If you’re new to knitting or looking to expand your skills, learning how to connect knitting in the round is a great next step. Knitting in the round allows you to create seamless projects such as hats, socks, and sweaters without the need for sewing seams. It’s a technique that opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your knitting projects.
To connect knitting in the round, you’ll need a set of double-pointed needles or a circular needle. Double-pointed needles are straight needles with points at both ends, while circular needles have a flexible cable connecting the two needle points. Both options work well for knitting in the round, so choose whichever you’re most comfortable with.
Before you start, make sure you have the right yarn and needle combination for your project. The yarn label will indicate the recommended needle size, and you can use the needle size listed or adjust it to achieve your desired gauge. Gauge is important for ensuring your finished project turns out the right size and fits properly.
Once you have your materials ready, you can start by casting on the required number of stitches for your project. If you’re using double-pointed needles, divide the stitches evenly across three or four needles. If you’re using circular needles, you can simply slide the stitches onto the cable.
Now that your stitches are cast on, you can join them in a circle to begin knitting in the round. Hold the needles or cable with the first stitch in your left hand and the working yarn in your right hand. Insert the right needle or the tip of the cable into the first stitch on the left needle, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Gather the necessary materials
Before you start connecting knitting in the round, make sure you have the following materials:
- A set of double-pointed knitting needles or a circular knitting needle, depending on your project
- Yarn in the desired weight and color
- Tape measure or ruler
- Stitch markers
- Darning needle or yarn needle
Having these items on hand will make the process much easier and ensure that you have everything you need to successfully connect knitting in the round.
Choose the Right Circular Needles
When knitting in the round, it’s essential to choose the right circular needles for your project. Circular needles consist of two needle tips connected by a flexible cable, which allows you to work in a continuous round without the need to seam. Here are some factors to consider when selecting circular needles:
- Needle Size: Choose circular needles that correspond to the recommended needle size for your project. The needle size will depend on the pattern and the desired tension or gauge. Always check the pattern instructions for the recommended needle size.
- Length of Cable: Circular needles come in various lengths of cables. The length you choose depends on the circumference of your project. For small projects like hats or sleeves, a shorter cable (around 16 inches) is ideal. For larger projects like sweaters or blankets, a longer cable (around 32 inches or more) may be necessary.
- Material: Circular needles can be made from different materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. The choice of material is a matter of personal preference. Metal needles are durable and have a slick surface, making them suitable for faster knitting. Wood needles are lightweight and provide a good grip, which can be helpful if you have slippery yarn. Plastic needles are affordable and lightweight.
- Cable Flexibility: The flexibility of the cable is another important factor. A more flexible cable allows for easier manipulation of stitches and reduces strain on your hands. Look for circular needles with a flexible cable made from a material that doesn’t kink easily.
- Interchangeable or Fixed: Circular needles come in both fixed and interchangeable options. Fixed circular needles have the needle tips permanently attached to the cable, while interchangeable circular needles allow you to switch out different sizes and lengths of needle tips. Interchangeable needles can be more versatile and cost-effective in the long run.
Take your time to choose the right circular needles for your project. Experiment with different sizes, lengths, and materials to find what works best for you and your knitting style. Having the right tools can make a significant difference in the success and enjoyment of your knitting in the round.
Cast on stitches onto the circular needles
Before you can start knitting in the round, you will need to cast on stitches onto the circular needles. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Gather your materials: You will need a pair of circular needles of the appropriate size for your project, as well as the yarn you’ll be using.
- Make a slipknot: Start by making a slipknot at the end of your yarn. This will be your first stitch.
- Hold the needles: Hold one needle in your right hand and one in your left hand. Make sure the working yarn is coming from the slipknot on your right-hand needle.
- Insert the needle: Insert the right-hand needle into the slipknot from front to back. The right-hand needle should be behind the left-hand needle.
- Wrap the yarn: Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right-hand needle. Make sure the yarn is between the two needles.
- Pull through: Using the right-hand needle, pull the wrapped yarn through the slipknot. You should now have one stitch on your right-hand needle.
- Repeat: Repeat steps 4 to 6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Make sure to keep the stitches loose enough to easily slide along the needles.
- Join: Once you have cast on all the stitches, you can join them in the round. Carefully bring the first stitch on the right-hand needle to the left-hand needle, being careful not to twist the stitches. This will create a circle of stitches.
- Continue knitting: Now that your stitches are cast on and joined in the round, you can begin knitting your desired pattern.
Remember to practice and be patient when casting on stitches onto circular needles. With time, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in your technique.
Join the round
After casting on all the stitches for your project, it’s time to join the round and start knitting in the round. To join the round, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Make sure your cast-on stitches are not twisted around the needle. The cast-on edge should be facing the same direction as the working yarn.
- Step 2: Insert the free needle, with the working yarn, into the first stitch on the left needle.
- Step 3: Pull the working yarn through the stitch, leaving a tail of yarn of about 6 inches.
- Step 4: Slip the first stitch from the left needle onto the right needle without knitting it.
- Step 5: Move the stitch marker from the left needle to the right needle. This marker will help you keep track of where each round starts.
- Step 6: You have now joined the round and can start knitting in the round.
Once you have joined the round, be careful not to twist your stitches as you continue knitting. Twisted stitches can affect the overall appearance and fit of your project.
If you’re using double-pointed needles, you may prefer to divide your stitches evenly onto three or four needles before joining the round. This can make it easier to knit without the excess needle length getting in the way.
