Useful Tips

How to knit on circular knitting needles


Each, even the beginning knitter, sooner or later encounters the fact that the conceived product or some part of it needs to be connected in a circle. It can be a collar of a sweater, a hat, a scarf-collar or ordinary socks. Many knitters use circular knitting even for more complex things. For example, a vest.

Circular knitting needles

However, it is quite often found that once accustomed to working with ordinary long knitting needles, and even having successfully mastered knitting in a circle with a set of five double-edged knitting needles, the knitter no longer tries to work in circular patterns, considering this difficult.

Many of those who tried to knit with circular knitting needles then knit even those things in which knitting in a circle will not be applied and will not return to the usual long ones.

Differences of circular knitting needles from ordinary

We suggest that you consider the main differences between circular knitting needles and ordinary knitting needles and find out whether circular knitting is more difficult with them. Or it's still worth a try.

The first thing that distinguishes circular needles is their compactness. They are much more convenient to take with you on the road, on a picnic, in the country - yes, anywhere. Long straight knitting needles always make knitting more bulky. A set of double-edged knitting needles is generally quite difficult to pack so that both ends are securely hidden.

Knitting in a circle on circular knitting needles

Second: if you knit a big thing with them (sweater, dress or even a coat), your hands do not strain when knitting. Indeed, they only work with the number of loops that are directly on short knitting needles. The main weight of the knitted fabric hangs on a cable or fishing line and partially rests on your knees, without burdening your hands and not restricting movements.

The third follows from the first. The fact that such knitting needles are much shorter than straight ones significantly reduces the chances of hitting someone nearby when working.

Fourth: round-knit products have no seams, which is important, for example, for hats or necks of a children's sweater, and if they are, then there are very few of them.

Fifth: universality. With the help of circular knitting needles, one can really knit almost everything, including hats, socks and mittens, the knitting of which in the vast majority of craftswomen is associated with a set of double-pointed knitting needles. Although, in fact, both processes are not too different from each other.

In addition, today you should not be afraid that the elastic part will bend and break off. The times when knitting round was accompanied by periodic cutting of a broken elastic tube and putting the rest of it on the knitting needle has disappeared into the past. Even knitting needles that came to the aid of knitters with thick fishing line fixed on them today can very well replace reliable circular ones with an elastic, durable metal cable.

In a word, manufacturers of accessories for needlework today only please both beginners and quite experienced knitters. We can only consider the question of how to knit a circle with knitting needles.

Circular Knitting Tips

Circular knitting fishing line often tends to curl, and this sometimes greatly interferes with knitting. In order to straighten it, it needs to be dipped in hot water for several minutes.

The first few loops belonging to the first row should be knitted not only with the working thread, but also with its free end. This must be done so that when the first row is docked, a hole does not appear in it. This can also be done in another way, by typing in the initial row one extra loop. Then, without knitting, it must be transferred to another (first) knitting needle and, closing the circle, knit together with the first loop.

Knit with circular knitting needles in several ways: in straight rows (in a circle) and reverse (as on ordinary metal knitting needles). It is impossible to do without them when knitting a large part of the product (for example, the back of a pullover or a men's sweater) and this is much more convenient than on ordinary knitting needles, because the entire weight of the fabric will lie on your knees, rather than hanging on a straight knitting needle.

If you want to get a seamless product - circular knitting, this is what you need.

Features of circular knitting

The main nuance of knitting round is that with this method only the front side of the product is knitted. This should be kept in mind from the start. A set of loops for the product should already be carried out taking into account this specificity. After all, edge loops are not needed here.

Openwork patterns are much more difficult to knit round. The loops that you need to knit in the usual way when working with the wrong side, when knitting round, you will need to knit it in the so-called grandmother's way or give preference to embossed patterns without lace.

A set of loops on circular knitting needles is made exactly as on ordinary straight. In this case, the last dialed loop will always be the last loop of the circle. For convenience, it should be additionally noted with a contrasting thread or pin. You can use a special plastic marker that can be transferred from one spoke to another.

Types of circular knitting needles

There are circular knitting needles of different diameters and different lengths. Ideally, when knitting, you should use knitting needles of exactly the length indicated in the instructions. However, not everyone today can afford to purchase separate circular knitting needles for almost every product. If you have knitting needles in the bins of suitable diameter, but the cable between them is too long, it will be more convenient to immediately divide the typed loops into two parts and work, leaving the loop groups closer to the ends of the knitting needles, and between these groups the free part of the cable. At runtime, it looks something like this:

Types of circular knitting needles

Remaining circular, our work will, as it were, consist of two parts, which must be knitted alternately until we reach the desired length. We work with one half of the loops, and the second at this time hangs on the flexible part of the knitting needles, waiting in line. Then we move the untied part to the end of the left knitting needle, and we just move the untied part to its place approximately in the middle of our cable, freeing the right working knitting needle. And so on.
There is no need to constantly ensure that all knitting loops move in a circle. The loops do not stretch or deform.

So, the set of the required number of loops is completed, you can start knitting.

In the right hand we take the knitting needle with the last of the dialed loops and the working thread, and in the left hand - with the first of the dialed loops.

Circular knitting

There is another way.

We retake the last loop to the first knitting needle. We put the first loop on the last and throw it back onto the fourth knitting needle. We hang a marker at the beginning of a row. This loop will be the last in a row.

