If you want to move away from the straight needles for a project then you need to learn how to knit in the round.
Circular needles are exactly what they sound like; they allow a knitter to knit in a circle and are useful for knitting hats and cowls.
When you cast on with circular needles, it is the same way that you would cast on using straight needles.
The pattern that you are following will say something like – ‘Cast on 38 sts, join in the round and be careful not to twist the sts.’
Joining In The Round And Not Twisting The Stitches
When you first join your knitting in the round, you need to be careful that you don’t end up twisting the stitches.
This happens to many people, so you need to check and see that they are all the same way on the cable and needle.
All of the cast on stitches should be facing down and not twisting at any edges or where you have joined them together.
If you have twisted them, you will see this right away when you start knitting as when you reach the marker end/the join, they will not be straight.
The only way you can correct this is to rip it out and start again.
How To Join In The Round With Circular Needles
There are a few different ways that you can join your work in the round.
People prefer different methods in order to create a seamless join.
You can just start to knit with the first cast-on stitch or you can also cast on an extra stitch, one more than your pattern tells you to have.
This extra stitch can then be slipped over onto the left-hand needle.
This means that you will knit the first stitch and the last stitch together before starting your pattern.
For an ever cleaner join, some knitters prefer to do the following;
- slip the last stitch (the first one you cast on) from the LHN (left-hand needle) to the RHN (right-hand needle).
- Then lift the second stitch onto the right needle (the last one cast on) over the first stitch and onto the left-hand needle.
- Pull tight and start to knit with the stitches that are on the left-hand needle.
Using A Stitch Marker
One thing that really helps you to see where your round begins and ends is using a stitch marker.
In most patterns, it will say to ‘pm and join in the round’.
PM stands for place marker and this is quite important to do when you are working in the round.
Place a stitch marker on the right-hand needle before you start to knit, but after you have made the join if you are crossing stitches.
This marks the end of the row, which will help you to know where you are at in your pattern.
It is better to have closed stitch markers, as the open ones can fall off easily.
You can move the stitch marker up every few inches so that you can see it and where your rows begin and end.
Knitting In The Round
Tips and a recap;
Knitting with circular needles is not exactly the same as using straight needles, some people get confused with how to join the knitting.
- You need to join the working yarn in the work so it is one continuous circle.
- Hold the needle where the cast on began in your left hand and hold the other needle in your right hand.
- Begin knitting with the working yarn, making sure you are connecting the yarn to the beginning and creating a circle.
If you are interested in learning more about the knitting basics, please visit this post – Knitting Lessons
You can see a how-to knit in the round video tutorial on my YouTube channel here.