Circular Needles Clarified

I need some clarification on the circular needle, In the one video it said that if you knit continuous that one side will be a purl… how is that? I just dont get it.

Also on the magic loop video…what is the point of taking the right sided stitches… or worked stitches and splitting them… sliding the work to the cable so the needle is off to the side…

And last question for now… is how do you know how many stitches you can get on a circular needle?

Knit and purl stitches are mirror-image stitches - essentially, knitting is like purling backwards. And when you knit continuously in the round, the front looks like stockinette (as if you had one row knit and one row purl if you were knitting back and forth).

The number of stitches you can get on a circular needle depends on the length of the cable. You’ll often use 16" circulars for hats (and switch to double-pointed needles when that gets to be too big) or for the necks on turtleneck sweaters. 40" circulars are great for afghans (you usually knit afghans flat, but the 40" length allows you to get many more stitches on there). Most sweater patterns knit in the round suggest at 24" or 29" circular. You can really scrunch stitches together on circulars, but you have to be careful of having too few stitches on them, if you’re knitting in the round. Too few stitches can make a big huge mess.

I’ll let someone else take the magic loop question - I understand the principle, but because I’ve never used magic loop, I can’t explain it to someone else!

The back of a knit st shows as a purl, the back of a purl st shows as a knit. When you knit in the round (a tube) you only knit on the RS, so you knit every round to get stockinette where all the knit sts are on one side, and all the purls on the other side. To make garter stitch, you have to knit one round and purl another round.

The point of magic loop is to knit something that’s small, like socks or mitts or a sleeve without using dpns. You use a longer circular and pull out the cord between sts to shorten it up. They do make short circs 9 and 12 inches, but many people find them hard to work on, they’re not readily available and for some things, even they may be too long. You can also use 2 circulars to knit small things with, they work kind of like flexible dpns.

Since you can also use circular needles to knit flat - you just turn your work at the end of a row, like you do with straight needles - they’re very versatile and many knitters don’t even use straight ones any more.

Thank you for all your advise on the topic…