Circular needles for flat knitting?

So from people’s posts on my other thread (about needles) I got all interested in trying out some Addi Turbos. When I asked if they came in straight as well as circular, 1to1 asked me if I didn’t like circulars. I’ve actually never tried them, having not yet done a pattern that called for them. But I’m starting to get the impression that I don’t have to wait for a pattern to call for them, I could just use them like regular flat needles. Is that right? Do any of you use circular needles exclusively? Can you tell me what prompted you to make that choice?

I appreciate everyone’s willingingness to answer questions from a newbie like me. I love this site and I love this forum! Very friendly, helpful people! :heart:

Unless I’m making something very small, I generally use my circs as flat. One reason is that I have the turbos, another BIG reason for me is that anytime I get up from the couch, one of my straight needles escapes down into the cracks. When I’m out in public, I don’t worry about dropping one, or losing one, or forgetting to take one with me from home. I have lots of straights, because I’ve been knitting so long and it never occurred to me to use them all the time, but I find I’m heading in that direction.

If someone is just starting out, it saves the expense of having straights and circs in all sizes.

:heart: And we love answering questions to make everyone love knitting as much as we do!

Thanks Ingrid!! I hadn’t even thought about the advantage of not having to perpetually look for a missing needle. And I think I could justify the expense of some Addis if I knew I could use them for both flat knitting and knitting in the round. Do you know where the best (i.e. cheapest) place to buy them is (online, I mean)?

I use my circs for EVERYTHING…for all the same reasons Ingy listed above. Just less cumbersome in general. :thumbsup:

You may want to consider buying an interchangeable set instead of individual Addis…there is a whole thread here to help you weigh the pros & cons of each brand.

Kelly and Ingrid, what size should I try? 16 inches? 24? I just have no idea what is “standard.”

You’ll need 16’s for a hat. The length of the needle must be smaller than the circumfrance (sp?) of your work…otherwise the sts wont stretch around.

If you buy a set of circs, that solves your problem for ALL of your projects!

I don’t have interchangeables, but I don’t even think they were available when I started out. I do think they are a good idea, though. When you consider that circs come in every size and length, there is a vast array of them out there. If you want to try them out, before you buy a set, or start collecting lots of sizes, find a pattern that you like that is in the round, maybe. If you want to just try them as flat, you really can go with any length.

As Kelly said, 16 is good for hat size, I’d say 24-29 is good for adult sweater size, some people only buy really long ones and do magic loop or work with 2 dpns. (Are you overloaded yet?)

Circs are not appropriate for small diameter knitting without the loop or two dpn techniques.

When I buy Addis I usually order them from because they generally have every size and are fast. I don’t know if they’re any more or less expensive, but the difference would only be a dollar or two.

There there’s always our who has a very good assortment of different types of needles, inexpensive.

this is where i have bought all my addis from

i have two sets of interchangeable boyes and i love them. i got the addis because boyes don’t get as small as 16". I have 4 more pairs that i want that i can’t find at a price i like and i will have all the circs i need.

i started using them because that is what the lady who taught me to knit handed me. she gave me bamboo. i don’t use the bamboos much anymore now except with slippery yarn. i love the longer lengths when knitting flat because i have more control over the movement it seems. but i have gotten pretty use to the smaller lengths too so whatever is comfortable for you.

i have never used any straights but for the flex shaft needles from Clover. they are great too but like was mentioned before, when i get up i tend to lose them. when i drop a needle with my circs it is still connected to my work! :thumbsup:

I’m sooo glad you asked this question as I have been wondering about it myself!! I’ve only been knitting about a couple months or alittle more and I have made a scarf, 2 potholders, and I’m working on a book of different washclothes for my kitchen. Yesterday I lost ( and still can’t find) my other size 8 straight needle so off to the store I went. They happen to be sold out of 8’s and since the project was already going I couldn’t change the size so I bought 8 in circs. I’ve found I like them alot better! :shock: :thinking: :?? Not only if I drop one it doesn’t roll away and im under the couch half the time chasing it, but they seem easier to handle ( I have small hands) and easier for me to work with. I think I’m going to have to hit Santa up for a set of interchangable ones and see what I can do with them. :rofling: :thumbsup: After this little experiment I dont think I’ll be buying anymore straights unless I really need to.

Thanks for all the replies and great info, everyone! :thumbsup: I’m excited to try circs and to look into interchangeable sets. Last night I was knitting with some new size 8 straights that were longer than any of my other needles. I found them soooo annoying - they kept knocking into the arms of my recliner. Kept thinking, “if only I have circs.” Thanks!

I was just inspired to song…
[i]Santa, Baby…
just stick some needles under the tree
for me
Ive been an awful good girl
Santa Baby
And hurry down the chimney toniiiight!

Santa Cutie…
a Knitpicks gift certificate, too
’Cuz Im due
for another yarn spree
Santa Baby,
And hurry down the chimney toniiiiight

Think of all the things Ill knit
Sweaters, hats and scarves and gloves
and oven mitts
Next year I could could make so much more
If you’ll check off my Christmas List

Boop boopy doo…

Santa Huney…
I want a swift
that would be my favorite gift
my ball winder needs a friend
Santa Baby…
And hurry down my chimney toniiiiight!![/i]

KK takes a bow

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: :rofling: :rofling: :rofling: I LOVE IT!!! glad I can inspire someone!!! :happydance: I’m gonna print that up and stick in on the frige! Make sure santa sees it in plenty of time! :thumbsup:


OH MY GOD!!! KK, you are hilarious!! That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen on here yet. Your employer is lucky to have such a creative person on staff. You need a raise!

But it just occurred to me that you may have written that on company time. :doh:


hee hee! Nope - I wrote it this morning at home over coffee!

I LOVE using circs for large flat knitting - I don’t like using straight needles over 10" as they are uncomfortable to use for continental knitters like myself esp if your chair has arms!


Unlike many of the super-experienced knitters here, I only just completed my third project. My first two were dishcloths (on straight needles). The one I just completed however was a scarf, that is flat, and I did it with circular needles.

Circs may take you a little to adjust to them but there is nothing that prevents you from using them just like regular needles. The biggest issue I found with them was getting the cable uncurled… it took soaking the needles in near boiling hot water for about 3-5 minutes for me to finally get them to stop curling.

Hey, that’s good to know. I have one circ that curls up too. Thanks for the idea :thumbsup:

Hey April… according to your signature… I am NOT normal…


[size=2](like this is a real surprise to anyone, including me…)[/size]

I just had a situation where my circs didn’t work for me. I had to make a lot of M1s in a pattern and it was so difficult with the points that were on the circular needle I was using–size 10 1/2. I switched to straights, which are pointer and no problem! I’m glad I had them.