New to circular needles

I’m not at all new to knitting; I’m nineteen and have been knitting since I was ten, but I’ve never used circular needles. I just bought a pair of circular needles today to try to teach myself how to use them. I have a pattern for the scarf I want to make but I don’t want to start on that until I’m sure I know how to use them. The needles are US size 8 and 29" long. The pattern calls for 12"-16" and they were the only ones I could find at Walmart in that size. Can I still use the 29" needles to make the scarf? Or will I have to find different needles?

Hi and welcome to Knitting Help!
It depends on the scarf pattern. You can use circular needle to knit back and forth just the way you would use straight needles. You can also use circulars to knit a tube but the diameter is somewhat dependent on the length of needle you’re using. Short circular needles can be used to make small diameter tubes (hats) and longer circulars can be used to knit larger diameter tubes (sweaters). Very long circulars can be used to knit various size tubes using a technique llke magic loop.
The fact that your pattern calls for 12-16" needles makes me think it’s a scarf knit as a small tube and for that you’ll either need the 12-16" or say a 40" long circular for magic loop. Can you tell us what the pattern is or give us a link to it?

If you’re going to need to knit in the round you can still use them, but you’ll have to use a different technique too. Look at the magic loop video on the Advanced Techniques page, or this one for single loop which will probably suit your needle length and scarf width a little better.

Salmonmac - Thank you for the welcome! It does call for making it a tube. The pattern is here:

Suzeeq - I’ll definitely give the video a look! I don’t know anyone who knits with circular needles, so I was rather excited when I found this forum. (: