Knitting straight or circular

I’m always looking at free patterns and since I’m a beginner, I only knit with straight needles. (so far) So when I see a nice pattern and it calls for circular needles, I’m disappointed.

Question: If it calls for circular needles, can it be done as well with my straight ones? If so, what would be done different?


If I see a pattern for straight needles I use circulars. I think I only have one set of straights, but never use them.

To answer your question though… It depends on the pattern. If it’s something that is knit flat it can usually be done on straights. If it’s knit in the round it requires some type of circular or DPN to knit in the round. Some patterns like a blanket that is knit in one piece really are best on circulars because off the number of stitches.

You can usually find a comparable pattern knit in the method you prefer which is preferable to altering a pattern especially for a beginner.

Thanks, Jan. I guess the best solution is for me to learn to use my circular needles. I do have some. Now let me go and find a good video for this…:out:

Knitting with circulars is basically the same. One thing that trips new users up is accidentally joining in the round when knitting flat or knitting inside out when knitting in the round.

If you’re knitting flat just make sure your working yarn is coming from the left needle just like when you use straights. If your yarn is on the “wrong” end just slide it to the other needle.

If you’re knitting in the round you will be working on the outside of the circle/tube of knitting. There are multiple methods of knitting in the round. Personally I use magic loop, but I’ve used them all.

That French trapper hat would be a good first project for circulars, especially if you have a 16" needle or an interchangeable set. Once you get going in the round, it’s really fast and you don’t have to worry about a neat seam or anything.
If you want to knit right side out, keep the needle points toward you and the loop away. You can always use stitch markers for the start of the round, but you can also put a safety pin right under the first stitch and move it up as needed. If you have two circulars with the same size needles (they don’t have to be the same length) you can do the decreases at the top of a hat without double points.

Honest, it’s not hard!

Thank you, Becky, 'cause I really like that hat. So I would just be knitting 2 together a lot on that, right?? To get it to go smaller? Or I could check since I printed it out. lol

Now for Jan, tell me again what you mean by

One thing that trips new users up is accidentally joining in the round when knitting flat or knitting inside out when knitting in the round

I didn’t quite get that.

Here is a video that looks easy to follow and the one I will be going by, do you think it’s a good one?

Thanks to everybody…you are so patient. :slight_smile:

Yep. You can get fancy and do mirrored decreases, but k2tog works fine. (Slip, slip, knit is the mirror for it.)

A lot of us use circulars for almost everything because they’re easier to use and carry. After all, you can tie a loose overhand knot in a long circular so your stitches don’t come off :slight_smile:
Many afghan and cardigan patterns have you knit on circulars, but NOT join rounds. It’s a way to get the weight of the piece distributed better. If you ever knitted with long needles and a heavy afghan hanging off at the end of a row, you won’t want to do that again, so you use a circular and knit back and forth. The weight of the growing work will be more on your lap than on your wrists. Remind yourself where the row begins by any means necessary (and put a safety pin on to mark the outside/front/public side if you need to.) Otherwise, your cardigan turns into a pullover and your afghan turns into a child-size sleeping bag, and that’s not always a good thing.