Personally, I like to knit round. You can verify this yourself by looking at the articles on our website. Almost all articles describe how to knit on circular knitting needles. Then the product is obtained without a seam, we always knit only the front rows. Usually they are indicated in the patterns, and to knit on both sides, you have to think up the patterns. And on circular knitting needles is much easier.

There are, of course, some nuances. For example, if we knit a number of purl stitches, at the beginning of the row we get a “hem”. To avoid it, when you knit the last loop, raise another loop from the broach of the previous row and tie them (last and raised) together.

How to close the loop with knitting needles.

We knit the first loop as always, we also knit the next loop as necessary according to the pattern. Now we have 2 loops on the right knitting needle. We put the first loop on the second. There is one loop on the right needle. Then we repeat the process: we knit the loop as it should in the pattern. (There are 2 loops on the right knitting needle.) We put the first loop on the second. (There is one loop on the right knitting needle.) We put the first loop on the last. Pull it wider. We cut the thread so that it is convenient for her to sew, we extend the end of the thread there. It turned out ugly. We insert the end of the thread into the needle and with the needle we connect the first and last loops. We fix the thread. We hide the tip in the canvas. Cut it shorter. All loops are closed.

Consider the benefits of knitting on circular knitting needles:

  • compactness of the tool - it is convenient to take such knitting needles with you on the road, to nature, they take up little space,
  • the ability to make a product without seams, which is especially important for children's things,
  • for novice craftswomen who do not have the ability to neatly sew parts, the absence of seams greatly simplifies the knitting process,
  • with such knitting, there are no edge loops, symmetry loops, a multiple of the number of loops is typed in rapport,
  • for many patterns (for example, Japanese), the schemes are built the way the front side of the canvas looks. With circular knitting, such patterns are convenient to use, there is no need to additionally work out the wrong rows.

Features of knitting on circular knitting needles:

  • it’s important to ensure that the line does not twist, especially in the initial rows,
  • for patterns in the descriptions of which even and odd rows appear, it is important not to get confused: for even p. it is often indicated that you need to knit according to the apparent pattern. In this case, with circular knitting, even p. just repeat the odd ones
  • there are patterns whose execution is possible only in straight and reverse rows. Such options cannot be adapted for circular knitting.

A set of circular knitting loops

On the usual straight knitting needles, dial the desired number of loops.

We remove one spoke, it will no longer be useful to us.

We take the knitting needles on the fishing line and knit the first row according to the selected pattern.

At the same time, we carefully monitor that the fishing line does not twist, otherwise we get a very curved edge of the canvas.

To make a beautiful joint when connecting the first row, you can go in three ways:

  • we collect one more loop, then when the row is closed in the ring, transfer it to the first knitting needle and knit it along with the first loop,
  • possible initial loops p. knit with two threads - the working and free ends. But in this case, this section will be denser than the rest of the edge of the product,

Magic loop for knitting a small number of loops

For beginner knitters, the need to knit narrow products in circular rows is often not entirely comfortable. And, meanwhile, if you master the technique of using the magic loop, then on circular knitting needles you can knit a small circular row.

For this knitting method, choose knitting needles with a soft and flexible fishing line. Its length should be at least 80 cm, can be longer.

We collect the loops in the usual way for you. We move all the loops on the fishing line.

Fold the fishing line in half and pull out the fishing line between the loops.

An elongated fishing line formed a magic loop. But for further knitting we need another loop.

To make it, move the loops to the beginning of the knitting needle, pull out the fishing line, forming a new loop - see photo.

This position of the loops on the fishing line and knitting needle provides comfortable knitting, does not allow the loops to slide off the knitting needle.

We knit a pattern on the stitches of the knitting needles.

We unfold the knitting and repeat the process: we move the first loops to the beginning of the knitting needle, pull out the working knitting needle with fishing line, forming a loop and knit the loop.

Start knitting

When knitting the very first row, special attention should be paid to ensure that the loops do not twist. Otherwise, the edge of the product will be uneven. Nevertheless, to follow this is much easier than when knitting the first and even second row with a set of double-edged knitting needles.

First row knitting

To avoid the formation of a too noticeable hole at the docking point of the first row of the circle, it is advised to start knitting loops with a working thread along with its free end. However, this method can make the beginning of knitting noticeably thicker and denser.

You can neatly close the loops round by typing an extra loop on the knitting needles, and at the beginning of the first row, remove it without knitting. Then, at the end of the circle, this extra loop should be knit together with the first loop.
More often it’s more convenient to start knitting as usual, just pulling the thread harder so that a step does not form when the circle closes.

Turning loops down

We propose to consider the process of reducing loops with circular knitting using the example of an ordinary hat.
Those who already know how to reduce loops know that the more so-called decrease lines, the more round the crown of the product will turn out. You can tie a higher hat, close the loop with one line and get two original “ears”. And you can reduce the loop at regular intervals.
Here it should be noted one more plus of circular knitting needles. When knitting, say, double-edged knitting needles, you can reduce the loops, for example, knitting them two at the end of each knitting needle. More than four times in one circle to reduce them is no longer very convenient.

On circular ones, you can knit two loops together every, say, 8-10 loops. The next circle should be knitted without reducing the loops. In the third row from the beginning of the reduction of loops, two loops are already in 7-9 loops. Next, we reduce the loops in each odd row until 2-3 of each group of loops remain.
Through the remaining loops, you can use a crochet hook to stretch the double-folded thread, pull it tightly into a ringlet, and then fix the free end of the thread from the wrong side. The result is a neat rounded crown.