How to knit circularly

Just can not understand how to do anything on circular needles. Where to start and keep going. Your help will be much appreciated. Thanks

Hi @Marg14, I moved your post to it’s own thread so it doesn’t get lost or clutter up Pauline’s thread.

You can use circular needles to do almost anything. You can knit flat with them (like a blanket, scarf, cardigan) or you can knit in the round so the project doesn’t have seams (like a pullover, hat, cowl or even some scarves.) What is it you’d like to learn to do?

For instance(s):

Top down sweater (in the round): Cast on 6 (shoulder), marker, 12 (back), marker, 6 (shoulder, marker. Knit back and forth increasing at the markers every other row and at the ends every row until you get enough added between the ends to join for the front. Knit 30 rows, join the markers.
Add skeins for the arm(s) decrease at the elbows.
Back to the body, go round and round until it’s long enough.

Hat (in the round): Cast on enough to fit your head and pattern, plus one. K2tog first and last stitch. Go round and round until it’s long enough to start the dome. Decrease according to the type of top you want,
Tie off.

Wash cloth (flat): Go back and forth.

Have you searched YouTube? I find everything knitting I need to know there!

Is it finding the beginning of the row that’s troubling you? Place a stitch marker there.

Yes, youtube was the answer for me. I was so chicken to try circulars but determined. So I guess I watched every youtube video out there on knitting with circulars and I finally got it, with lots of here from here, too.

Hi Jan,
To start with I must know what size ndls to use. Then after CO the amount of sts. I always pull out the wrong ndle to start knitting. Thanks for letting me know that cir ndles can be used for knitting anything like mentioned in your reply. What about socks? I can follow and knit socks but my problem is the HEEL. Just can not understand? Where can I find a simple pattern to follow on cir ndles. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Videos and links go too fast. Many thanks. Marg14

Well, let’s see… I’ll try and answer each bit -

Do you mean what size? Size is dependent on what yarn you want to use, what you’re making and what your own gauge is. The same holds true for straight needles. Obviously if you want to knit a lacy shawl you’ll need a different size than a warm sweater. Socks usually use tiny needles unless you’re making slipper socks with heavier yarn.

This depends on what pattern, yarn and sometimes size. You’d cast on more stitches for a sweater than for socks.

You mean when you’re knitting in the round? That just takes practice.

Are socks what you want to knit? Thin socks or thicker ones? Slipper socks would be easier to learn on. To knit socks you need to double pointed needles, circular needles with a long cable for magic loop or two circulars of the same size. We can suggest patterns, but need to know what you want to do. Videos are the easiest way to explain things. Can you take a class at a yarn store?

Hi Jan,
Many thanks for your prompt reply. Will try to follow your points above and when I get stuck I shall come back to you. Have a lovely day. Thanks Marg14

I had trouble with starting on circulars too. Here’s a tip:

After u cast on the correct number of sts (using the long tail cast on), hold the needles with 1 needle in each hand. Hold the needle with the LAST st u cast on in your left hand. That will be the needle with the yarn hanging from it. That’s where u start knitting. Hope that helps


Many thanks knitcindy2 I shall try out your suggestion and let you know if I could get the gist of the cir ndle. Cheers. Marg14

I’m not sure if I should ask this in another thread but I’m also trying to psych myself into using circulars because so many patterns I like use them. I’ve watched a lot of videos and wondered what you thought about whether two circular needles (different color for each pair) would be an easier way to start out? Thanks a lot. Also don’t know what I’d do without Youtube vids!

That’s perfectly fine and one of those things that’s good to know so go for it. :slight_smile:

I love will be really happy when I finally learn how to do it. I was wondering whether you thought trying out the two circular needle method, with two different colors, would be the best choice of circular knitting to use for my first. I know people prefer different methods but in case there’s an advantage to the two circular needle method I love to know your feelings on it :slight_smile: Thanks again! (promise, my last question on this)

I don’t think there is an advantage to it as it’s still circular knitting. Each method (DPN, magic loop, 2 circs) all have their pros and cons. When I first learned DPN I used a 16" circular and then DPN on the top. When I started socks magic loop seemed too confusing so I did two circulars. Now that I’m familiar with all three I prefer magic loop. One is not really better than another they are just different methods. I know people who only do DPN and others who like two circs. Most do magic loop.

1 Like

Thanks so much :slight_smile:

It should be fun trying them out!

Have you ever made a hat on 24" circulars, and when it came down to decreasing then made the same 24" needle into magic loop?

That’s really too short to make loops for magic loop. You might be able to do single loop, but honestly I find that it’s so small it kind of stretches out the stitches on the loop end. I prefer a 40" for ML. It’s long enough to create two loops that can cross at the join and not pull.

Makes sense. I guess this hat will end with dpns.
What are you knitting these days?

A hat. :joy: I’m making this one. This is the second one I’ve made.

For some reason my project that’s on the needles on shows in the Hats category so click that (on my page) if you want to see what I’m actually knitting.

What? I thought you had a long cable for knitting magic loop?