Knitting in the round DESPERATE pls help!

Hi all! I am a fairly new knitter and am having some frustrations with knitting in the round. Can someone offer tips on how to decrease the width of the seams between each of the 3 needles? I’ve tried holding the needles differently, wrapping the yarn around my pinky and index finger and trying to knit tighter…but I can’t get rid of the darn seams! And they’re super noticeable! Someone told me that when I was done knitting my piece, I can soak it in cold water for about 45 mins and that would make all the stitches even - is this true? I’m sure there is something I’m missing…is there a video I can watch or a link to find helpful hints to decreasing the seams? Or any tips?

In addition, I bought a 16" circular needle to knit leg warmers on, but when I cast on my stitches, they don’t fill the needles (appx. 42 sts, I’m petite) and I can’t figure out if there is a way to knit on circular needles if the sts don’t fill up the entire needle from tip to tip. I would much rather knit on the circular rather than 3 double pointed needles.


Those are called ‘ladders’ and can be common in small items. Pulling the first stitch more tightly can actually make it worse. And yes, blocking or washing it when your done will even out the sts, you can even try it with what you have now. It can help to do the first st on a needle with regular tension, then pull the yarn and do the next stitch tighter. Sometimes they can be minimized by using a set of 5 dpns instead of 4.

To knit something smaller than your circular you can try the magic loop or single loop method. ML is shown on the advanced techniques page but your circ is too short for that; a video for single loop is here.

Thank you so much, Sue. I watched the video and will give it a shot later on today. However, do I need as much extra length on the needle to do single loop for something small like leg warmers? On the 16" with 42 sts I would only have about 1-2 inches of cable. Should I assume that’s not enough and go to a bigger cable length? I’m about 1/2 way through the first leg warmer and I’m wondering if I should just start over doing single loop instead because the ladders are driving me crazy.

With the single loop you can manage 42 sts on a 16" pretty well. You could practice it with some other yarn until you get it down and see how it works.

I suspect that you are going to need to go to a larger needle to comfortably do single loop. There’s not much free play in the 16" needle.

I can do single loop with a 16" clover and the cord isn’t real flexible or the tips very short.

I tried doing the single loop, but what was happening was I would knit say 2 or 3 sts, than would have to push them on over the cable and around to the back end of the piece because something was getting jammed up (I’m not sure if this makes any sense)…then my sts got too tight to knit again, I guess because they were more the size of the cable and not the needle, that I had to cut my sts off the needles. I’m not sure I connected them together properly after I cast on. It seemed to be a tight circumference maybe? I really don’t want to go out and buy a bigger cable if I can avoid it. Do you know if there is a video of how to cast on for a small diameter project using single loop? I feel so confused. Thanks for your help!

See if this tutorial helps. It’s long tail cast on but it starts at the beginning of the work.

I’ve never managed to come up with a way to avoid the ladder, so I knit a couple of extra stitches whenever I finish a needle. That way the slightly dodge stitches are directly above each other. It’s not a perfect solution, as many patterns rely on keeping the stitches on the same needles throughout the pattern, but it’s an easy solution for now.

I also recommend giving a 5 needle set a shot. I know I couldn’t get the hand of the triangle shape of 3 needles, but the square shape of 4 fixed my problems. It seemed more intimidating, but it was actually easier. The square is closer to the tube shape you are making than a triangle.

I think unless you are a tight knitter, you probably arent pulling tight enough where the joins are. Pulling too tight can cause ladders as well, but the key is at the start of each needle, place the right hand needle very close to the last stitch knitted, and pull tightly enough to take up slack between the stitches, but don’t just pull the yarn as hard as you can. It becomes second nature after a while.

Thank you all. I’ve gotten it down. New problem…I’m making stirrup leg warmers, which required me to CO 17 sts, which I did fine. I cannot figure out how to CO the new 17 sts to finish making the heel, because they keep ending up on the wrong needle, or the yarn is in the wrong spot. I attached an image of where I’m at, hopefully you can help, in most simplistic terms, how to re-cast on…and THANK YOU in advance for taking the time to help this novice knitter. Much appreciated :slight_smile:

You need to use the knit or cable cast on - move the R needle to your L hand, CO and put the needle back to the Right and finish knitting the round. The new sts don’t get knit until the next round.