Circular Needle Questions..?

Hi, I’m going to start knitting with circular needles and I have a few questions before I begin. If anyone can help, that would be great!

  1. I’ve seen several baby blanket patterns that require circular needles. I thought circular needles only produced tube-like structures, like bags and hats? How do you knit a blanket with circular needles?

  2. I’m looking at the “Chinese Charm Bag” from the Stitch 'N Bitch book and the pattern begins as follows: CO 80 sts. K 1 row, then join ends to form a circle. How do you knit 1 row and THEN begin knitting in the round? It just doesn’t make sense to me.

I know I’m just missing something…Perhaps I’m making this more complicated than it needs to be! Thanks so much in advance to anyone who can answer my questions!

To knit on circular needles without producing a big tube, all you have to do is to CO like normal, then turn and knit the first row like you would with straight needles (put the needle part of the circ that is in your right hand in your left hand and the part of the needle that was in your left hand in your right hand). Knit to the end of the row and turn again. It’s just like knitting with straight needles, only now you have a long cord connecting the ends of them.

Hi pure1,

I’m surprised someone hasn’t responded! Folks usually respond quickly here.

With the baby blanket, they’re probably having you use circular needles & just knitting back and forth rather than in the round. You can get alot more stitches on a circular needle & you may need the extra length, depending on the size of the blanket.

My guess on the other thing…it may be that they’re having you join after the first row may have something to do with how they want you to sew it together later??? Maybe reading through to the end of the instructions may give you a clue.

Good Luck

Diane :wink:

Thanks! I think I understand now…I knew I was just missing something silly.

i think the reason they have you join after knitting the first row is that a lot of people find it easier to make a neat join after they have knitted one full row, then use the tail to cinch the first row together tight. unless there is something specific at the end that requires that first row to not be joined i would say it doesn’t matter if you join after casting on or after doing the first round.

[quote=“pure1”

  1. I’ve seen several baby blanket patterns that require circular needles. I thought circular needles only produced tube-like structures, like bags and hats? How do you knit a blanket with circular needles?
    [color=green] A large item such as a baby blanket is much easier to knit on circs because the weight of the piece rests on the cable (and therefore on your lap) rather than being supported by your wrists and arms. It’s also safer for the person sitting next to you on the bus.
    If you really want to, you can use straight needles for a blanket, even if the pattern specifies circs. But I haven’t used straight needles for years, and once you try circulars, you may not eitherl.
    [/color]

  2. I’m looking at the “Chinese Charm Bag” from the Stitch 'N Bitch book and the pattern begins as follows: CO 80 sts. K 1 row, then join ends to form a circle. How do you knit 1 row and THEN begin knitting in the round? It just doesn’t make sense to me.
    [color=green]I don’t know the pattern, but a lot of people always knit a row or two before joining the ends to help avoid twisting the circle of stitches. When you’re finished you just close the starting row(s) with a stitch or two.
    [/color]

I am also knitting with circ needles for the first time, a sweater, and I have cast on and done 2 rows and notice the end is connected.

“To knit on circular needles without producing a big tube, all you have to do is to CO like normal, then turn and knit the first row like you would with straight needles (put the needle part of the circ that is in your right hand in your left hand and the part of the needle that was in your left hand in your right hand). Knit to the end of the row and turn again. It’s just like knitting with straight needles, only now you have a long cord connecting the ends of them.”

My question about circular knitting is once you have finished your peice do you have to cut that cord that connects the ends? Won’t that unravel the sweater?

Nope, because you will bind off once you get to the end (usually anyway, sometimes you may slip stitches to a holder to do something with later, depending on the pattern), and the circular needle will be freed up, one stitch at a time!