Beginner circular needles question

I am a very new knitter and have mostly practiced on straight needles. I have started practicing magic loop with circular needles, which brings up a few questions. I’d like to start out doing it right so I don’t have to unlearn bad habits later :wink:

The needle portion of the circular needle is much shorter than the straight needles I have gotten used to. Because of this, at times I find myself putting some pressure at the end of the needle to get leverage (not a lot but some). When if using a straight needle at these times my hand would still be on the actual needle, but with the circular needle it is half off the needle and half on the cord. Should I be careful about this? Is the point at which the cord attaches itself to the needle sufficiently strong and/or flexible I shouldn’t worry about some sideways pressure?

Similarly, when doing magic loop, and moving the work from one half to the next, I try to push & pull the needle itself through the loops and not pull on the cord too much. However – (maybe because my newer semi-flexible needle cord still has some memory and my older inherited circular needle cords are much less flexible and have more memory) – I still have to pull or push on the cord when moving the work if only to uncurl it enough to get the loops to slide onto the needle. Is this something I should be careful of or not?

I assume these things are built somewhat sturdy, but I’m having visions of the cord snapping off the needle in the middle of the row.

So the questions are:
pushing sideways where cord meets cable okay or not?
pulling or pushing on the cable through the work (more or less straight) okay or not?

Also, any bad habits that spring from moving from straight to circular needles I am ignorant of and should avoid?


Any ‘bad habits’ would be those of an individual knitter since everyone uses different methods of holding needles. You seem to be aware of what you’re doing and your hold on them may change as you adjust to the circs. I have smallish hands so the needle tips fit mine well, though different brands have different length needles on them.

Basically, you’re asking, “How sturdy are circular needles?” or perhaps, “How well will these stand up to a bit of rough usage?”

The answer is, it depends.

It depends somewhat on the brand…but even individual needles vary in their sturdiness, so the best answer is that you will figure it out for yourself.

It pays to check the joins periodically. I have had one come apart, and it isn’t fun! But generally, they will hold up to the normal “wear and tear” of normal knitting.

How’s that for ambiguous? :slight_smile: