Information on Using circular needles

Information on Using circular needles

Information on Using circular needles

Many knitters may have heard of circular needles but may not know what they are used for hand the best way to use them. If this is the case for you then this article will help explain them to you.

 

Benefits of Circular Needles

 

Circular needles have a lot of similarities with straight needles, there are two tips but instead of being separate they are joined by a cable. The length of this cable can vary and is usually between 40cm and 150cm in length. We will give you some information on how to use circular needles but first we have put a list of advantages below:

Circular needles take up less space so are much better for squeezing into your bag and having them handy when you want them. The needles are joined so you cannot lose one, plus they will keep your stitches safer than straight needles. It is easier to measure your work as you can more easily spread the stitches out on them. Their design means that you can hold more stitches than on regular straight needles. Knitting can be more comfortable as your work will sit on your lap and does not need to be supported by your arms. Knitting garments without seams, like a hat, can only be achieved by using circular needles.

The above are just a few examples of benefits that many knitters have got from using circular needles and there are many personal ones, like being able to knit on the tube more easily. Detailed below is how to actually use circular needles.

Knitting With Circular Needles

Whether knitting flat or in the round casting on with circular needles is the same as with straight needles. Cast on using your usual method and work the first row of the pattern. If you are knitting flat then when you get to the end of the row swap the hands that the tips are on and go back as you would with straight needles. There is no magic to it, the process is the same.

If you are knitting in the round then there are a few things you need to consider before you start. When you work your first row you will need to join the work and it is vital you check that the stitches are not twisted. You need to make sure they are facing the same way otherwise you will have start again as you realize a long way down that your work cannot be untwisted. You should also place a stitch marker at the start of the row so you know where the end of the row is. On the first stitch remember to pull it tight to ensure the join is smooth.  

The stitch marker to denote the end of one row and the beginning of the next is very important so you can keep count of how much you have done. Remember with circular knitting you only work RS rows so if you are working in stocking stitch you need to knit every row. Follow these simple steps and you are happily using circular needles!