need to learn how to join in the round, use stitch markers, and perform the magic loop technique for smaller circumference knitting. These techniques can easily be learned through online tutorials or knitting books.