I am very comfortable with straight needles (I can knit a scarf like the best of them) Anyways, I would like to upgrade to hats and today I bought a pair of circular needles…Are these what I should be using??? I do not know how to do a pattern (as I do not like to purl stitch)…Also, if the “connector” of the needles is longer then the size of the hat does that make a difference??? Does the yarn need to go all the way around like in the video or can I just use part of the connector??? I have not opened any of my items and can return them tomorrow and get the right stuff if I need to. Basically, I would like to make hats or slipper socks (if they are easier) for xmas gifts this week. (I have a LOT of free time) and very little money. PLEASE HELP with your hints and ideas. Thanks a lot.
Yes, you need the stitches for the hat to fit around the length of the needle. You usually use a 16" circular needle for a hat and then after you decrease for the top of the hat you have to go to double pointed needles or two circulars. You can also make a whole hat on two circular needles that are the same size, length doesn’t matter in this case. Or you can make a hat on one fairly long circular needle with a flexible cable between the needle tips, doing something called Magic Loop. Or you can make a whole hat on a set of double pointed needles.
It sounds like you have watched a video about circular knitting. I believe there are several on this site in the videos under “advanced techniques”. Don’t let that name scare you, it is not hard. I have mostly used 16 inch circulars going to double points or two circulars for the top of the hat, but none of the methods is really hard. I just recently learned the Magic Loop, I had to have someone show that to me in person before I got it, but I have trouble with the videos because of my dial up connection. You could probably get it from a video.
Watch the videos for all the techniques and decide which you’d like to try, and then you’ll know what you need to do about needles.
You can make hats on straight needles as well, but I don’t think there are as many patterns written that way, and then you have to sew a seam which you avoid by using one of the circular techniques. I like hats made in the round.
An advantage to circular knitting is that stockinette stitch is formed simply by knitting all the time. If you work flat you need to purl a row, knit a row to get the same result. It is a good idea to tackle the purl stitch because it will be needed anytime you want to do ribbing. You can avoid ribbing but it will limit you. You can do garter stitch for the edge of a hat working on straight needles (or a circular used back and forth) where you would knit every row, and after the border join into a circle and continue knitting every row for st st, and then sew up the small seam for the border of the hat. If you just begin doing st st and stick to it you can made a roll edged hat.
I think hats might be easier than the slipper socks, but you might find a slipper pattern worked on straight needles that you’d like.