Guide for circs

I haven’t been able to find anything that tells you how to gauge what length cable to get when knitting with circs. I want to use a straight needle pattern for a stocking cap but do it with circs. Thanks ahead of time to all you circ experts out there!

A circ is measured tip to tip, you don’t want one longer than the circumference of your knitting. For a hat, most people use 16". I use a 24 but I do a semi magic loop for the first few rounds. If you come across a circ that’s an inbetween length, anything up to 20" would be fine too.

You could always get a longer circ (32"+) and use Magic Loop.

i love magic loop and 2 circs. i will never make a hat with dpn’s. all i need is one long circ!

well wait though… if you are planning on knitting it flat, but on circs, you COULD use just about any circular needle for that. I find anything under about 20-24 inches a bit cumbersome to knit flat knitting with though. Of course, if you get too long then the cable can get in the way. 24 is usually perfect for me. It just depends on how big the item is that you are knitting.

umm but if you are planning on knitting it in the round, never mind! :wink:

Oh that’s right, you said you want to do it flat. Yeah, 24-29" is a good size for that. 32" can be a little too much cord and 36 or 40" is much too long unless you’re making a blanket.

I was told at my LYS that if the pattern doesn’t state a length a good guideline is to use 24".

I didn’t make myself clear and I apologize. I want to knit a seamless hat but using a pattern that only called for straight needles.

I appreciate all the help with this. I know that Elizabeth Zimmerman pretty much says never use anything over 24 I believe, but wasn’t sure how I should determine my cable length!

Thanks again for all the help. Oh and though I have the instructions on magic loop, I have yet to try it. I have to get my right brain around it since I am lefthanded! :lol:


Try here:

Scroll a fair way down the page until you come to

Sept. 27 2005 - Info. Dump circular needles