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How to Knit with Circular Needles

Circular needles may be used to knit projects in the round or to accommodate large numbers of stitches. Additionally many knitters prefer to use circular needles for all or most of their knitting, even when it is not required by the number of stitches or the pattern.

To knit in the round with circular needles, the required number of stitches are cast on and spread evenly around the needle. The needle length should be shorter than the finished circumference of the project, so that the stitches are scrunched together. If the stitches are too spread out they will be more difficult to work with. If you are following a pattern, the pattern will tell you the correct length for the needles. Circular needles are measured point-to-point.

After the stitches are cast on, the pattern usually instructs you to join the round, being careful not to twist the stitches. The cast-on edge should lie on the inside of the circle, and there should not be any sort of twist in the stitches. If the stitches are twisted the project will not turn out smoothly and must be restarted from the cast-on. To join the round, begin knitting. Since the final cast-on stitch is on the right-hand needle and you'll start knitting with the first stitch of the round on the left-hand needle, the project will connect itself into an unbroken circle.

Since the cable on circular needles makes them longer than most straight needles, circular needles can hold more stitches than a pair of straight needles. When used to accommodate large numbers of stitches, circular needles are treated the same as a pair of straight needles. At the end of every row you will switch hands, so the empty needle is now in your right hand and the full needle is now in your left hand. The cable with the stitches can easily sit in your lap or on a table and therefore is supported.

Below: LW4290 Double Chevron Beanie Free Knitting Pattern

How to Knit with Circular Needles