what exactly is knitting in the round? Is it where you use two ended needles and cast on to three or four of them to make a “round” item? is it the same result as using a circular needle?
Yes to both questions. You can use a set of double pointed needles (called dpns for short) or a circular needle, or even 2 circulars that kind of act like dpns with a cord between 2 needles.
You can knit in the round for socks, hats, mittens or gloves, sleeves and sweaters. Or knit a flat but round blanket. Circular needles can also be used to knit flat instead of straight needles and many of us prefer to use them that way too. You just don’t join the sts into a circle after you cast on, but turn and knit back just like with straights.
Thanks suzeeq I have seen a few patterns with the dpns suggested but not circular needles…it looked like i could use either.
If you use normal circular needles on a small item, like a sock or gloves, the sts won’t reach around. But - you can use 2 circs or or use what’s called the Magic Loop technique. If you look at the Advanced Techniques page, there’s videos that show different ways to knit in the round, no matter what needles you use.