What are circular knitting needles and why do we even need them?
If you are an avid knitter, at some point you will want to knit something circular, like socks or a tubular scarf.
This type of knitting needle is also a lot of fun to work with. Not only will you be able to make socks and tubular scarves, but also things like bags, sweaters without seams, beanies, and hats.
You will need to practice with them a bit first, as they are a bit tricky to use if you are not used to them, and I suggest you start with a small project, like a beanie, until you feel more comfortable.
So What Exactly Are Circular Knitting Needles?
Circular knitting needles look like two normal knitting needles, but they are joined together with a flexible cord that is used to hold all the stitches.
These needles, like regular knitting needles, can be made of one of the following:
You can purchase circular needles that are permanently fixed to the cord, or they can be purchased as part of an interchangeable system, where the tips can be taken off the cord and exchanged for larger or smaller needles. Interchangeable needles can be purchased separately or in a set that includes many different sizes of needles and cords.
Circular needles are found in all the normal knitting needle sizes, obviously depending on the brand.
The cords also come in different lengths that you can buy according to how wide your project is. The common lengths are 16, 24, 36, and 40-inch cords. The pattern you are following will normally tell you what length you will need.
How To Knit With This Type Of Knitting Needle
Working Patterns in the Round
When knitting in a circle, you will be knitting on the right side or front of the fabric all the time.
A lot of circular knitting is done in stocking stitch, which makes life easy because all you have to do is knit every row.
To do a garter stitch, you will need to knit one row, purl one row.
If you want to have the reverse stockinette look then you need to purl every row.
Obviously, other pattern stitches can be worked with circular knitting needles, but the stitches mentioned above are the most common stitches you will come across.
With these knitting needles, it is like knitting one continuous row of knitting, as you just continue knitting round and round.
Can I knit straight work with Circular Knitting Needles?
The answer here is yes, and circular knitting needles are ideal to use when working on big projects like wraps, throws, or afghans.
The circular knitting needles hold the stitches better and make it a lot easier because more stitches can be held on these types of needles.
You would then not knit on the round, just knit rows like normal by switching hands when you get to the end of a row.