Avoiding circulars

I’m new to knitting but it feels so familiar and wonderful. But I don’t like knitting on the circulars I have tried. I want to knit a long rectangle on straight needles but I don’t know if I can scrunch the whole thing on one. Is there anything I can do to avoid the circular needle? I’m imaging using dpns with end protectors but worry it will cause loose stitches. I am only able to afford the bare min right now in supplies…and the dpns will be useful for other things…thanks for listening!

You don’t like circulars?? :noway: What is it you don’t like if I may ask? I just can’t imagine knitting with straights anymore.

A large piece of knitting on straight needles is very hard on the arms and hands. It gets heavy after awhile. Not impossible if you buy extra long needles though.

awww don’t hate on the circulars, they’re your friends. I used to think they were evil, until one day I decided to give them one more go, and they made the pain in my wrists go away. :mrgreen: Maybe you just need a little more practice…anyway, sorry about the rambling. Good luck!

I use my circs for larger projects because the weight of the project is not in my hands, wrists, and arms.

I still use straights for smaller projects, like scarfs.

I love my DPNs for hats and socks…

circs take some time to get used to because the needles fit a bit differently in your hand, however, I notice that once I knit a few rows, I’ve gotten used to it.

If you are tight on money - you can always make your own needles with dowel rods. (You’ll need to get a needle gauge if you want to make a specific size - they are only a few dollars) there was a thread on this topic and I believe that there is a video under the video section.

When I started knitting, I only bought the needle sizes I needed and I asked my family for certain needle sizes for b-day and xmas gifts. Eventually, I got enough needles that I don’t have to buy as many as I used to.

Give the circs another try. they take some getting used to, but I can’t imagine using straight needles anymore, much less DPNs. I use my Options for everything I knit, and LOVE them.

One thing, if you don’t think the stitches will fit on a regular straight needle, there’s no way that they will fit on DPNs. Dpns are in general, much shorter than regular needles. Unless I’m missing something in what you wrote.

I can’t knit on straights anymore either. I tried a couple of times for a project that was knit flat, but just couldn’t do it.

What kind of needles did you try? I hated circulars until I used Addi needles. I just loved them and have since used all kinds of circulars. Give them another try and you will probably get to love them…

I kind of agree with everyone else. I’ve been knitting for about three months now. I bought a pair of bamboo 8" straights to teach myself how to knit. Then I bought a pair of metal 13" straights, which I found to be heavier. They also wore my arm out because I knit English.

About one month into knitting, I joined the Southeast Oddball baby blanket group here and discovered that I would need some circulars to make baby blankets with. At first, they were akward. I kept thinking, “How am I going to be able to knit on these things and not get my working yarn tangled up in the cable?” But, I wanted to learn because I wanted to do the charity knitting.

So, I started doing flat things. I was even confused the first time I put a project on my circulars because I thought that everything done on circulars had to be in the round, like socks or hats or whatever. But, I quickly discovered that my arms weren’t getting so tired and I didn’t have to move as much to knit. I was in love! I bought the whole set of Knit Picks Harmony Options and some Addi Turbos in small sizes to make socks. Honestly, I’m never going back to straights.

maybe you should try the circulars at least 1 more time and you might find that you start to like them. I didn’t like them the first time I used them - they seemed so ackward to me. But now I will grab them over straights. For me, I am able to knit faster using a circular because it lets me hold the needles in both hands and I don’t need to rest the one needle on my leg (that’s how I knit with straight needles - probably strange! hee hee).

No that’s not strange at all, I used to hold mine the same way lol.:mrgreen:

I’m starting a scarf which is basically a rectangle and cirs are my first choice. Most of the stitches will be on the cable in my lap easing the tension on my wrists. :heart: I have Denise needles and love them. Haven’t been able to try the other brands yet.

I love circs.

I find that when the straight needle get too long they start bumping my forearm and elbow as I knit which drives me insane! Plus the weight of any large project hurts my wrists.

I have found, since starting to use nicer needles (got Options for my birthday last year) that I don’t like the ‘crook’ (bend) in my older circ’s (Boyce I think) where the needle joins to the “wire” – I much prefer when the circ needles are straight and have a stright join too.

