Knitting in the round

I’m new to knitting, and I’m thinking about making an afghan by knitting in the round. I’ve looked at the videos on how to do it, but I was wondering how you would know when you have finished the end of a row? The pattern I want to use has you repeating the same sequence all the way to the end of the needle until you get to the last 5 stitches, and then it has you do something else. Don’t the stitches just keep moving along the needles as you knit? They don’t come off the needles like they do when you are using straight needles; right?! :thinking:

You generally place a stitch marker between the first and last stitch BUT, I suspect that your pattern doesn’t actually require you to work in the round. I suspect it’s supposed to be knit back and forth on circular needles which allow for longer rows than straight needles do.

It is possible it’s a double thickness blanket which could be knit in the round, or it could be knit in the round then steeked, but you should confirm that first.

My pattern says for me to use 31" Circular knitting needle for this afghan. Isn’t knitting in the round the same as a circular knitting needle??? If not, what is it?

Not at all. A circular knitting needle is a tool not a technique. You can knit flat or in the round with circulars. In fact, I knit almost everything on circulars because I prefer the way the weight is distributed. I highly suspect that your afgan will be knit back and forth on the needles, not in the round.

All you do is knit to the end of the row, turn everything around and knit back, just like working on straights.

My afghan is working with a circular needle, but the pattern doesn’t say anything about turning it around when I get to the end of a row; this is what a couple of rows are like:

Rows 1 and 2: pURL ACROSS.

row 3: (Right side): P5,K1, YO, K1 P4,P2 tog. twice, P4, K1 *(YO, K1) twice, P4, P2tog. twice, P4, K1; repeat from * across to last 6 sts, YO, K1, P5.

ROW 4: Purl across.

ROW 5: P5, K1, *YO, K2, P3, P2tog. twice, P3, K2, YO, K1; repeat from * across to last 5 sts, P5.

etc.,etc., etc.

the telling word in your pattern really is “across.” if you were truly knitting in the round then there would be nothing to knit or purl “across.” It would be talking in rounds. Patterns aren’t often going to tell you to turn your work unless it is in an unexpected spot because it is assumed that you will do that when you get to the end of the row.

think about this. let’s say that the pattern tells you to cast on 150 stitches. if you were to knit them in the round your blanket would essentialy be only 75 stitches wide. not a great cuddling size though it would be delightfully thick.

also, most patterns that are done in the round will actually tell you to place a marker and join so that you know where the beginning is.

this one isn’t done in the round but you will still likely really like doing the work on the circs because they just seem to make work easier. at least it does for me. you don’t have to worry about where your needles disappear to when you put the work down and the weight is nicely distributed so you don’t have so much weight on the needles. Good luck!!

I agree with brendajos, there is no indication that this piece is worked in the round. It’s generally assumed that pieces are worked flat unless otherwise indicated, but there is another clue.
See how it says “ROW 1”. If it were knit in the round it would say “Round 1”.
Do go ahead and try knitting this flat (back and forth) on circulars. I think it’ll begin to make sense. The most likely reason why it is being knit on circulars is because there are just too many stitches to fit comfortable on a single straight knitting needle.

Thank you all for your help. I am knitting on circular needles for this pattern and it works great. I’m so glad that I found this knitting site. I knew how to knit a little bit, but since I’ve found this site, I’ve already knit a poncho, and now I’m doing this afghan. When I finish this, I would like to try a cardigan or some type of sweater. I love those short sweaters. I’m not sure what they are called, but I would love any information on some free patterns for thos if anyone has any.

Thank you all again,


I think you are thinking of a shrug. Search google for:
free knit shrug pattern
and you should get lots of hits.
Knitty also has a few so you can go through their archives if you like.
Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do great. :thumbsup: