New Knitter w/ Circular Needle Question

Hello everyone – I just discovered this site a week ago or so, and I love what you’ve done, Amy! The videos have been enormously helpful, and I’ve discovered that I am, by nature, a Continental knitter. I believe I happened into this style because my Swedish grandmother taught me to knit many, many years ago, and I have a feeling I just naturally went the way she taught me even though the book I was using recently was showing English style.

Anyway, that is all beside the point, and the question I have today has to do with circular knitting. I am getting ready to knit a backpack from Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick (No, I’m not a kid anymore :slight_smile: ), and it calls for size 9 24" needles. Well, I was only able to find a size 8 29" set when I was at Hobby Lobby recently. Is there a way to make these work?

Thanks so much. I’ve enjoyed the conversations on here and look forwad to joining in.

It really depends on your gauge when you knit your swatch. If you use the size 8’s and get the same recommended gauge, then your backpack will turn out the same size they tell you. If you get more stitches per inch with the smaller needles, then your backpack will still turn out, but it will be smaller.

Kimmie –

Thank you for the feedback. This is such a beginner project that it doesn’t even recommend a gauge, although they do recommend you practice checking it. My concern lies more with using a longer cable with the needles than was recommended. Am I going to have trouble getting the stitches to join properly???

Okay, I didn’t even notice in your first post where you mentioned the different lengths of the circular needles. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure you can use the longer length circ. needles, though it’s just a little more work. I’d cast on the stitches, then pull the excess cable out (in a sort of loop), between two of the stitches somewhere in the middle. Join your yarn, being careful not to twist. As you knit around, you’ll have to continue pulling the excess cable out in different spots, maybe once or twice per round. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I think it’ll work. If somebody can explain this more clearly, please do!

I had another thought yesterday as I was pondering this … I also have a size 13 circular needle which is 29" long – I’m wondering if the increased gauge of the needles would make up for the additional length of the cable.

I guess trying it is the best thing. I really want a set of Needlmasters for my b-day (coming up), but I don’t want to wait that long!!

Is my newness to this craft showing??? :oops:

Well. the length of the circular needles is to accomodate the amount of yarn you have on the needle. If you put more stitches and/or bulkier yarn, then you’ll fill up more of the length. So, for example, if you are knitting a baby hat, you’d want to use a shorter length circ needle. If you are knitting an afghan, you’d want a loooonnnnngggg circ needle so that you could fit all of your stitches on. In either case, you could conceivably be using the same needle size, just a different length for your purpose.

Everybody starts out new, right? The only way to learn is to ask questions and experiment. The coolest thing about knitting is that there is always something new to learn, no matter how long you’ve been knitting, so that keeps it fun.

… so I decided to just forge ahead and cast on some stitches and try out the circular needles. The first part of the backpack I endeavor to make is flat, but I thought it would be good practice to knit it on the circulars to see how they feel.

Well, I’m kind of enjoying them (and I love the yarn I’m using), but, darn it, what do you do w/ that annoying curly cable??? These needles are brand new, and the cable just keeps curling up on itself, and I’m finding it a bit of a wrestling match to work with the whole mess.

Does anyone have any suggestions for straightening out the cables on the needles, or do they just have to be broken in?

Thanks once again for listening.

Hmmm, I remember other threads about this. I think someone mentioned boiling water?? Let me snoop around for a bit.

Here we go. Previous threads as follows:

Circ tips

This is copied and pasted from a larger thread:

yay! I know the answer to this one! try boiling water , give them a good tug to straighten, and then instead of balling them up in your knitting bag, either make or buy a hanging circ needle holder. That will keep them straight and un-kinky while you’re not using them. There’s a pattern in Stitch and Bitch for a holder, and here’s a link if you just want to buy one… or just check it out and make your own. I didn’t follow a pattern when I made mine, and it was still easy, you just need minimal sewing skills (ie. you can cut fabric and and sew a striaght line… you mnight not even need a sewing machine, you could use that fusible webbing stuff)

Good luck :slight_smile:

Oh, thank you, thank you! :lol:

Off to put a pot on the stove now!!