Also, often the circ “wire” is all twisty and stays that way from when you bought them or store them - this drives me nuts as it coils oddly while you knit. I read a tip on KH once that works really well – get some really hot water and put the “wire” in the hot water for awhile and the plastic will relax and be nice and non-twisty while you knit.

Not sure what it is about circs you don’t like, but maybe one of these tips will help you if decide to give them another try.


I too dislike circular needles. Luckily as I only knit baby garments (other than blankets, which need circulars) my wrists don’t tire.

However, though I find circulars awkward feeling and I still prefer straights despite trying circulars often, I think that it might be METAL circulars I hate most. I hate metal straights too - find them too slippery and slidy, and noisy, and inflexible.

So I bought some bamboo circulars and they’re wonderful, almost as comfortable now for me as using straights. So try bamboo.

Thank you lucky-alf for your advice on softening the plastic cable in hot water. I forgot to mention, that twisty cable is another thing that adds to my woes with circulars!

I love circs, too…I inherited some really long straights from my MIL and don’t know what to do with the knob end–it keeps getting in my way. (I rest the end on my leg too, which pretty much can’t be done with the long ones. With circs I don’t need to do that and also I find since I can’t drop one needle, I drop fewer stitches!)

If you’re tight on money, you might try getting one fairly long circular needle and learning the Magic Loop technique, so you can use that one needle for a lot of projects, big and small. (I do a lot of substituting and making-do because I can’t go out and buy new needles for each project I want to try!) Someone here suggested checking eBay for good deals; I found a pair of Addis I could actually afford, and I love them. If you don’t like the slipperiness of metal needles, check out bamboo–I have some Clover Takumi circs I really like: not terribly expensive, nice and smooth but not slippery, and they’re quiet and feel really good in your hands.

Good luck!

Ha ha, that’s how I hold my straight needles too! :teehee:


I hate the store bought circulars. I refuse to used those. I ONLY USE the ones from knitpicks. They are so smooth and you don’t have to worry about the cable getting twisted etc. They are so worth the few extra dollars that they cost.


“I’m imaging using dpns with end protectors but worry it will cause loose stitches. I am only able to afford the bare min right now in supplies…and the dpns will be useful for other things…thanks for listening!”

In answer to your question… There is something you can do to avoid the circular needle.
If you want to buy some DPN needles that will be usefull for other projects…(which is exactly what i did when i started) buy them but make sure you get the ones with 5 needles. Grab you some rubber bands from the junk drawer in the kitchen and start knitting. When you get to the point you feel you cant get anymore on the needle, slap a rubber band on the end, pick up another dpn put a rubber band on and continue knitting. Keep doing that to get all your stitches on dpn’s. When you get all your stitches on your needles…stop…hold your work out in front of you where you can see all of it…hold the first and last needles…the only difference between what you have in your hands right now and a circular needle is a cord connecting the first and last needle. (which would cut out the hassle of the switching needle thing)

Using a circular needle wasn’t for a long time for me after I started knitting either. But i forget now, but I need to use one for something and bought one. Now I use them for everything. Still use my straights and still use my dpn’s but the point is there will come a time in your knitting that you will need a circular needle for something and we are all just trying to give you a heads up. Sometimes the knitter and needle just dont jive. Maybe try a different brand of needle. Addi, Hiya Hiya, Knitpicks has some that seem to be popular. I bought some and didnt care for them. (we didnt jive LOL) I have some circular needles by KA Classic that I use. The needles are connected to the cord by swivel. which can be handy in some cases. And they are reasonably priced. My absolute favorite is Addi …pricey but WELL WORTH IT. I have ahem a “few” Addi’s.

Sometimes the cord causes things to feel funky. If its all coiled up it might be the issue. Did you take a hairdryer to your cord? Hold one needle and let the other hang and shoot the cord with a hairdryer till it straightens out. And then try your needle again.

Get on ebay (can i say that here?) I got abunch of mine from there.
Give it another shot.
sorry for the long winded post.