Circualr needle size Q

Hi All,

The instructions for the hat I am knitting calls for size 7 20" circular needles. I’ve been to 2 craft stores with good selection and I cannot find 20" in any size. I have size 7 24" circular needles. Can I use those or will it wreak some kind of havoc on my project? TIA!


You could try it with the 24" cables but you’ll need to switch to DPNs sooner and the stitches might stretch too much around the longer cable.

The other option you might want to consider is using 16" cables if those are easier to find.

Good luck!

1-- think about buying a set of interchangable needles.

(there are several brands/styles, some are cheaper, some more expensive, some often discounted. (most can be resold on ebay/etc for 90% of original purchase price, so if you find you hate them, its not a total expensive loss!)this way you’ll always have the size and length you need.

2–LONGER (WAY LONGER) needles can substitute for shorter needles!

a 40 inch or longer needle can be used in place of a 20 inch needle (sometimes more easily than a 24 inch one!)

the process is called magic loop. it often promoted for socks, (and it works well for socks) but it can be used for many other things as well

basicly, the excess cable (cord) portion of the needle is made into a loop

the stitches are divided in half (or there abouts) and when you work them, you have extra loops of cord at either side of the knitting.

when one end of the circular needle is ‘pulled’ to make it possible to knit the stitches in ‘front’ the result is 2 loops (of exess cord) at each side!)

these loops work best when they aren’t too small, (which is why a 40 inch long needle works better (bigger easier to manage loops) than a 24 inch one (tight twisty loops!)
(i was unsuccessful posting a picture, i get one, and come back and edit)

yeah i think 20 is a hard size to find. 24 might be too big since most heads aren’t that big (and if you knit it to 24 inches it is likely that the hat is bigger than that!) i would either get two pairs of 24s and do circular knitting on 2 circs or find a 16" needle.

Thanks all. This site does have a video for the magic looping, but I think it would be a little tricky with this project with 24" needles. I’ll see if I can find some 16"s and look in to interchangeable needles. Thanks again!

Unless you have a very large head you should be able to use the 16". That’s the size that most hat patterns usually call for.