Circular Needle Question

I have a question about using circular needles. I am a VERY beginner knitter, and had only been making scarves up to this point…one can only make and have so many scarves :roflhard:

So…recently I had come across Project Linus and decided to try my first baby blanket. I had never used ciruclar needles before and I’m a little confused about them.

I am using a Lion Brand pattern, with exact Lion Brand yarn it calls for and everything. Here is the pattern:

Cast on 5 sts.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K3, yo, k2.
Row 3: K3, yo, k3.
Row 4: K3, yo, k to end of row.
Rep last row until you have 144 sts on needle.
Next (decrease) row: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end of row.
Rep last row until 5 sts remain. Bind off.
Weave in ends.

Now it says to have used Circular knitting needle size 9 (5.5 mm), 24 in. (61 cm) long.

However, the store only had 29 in. needles and I thought ok that’s fine, I’m sure extra inches will help rather than hurt. Well now my question is…I only have 72 of the 144 stitches knitted on the needle and the darn thing is almost full!!! If the blanket is suppsed to be 30 x 30 in size, how would you get away with only using a 24 in. ciruclar needle? And I will attach a pic of what I have so far, I’m afraid I’m going to run out of space soon, and it’s only halfway to the entire length of it, and then stitches are going to start falling off it. I’m half tempted to order a 36 or 40 in. length one instead and just return this one. How do people make HUGE afghans on these things??? Is there something you can buy that holds the loops back from almost falling off the other end?

Here is what I have so far, you tell me? Advice please?!?!

I tried posting a picture but it says since I’m new I need 2 posts or greater…so I will have to re-post the pic after I send this hahaha, sorry.

Ok here is the pic…see how its almost already full.

How am I supposed to fit 72 more stitches on there???

That has to be a misprint. :?? I suggest you use a longer cable. For projects like this you probably want to use at [I]least[/I] 40 inches. They also make 60 inch cables. I have some for my interchangeable needles for just this situation.

Awww is that a Ragdoll you have??? If so…I have one too :inlove:

Why on earth then would it say in the pattern to use a 24"?? haha I think even if I do srunch them a little now, I still don’t know how I’d fit the other half of them on. I wish they sold longer cables in the store, I guess I’ll have to order the longer one online.

I wonder how a 24" one would have worked out…

There is no such thing though as something that clips on the cable to keep it scrunched in place? Because even when I do srunch it, it just keeps sliding back.

If I do end up getting a longer one…is it possible to knit onto the new longer needles midway through, like instead of using the needle attached with the cable, just use the new needle to transfer it onto that cable? Would that be the best bet?

The best thing would be to knit with your new circular from off the old needle. I have the Knitpicks Harmony Wood interchangeable circular needles. They also come in acrylics and metal ones. Knitpicks has a small metal connector as an optional component you can buy. This connects two of your cables so you can make them as long as you like.

You don’t have to spread out your sts across the whole needle, a 29" circular should be fine as a circular holds about 2-3 times it’s length worth of sts. A 40" may be a little too long, 32" will work okay too the sts can be scrunched up somewhat.

You can also wrap a rubber band on the end of each needle to keep the stitches from falling off when you set your work aside.

You can see by the responses that it’s somewhat personal choice, too. I prefer a longer cable, Sue prefers one shorter.

Since you already have a full 29" I do think you’ll want longer than 32" just for comforts sake.

Oh ok so what does that mean exactly? If it holds 2-3 times its length? Does that mean # of stitches or size of the project? So technically, a 30 x 30 blanket SHOULD be able to fit on a 24" circular needle?

I’m using the Clover bamboo ones, and they only come in 16, 24, 29, and 36…so maybe I’ll just get a 36" one and return the 29" one just to be safe. At least for starting out. Cause the next one I want to make actually calls for a 29" one and I’m afraid that is going to be too small too.

My question is too, how do you make REALLY big afghans then??

Yes, say a projects sts measure 50", you can easily fit them on a 30" needle, 24" would be a little crowded. The cord is thinner which allows the sts to fit closer than they would on a straight needle. So for your 30" blanket they would easily fit on a 29", even though the width of the sts you have on the needle will measure about 40-45" because you’re knitting on the diagonal. but that’s only for a few rows.

Yeah, for a larger afghan, you might want a longer one, 32" will be fine. I did a 45" wide throw on 40" ones and there was too much cord in the way. I had wanted a 36" needle, which the package was marked as, but they goofed somewhere. I used them a couple times for other things and kept thinking they were awfully long for 36" until I finally measured them. My other needles in that size were 29" and while I could have managed with those, they’d have been a bit crowded. 29 and 32" are probably the most versatile length circs to have. You can make blankets with them, as well as adult sweaters.

Regardless of what any of us say, what it comes down to is whether YOU are comfortable knitting the blanket on the 29". If you are bothered by it get a longer cable. Either way works fine. :thumbsup:

Ok…thanks all :wink:

I think I might try and order a longer one, I’d probably feel it is safer haha. Wouldn’t hurt to have a longer one anyway incase I make a bigger blanket in the future.

Absolutely! That’s why most of us have interchangeable needles. We usually have whatever size we need when we want it. Unless of course it’s in another project…I actually have a couple sets now just for that scenario. :lol: