Need advice on learning knitting in the round

I see a few other questions recently about this but I’m afraid I’m nowhere near as advanced as that. I am just trying to teach myself.

I wonder if it is better to start out with dpns or circ? I have some dpns but they are giving me a headache! Should I go buy some circs and give that a try? The dpns seem to be all over the place. They get in my way and I can’t keep my working yarn from tangling around them and my tension is all out of whack.

I want to learn both ways. But what is the general advice on learning round knitting for a complete beginner? Thanks!

It depends on what you’re making. A larger piece where all the stitches fit on a circular is pretty easy; you can make a smaller tube with longer needles too, but you use magic loop or single loop, so that can be just as fiddley as dpns to learn on. Look at the videos on the Advanced Techniques page to see how they work.

What are your dpns made of? Bamboo is less slippery than metal and would be easier to use. I’ve not personally used dpns much, I had circs and started knitting in the round with those. I use magic loop or traveling loop depending on how long my cable is and how many stitches are involved. You could also try 2 circs; some people prefer it and if your cable isn’t really flexible it works better anyhow. You can check out various methods here. Whichever way you decide, stick with it through the initial frustration and you’ll get the hang of it.

You can learn on a hat. Start with 16" circs (needle size will be based on the yarn weight) and then when you’re decreasing the top you can switch to DPN.

Yeah, my needles are aluminum. I’ll definitely be getting some bamboo ones. Watching the videos certainly helps. I think I will get some bamboo dpns and some 16" circs.

Is there much difference in quality for circ needles? Should they be bamboo too? I’m willing to spend a little more on the good stuff if it makes my life easier! Thanks all!

I ended up buying a set of interchangable needles because I got all the sizes in the set and it’s less expensive than buying a different set of needles in each length. I use them for knitting flat also. As for which ones and quality, it comes down to what you like and are comfortable with. I have Knit Picks Sunstruck needles, made of wood. Others prefer metal or even acrylic. So…it all depends. It’s really a personal choice.

The dpns will definitely be easier to handle in bamboo, for a circ, it’s up to you. I don’t think you need to consider an interchangeable set just yet - you can get a couple more needles as you need them. And with more experience you may find you prefer knitting things which take smaller sizes, or may prefer larger sizes. You can use circulars to knit flat with too, something around 30" in length is good for most things, adult sweaters and small blankets as well as flat scarves. And you can use that length for the magic and single looping of smaller things like hats and mittens. After you see how your first one goes.

You can get a fairly cheap set to see how you like Bamboo off Ebay. That is where I got my first set just to see if I liked working with them, if you do then you can invest in a better set. I personally like the Carbonized Bamboo and I dont order mine from China. Mine came from the USA. Most of them you can get with free shipping.
I love the circ’s better than the dpn’s I just use my dpn’s when I do cables. Good luck!

Most of the ebay bamboo sets have tubing for cords which is either inflexible or too flexible. They’re pretty thick too, which makes it hard to move the stitches than the cords on the standards needles. May be a bit of a problem for a newer knitter.

I taught myself to knit in the round with circular needles, and I love to use them! I actually bought an interchangeable kit, but only because I had a good coupon and got them for a pretty good price. I don’t know that I would recommend spending a lot of money in case you don’t like it.
With that said, I have played around with dpns a bit, but not too much to decide if I “like” them yet.

One thing I learned the hard way with knitting in the round was that garter stitch and stockinette stitch are reversed from knitting flat. In fact, my first project was a hat that was supposed to be stockinette stitch (which is knit every row when knitting in the round)…needless to say, I knitted it like I was knitting flat. :rofl: It was ok, my husband said he liked the hat I made for him anyway. :aww:

Good luck with your first project!

Working a hat on circular needles and then switching to dpns as Jan suggested is a good way to learn to work with dpns. At least you have a good knit base from which to work and the dpns aren’t flying off on their own. Even a project done solely with dpns is easier to start if you knit back and forth for a few rows and then switch to dpns and knit in the round.

OK, thanks for all the replies! Are these circ needles good enough to start with: Clover Bamboo 16’’ Circular Knitting Needle at Joanne’s. I have Hobby Lobby and Michaels nearby too.

I like the Clovers, so go ahead with them. I think they may be on sale at Joann’s this week, or you can use a coupon for them if they’re not.

They would be fine for the hat. I started with them and they weren’t super flexible, but for a 16" on a hat it wouldn’t be a problem. Your DPN should be about the same needle size when decreasing the top of the hat.

I’ve also got interchangeables now btw. When you’re ready to go that way some sets have a trial set.

Whichever you choose, double points or circulars, there’s one thing that a beginner should know. Every time you switch from one needle to the other, be sure the yarn is positioned BETWEEN the two needles or coming from the inside of the tube. This will prevent you from getting an unwanted yarn over. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I was always getting an extra stitch at the end. I was positioning the yarn behind the back needle instead of from the inside. There are tons of Youtube and other instructional videos out there on knitting in the round, but not one of them shows you that. I had to figure it out for myself.