Knit the first round
Once you have cast on all your stitches and joined them into a circle, you are ready to knit the first round. Follow these steps:
- Hold the knitting needles with the first stitch on your left needle.
- Insert the right needle into the first stitch as if you were going to knit it.
- Wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise, forming a loop.
- Pull the right needle with the loop through the first stitch, transferring it to the right needle.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for each stitch until you have knit all the stitches in the round.
Remember to keep your tension even as you knit and to not pull the yarn too tightly or too loosely. By knitting this first round, you have set the foundation for your knitting in the round project!
Continue knitting in the round
Once you have successfully cast on and joined your stitches to knit in the round, you are ready to start working on your project. Here are the steps to continue knitting in the round:
- Hold the needles correctly: Make sure you have one needle in each hand. The needle with the stitches should be in your right hand, and the empty needle should be in your left hand.
- Start with the first stitch: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right.
- Wrap the yarn: Take the working yarn and wrap it over the right needle counterclockwise, forming a loop around the right needle.
- Pull through: With the right needle still inserted in the stitch, use it to pull the loop of yarn through the stitch and slide the stitch off the left needle.
- Repeat the process: Continue steps 2 to 4, knitting each stitch in order, until you have worked all the stitches on the left needle.
- Shift the stitches: Once you have finished knitting the first round, the stitches will now be on the right needle. Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle and gently pull the right needle out, leaving the stitches on the left needle.
- Continue knitting rounds: Repeat steps 2 to 6 for each subsequent round, always working from the right needle to the left needle.
Remember to keep track of your rounds by using markers or counting your stitches. This will help you stay organized and ensure that your project turns out as intended.
Shaping and adding details
Once you have connected your knitting in the round, you can start shaping your project and adding details to make it more interesting.
To shape your knitting, you can use various techniques such as decreasing or increasing stitches. This will allow you to create curves or angles in your project. Common shaping techniques include:
- Decreases: Decreases are used to eliminate stitches and create a smaller circumference. The most common decrease stitch is the knit two stitches together (k2tog) or purl two stitches together (p2tog).
- Increases: Increases are used to add stitches and create a larger circumference. Some common increase stitches include knit in the front and back of a stitch (kfb) or make one (M1).
- Short rows: Short rows are used to shape specific areas of your project, such as creating a curved neckline or adding extra length to the back of a sweater. They involve knitting or purling partially across a row and then turning your work before completing the entire row.
Once you have shaped your knitting, you can add details to enhance your project. Some popular detailing techniques include:
- Cables: Cables are created by crossing stitches over each other to form a twisting pattern. They add texture and visual interest to your knitting.
- Lace: Lace patterns involve knitting and purling stitches in a specific order to create an openwork design. Lace can be used to create delicate and decorative details.
- Colorwork: Colorwork involves using different colored yarns to create patterns or motifs in your knitting. Techniques like stranded knitting or intarsia can be used for colorwork.
- Embroidery: Embroidery can be done on finished knitting to add additional decorative elements. You can use a wide variety of stitches and yarns to create unique designs.
By using shaping and adding details, you can take your knitting in the round to the next level and create beautiful, customized projects.
Bind off and finish your project
Once you have completed your knitting in the round project, it’s time to bind off and finish it. Binding off is the process of closing the stitches and securing the final row. Follow these steps to properly bind off your project:
- Start by knitting the first two stitches.
- Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle.
- Lift the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle.
- Knit the next stitch.
- Repeat steps 2-4 until you have one stitch left on the right needle.
- Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of about 6 inches.
- Thread the yarn tail through the last stitch and pull tight to secure.
Once your project is bound off, you can take care of any remaining loose ends. Use a yarn needle to weave in the ends by threading them through the stitches on the backside of your work. This will help secure the ends and prevent them from coming undone.
If your project requires blocking, now is the time to do it. Blocking involves wetting or steaming your knitting to reshape it and even out any uneven stitches. Follow the blocking instructions for your specific yarn type and project.
Lastly, trim any excess yarn tails, making sure to leave a small tail for any future repairs or adjustments.
Now that you’ve successfully bound off and finished your project, admire your work! Whether it’s a hat, socks, or a sweater, you can proudly wear or gift your beautiful hand-knit item.
What is knitting in the round?
Knitting in the round refers to the technique of knitting without having to turn your work, usually done on circular or double-pointed knitting needles.
Why would I want to knit in the round?
Knitting in the round eliminates the need for seams in your projects and creates a seamless, continuous fabric. It is especially useful for knitting hats, sweaters, and socks.
What type of needles do I need to knit in the round?
You can use either circular knitting needles or double-pointed needles for knitting in the round. Circular needles are great for larger projects, while double-pointed needles work well for smaller items like socks or sleeves.
Can I use straight knitting needles for knitting in the round?
While it is technically possible to knit in the round using straight needles by making a large number of stitches fit on the needles, it is not recommended as this technique can be difficult to handle and may result in uneven tension.
How do I join my knitting in the round?
To join your knitting in the round, you simply need to bring the first and last stitches of your cast on row together to form a circle. Make sure your stitches are not twisted before joining.
What is the magic loop method for knitting in the round?
The magic loop method is a technique used to knit smaller diameter projects in the round using a longer circular needle. It involves dividing your stitches in half and using the cable of the needle to create two separate loops.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when knitting in the round?
Some common mistakes to avoid when knitting in the round include twisting your stitches when joining, creating ladders between your double-pointed needles, and accidentally increasing or decreasing stitches.