Length of my Circs

Do I have to use the length recommended by the pattern? I know that if I am knitting in the round I can’t make anything with a diameter smaller than my circs, but can I use smaller circs than the diameter of my project? Maybe I cast on too tight or knit too tight, but I’ve found that when the pattern calls for 16" I’m more comfortable with 12".

Right now I am working on the princess hat in New Knits on the Block, and I couldn’t connect the ends of my cast on with the needle length she recommended. It had me so worried that I did an extra gauge swatch. I finally just put on a shorter cord. I’ve been checking my gauge along the way, and it seems fine. Have I doomed myself?

I don’t think there’s any doom in order. Especially since you’re gauge is checking out ok.

I’ve noticed that when I use circulars to knit baby afghans, I can have a much wider afghan on the needles than their actual length. The part of the knitting that is on the cable tends to bunch up and take up less length than if the piece were expanded to it’s actual size.

I’ve found in my experience, it’s definitely okay to use a smaller circular needle as long as you can fit all of your stitches on it. I don’t like to have to stretch them all around the needle and cable if it’s fitting tightly, so I tend to use the smaller one. Works like a charm for me :happydance:

Thanks that is what I was thinking, but I wanted to make sure. That makes me happy, I would much rather have my stitches scrunching up than straining to get all the way around my needle.:thumbsup:

The general rule is, for flat knitting, you can use any length that pleases you. For knitting in the round, always use a smaller circumference.

The reason the number of cast on stitches might not fit all the way around a recommended needle length is because they’re about 80% of the actual size of the same number after you knit a few rows. So use the smaller ones if it’s more comfortable for you, use longer ones if you need to later on.

With sweaters, I use a 24" needle for the ribbing and the first 4 inches of knitting, then I change to a 32" - 40" needle, depending on who I’m working the sweater for, like for myself, I use a 32", but for other people,I might use a 40".