Circular Knitting

I am considering trying a pattern which calls for using two sets of circular needles. I’ve never used circulars at all and am a little apprehensive. My pattern is not one that is worked in the round, however, I think the pattern calls for circulars because there are so many cast on stitches. I could be wrong. The pattern is for a thigh length, hooded tunic and the piece is worked sideways from sleeve to sleeve. It starts out below:

Beg at right sleeve band, with straight needles, cast on 96 sts. Work in k1,p1 rib for 3", end with a WS row. Mark beg and end of last row for beg of right front and back. Change to circular needle and work back and forth using 2nd circular needle. Cont in ST st, cast on 90 sts at beg of next 2 rows for beg of right front and back – 276 sts.

What is meant by “marking” the beginning and end of last row and why would I need to mark something – shouldn’t everything be configured correctly as long as I follow the pattern?

When I change to circular needles, am I just working back and forth like when I use straights? It seems that it would be harder because of the flimsiness of circular needles. And lastly, the pattern calls for casting on 90 stitches at the BEGINNING of the first two rows after changing to circulars. How would that be accomplished? The tunic looks simple enough, yet I’m not familiar with some of the pattern instructions. I think once I could get past the circulars I would be fine.

Knitting back and forth with the two circs won’t be difficult. You only hold onto the needle part, so the cables won’t be a factor. The one thing I would do is put a rubber band on the end of them so your stitches can’t slide off the ends that you’re not using. This isn’t necessary when using one needle to work back and forth, but with two, the end is just hanging out there.

As for marking, there probably is a place in the pattern that refers back to that marked stitch or row, so I’d just mark it and see how it comes into play.

To cast on at the beginning of a row, use a single strand cast on–knitted or cable (I wouldn’t use backward loop for that many stiches.) Your working yarn will then be at the beginning of these cast on stitches, so you’ll work across them first on that row.

Your pattern says this about marking the row –

Mark beg and end of last row for beg of right front and back.

You can just tie a piece of contrasting color yarn in the first and last sts of the row. The CO of 90 sts at the beginning of the next two rows are for your front and back. After you’ve knit a bit more, the pattern probably says to measure from your markers, or knit until X inches from your markers. That will be the width of one front and half the back.

You might not need to start with straight needles, you could just use a circular needle and knit back and forth.


I’m an amature knitter and love to knit, so far, basic scarves. I would really love to try to make a hat. I have a circular needle but when I try to make a hat with the circ, the yarn that I cast on never reaches from needle point to needle point and I have to stretch the yarn which does not feel right. What am I doing wrong and what should I do??? Help!!

Your circular needle may be too long. If you can’t buy a shorter one, look at the video on Magic loop knitting.

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=darkorchid]You are absolutely correct. It [B]should. [/B]But you’d be surprised at how often it doesn’t. And markers also help you remember that you’re supposed to do or know something when you reach them. They really are helpful!:teehee:[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Thanks for all the help. I think I have the courage to start this project now. If I run into any problems along the way I’ll be back with more questions. LOL

A circular needle cannot be longer than the project. Hats usually use needles that are 16 inches from tip-to-tip.