Circ needle length for hat: 24" vs. 16": problem?

The recommended needle size was 16" (circs), but all I had were 24", so I cast on with them and knitted a few rounds. If the gauge is correct and the stitches don’t seem to stretch too much on the needles, will this be an issue in the finished product? I will buy 16" circs today and switch to them, but I’m wondering if I really should have started with 16" to begin with and if I should start all over.


I think you will need to buy those needles because eventually the item will stretch too much to continue knitting it correctly. Without seeing the pattern, I’m not really sure
hopefully someone with more experience will answer!


I agree that you’re going to need a shorter needle, or you can switch to dps. If it’s not stretching too much now you ought to just be able to knit onto a new needle without starting over.

The stitches won’t be stretched out and think about it… If you’re making a hat about 20-21" around, that’s the same size as the 24" with the tips crossed like you do in knitting so it’s not all that much too big. I do hats on 24" needles and while the first few rows can be a little tight, I use a variation of the ML method where I only pull the loop out on one side. Works great!

Good point, and good idea. I think I’ll continue using the ML method first. I do like using ML with a longer needle (e.g., 40"), but since you use it with hats and shorter needles, Suzee, I’ll try it. I’d rather not start completely over if I can help it.

As I go along, I still might want to go to a 16" needle, but if I can save the cost of a needle, that’s great. I also don’t have another size 5 circular, or I would work with two circs. I have size 5 DPNS for the crown, but I don’t want to do the whole hat with them.

Thank you all for your input!