Circular Knitting Needles


I am looking to buy some circular needles for a skirt I would like to knit. The pattern is saying that 4mm circular needles are needed that are 36 inches (90cm) in length. However when I have tried to look for this length online, I can only find 80cm (about 31 inches) or 100cm (about 39 inches) as the closest measurement. It is probable that this length is not available in the UK.
I am knitting the skirt in the small size which is 34-36 inches so I am wondering whether it would be better to knit with the 80cm circular needles or the 100cm circular needles instead of the 90cm ones.
This will be my first time knitting with circular needles so I am unsure of how the length affects the circumference.

Thank you!

What is the name of your pattern?
The smaller needles may be best but there is a rule of thumb for estimating needle size. What is the gauge for your pattern and how many sts will you cast on?


You generally want your circular needle length to be equal to or less than the circumference of what you’re knitting so that you can easily join in the round. If the circ is longer than the circumference of the item, you have to resort to the magic loop or traveling loop method in order to be able to join in the round. Your skirt is a 34-36" so based on that, go with the 31" circular. But understand that depending on the circumference at the widest part of the skirt, you could end up with a situation where the stitches are too crowded on your needle. If that were to happen you’ll end up having to buy a 2nd longer circular. But you can squish a lot of stitches on to the circ. And you will have a much easier task if you don’t have to deal with a “circ too long” situation.


PAK0114-001178M.pdf (
This is my pattern.
I will be casting on 204 stitches at the start. The gauge is 22st and 28 rows = 4 inches in stocking st.

Thank you

1 Like

Thanks so much, this is very helpful :blush:
I think it will probably be better for me starting out to use the smaller needles then.

I agree with rcubed that the smaller needle is better.
The rule of thumb is to divide the number of sts by the sts/inch. That gives you the longest needle length you could possibly use.
So for your pattern 204/5.5 = 37. Definitely go with the 31" or 80cm needle.
That pattern is going to be fun to work and will look terrific. Enjoy working it!