Are you a bit nervous about knitting with straight needles? Do you suffer when you have to sew the parts of a knitted garment together? If your answers are affirmative, we recommend that you learn to knit with circular needles. The advantages of these knitting needles joined to a cable are numerous. As a result, more and more knitters are only using circular needles.
- One key reason is that they are so convenient and comfortable to work with. Furthermore, you don’t need to turn the work at the end of a row.
- They promote a more relaxed body and arm position whilst working thanks to the shorter needle length.
- In addition, the weight of the knitted work is distributed along the length of the cable. This results in less pressure on our wrists.
- Thanks to the size and flexibility of the cable, they are easy to carry in a bag. Moreover, you can knit whilst travelling by train or on a plane. Check if the airline company you are flying with accepts knitting needles beforehand. However, most airports do let you take circular knitting needles through the security controls these days.
- One of the biggest advantages is, without doubt, that you can knit integral garments without seams.
Do you want to know more? Then continue reading, because we are sharing tips to help you overcome any fears and start knitting with circular needles. Furthermore, of course, we have some simple pattern proposals for you with accompanying videos. As a result, you can learn to knit your first seamless beanie and neck warmer in the round.
Knitting with circular needles
There are two types of circular knitting needles available: fixed and interchangeable. The needle size and cable length of the fixed option are already determined and cannot be changed. However, the interchangeable circular needles allow you to combine the needle size and cable length required for each specific pattern. In the following video we show you how to prepare the interchangeable needles and the corresponding cable. Then, as with all knitting projects, it is time to cast on the stitches. There are a number of ways to do this for both straight and circular needles. However, in this video we show you how to cast on stitches using the long tail cast on method.
Binding off in the round
Now that you know how to cast on the stitches, we are going to start knitting in the round! First, you must close the circle with the first stitch so you can work in continuous rounds. You can also see how to do this in the video. We recommend that you use a stitch marker to indicate the start of the row when doing this. At the end of each row you only have to slip the marker from one needle to the other to start the following round.
Basic stitches in the round
If you already knit with straight needles you know that the stitches are worked in rows going back and forth. Or odd and even or right side and wrong side rows. You can also knit like this with circular needles, or alternatively, in continuous rounds, spirals or circles. Therefore, the basic stitches like stockinette stitch, garter stitch and 2×2 ribbing are worked in the following manner:
- Circular needles: Work all stitches and all rounds in knit stitch.
- Straight needles: Work one row in knit st and one row in purl stitch. Repeat these two rows.
- Circular needles: Work the 1st round in knit stitch. Work the 2nd round in purl stitch. Repeat these 2 rounds.
- Straight needles: Work all stitches and all rounds in knit stitch.
- Circular needles: * K2, P2 *, repeat from * to * on all the rounds.
- Straight needles: Row 1: * K2, P2* repeat from * to * to the end of the row. Row 2: work all stitches as they present themselves.
Hat made on circular needles
Are you ready to knit your first hat on circular needles? Take all the time you need and follow the step by step video and pattern published in the Katia Easy Knits 8 magazine. You will need one ball of Katia Ingenious Big (discover this season’s fashionable neon colours) size 17 (U.S.)/(12 Mm) circular needles and a 16” (40 cm) cable. Now you have everything you need to make your first hat on circular needles!
Easy circular patterns
You can find a series of easy patterns to knit for all the family on circular needles in the Katia Easy Knits 8 magazine. When you’ve finished your first hat, complete the set with a matching garter stitch neck warmer without increases or decreases. Easy! If you prefer a small challenge for your first neck warmer on circular needles, try starting with this fabric in neon stripes.
It’s easier with XXL yarn
Easy and furry accessories
Finally, the fluffy (or Faux Fur) hat is the star project this winter season. Have some fun applying your new found knowledge on circular needles with this hat. It is made with only 1 ball of our extra soft furry Katia Polar yarn. Download the free pattern and follow the video to knit your pom pom hat.
Do you feel encouraged to try your hand at knitting with circular needles? Please leave a comment. We want to know about your experiences knitting with circular needles. Are there any additional advantages or tips you want to share with other Katia knitters?