Question about Needle Sizes


I have a knitting pattern that calls for US #2, 12" circular needles. However, I have every size except for 12s. What will happen to this if I use my 16" needles???

Thank you.

The 16" is really only good for the bottom of hat. You will probably have to choose another method of knitting in the round - DPN, Magic Loop, or two circular needles the same diameter. Check the video section for help if you don’t know how.

I will say here that many people do not like 12" circulars. They are much harder to knit with because the needles are very short because of the short cable. My preferred method is Magic Loop, but I’ve also used the other methods. the length of the cable for ML depends on what you’re making, but I like a 40" for most things.

What are you making. Knowing that helps.

Thank you much for the information. I thought the “magic loop” was only for casting on. If I don’t have the 12 inch circulars, then I am asking if a larger size will be okay.

Hello,thought I mentioned it was for a skull cap, but maybe I forgot to.

I also found a you tube video on the magic loop method. However can I follow that method even if the pattern only calls for in the round and not magic loop?

Hello okay I think I understand. When talking about the magic loop method, that just means working on a circular needle with the cord right? as opposed to DPNs

Hello, I meant to include this

this is for the skull cap. This is where I get confused. It says to cast on size 6 needles, then says to “join” in the round. How can I translate that onto the loop circular needles?"??

All the methods I told you about are for knitting in the round. Magic Loop method , two circs and DPN will wll knit in the round.
If you already have stitches on the needles you can just start knittting with the new needles.

This may be a video you’ve seen for magic loop, but about halfway through the video she demonstrates how to join in the round. It’s at the point where the actual knitting begins. Many patterns don’t specify how to knit in the round. You can choose whether you use dpns or circular needles or magic loop. Even when the pattern does specify a method, most times you can switch to your preferred method.

Yes, using dpns, or a long needle with magic loop is only a method for knitting in the round, you can use whatever you prefer. ML is not just to get started, you can use it for a whole project.

Sure, you can use longer sizes. I like to use the traveling loop for the ribbing and body of the hat. I then switch to magic loop for the decreases at the top of the hat. Another thing I want to mention is watch where your working yarn is when you are using either circulars in magic loop or double points. Your working yarn should be between the front and back needles (or coming from the inside of the tube) when switching from one needle to another. If you have your working yarn BEHIND both needles, you’ll end up with an unwanted yarn over at the end of your round. It took me a while to figure it out. The magic loop tutorials never explain that.

magic loop is SO much easier!! I have a 12" circular and it HURTS to knit with it!!!

You CAN use a 16" circular for this hat, but you’ll have to change to another method when you get to the decreases. The reason is because you get less and less stitches as you decrease and they will be too stretched out on the 16" cable and become impossible to do. This is why DPN, 2 circs or magic loop work well because you can knit the whole hat start to finish on one set of needles w/o changing methods.

I would agree, I don’t care for 12 inch. I have asked folks about their opinions on here and got the general consensus that 24, or nothing less than 40 even is good.

So, I will watch the magic loop video. Thank you so much. Hopefully the loop will help.

Hi, I just watched the video you provided for the magic loop, but she is working on circular needles with splitting them in half, etc. Someone told me that I can use the magic loop method with DPNs. If so, then how do you split the stitches?? Is there a video I can watch?? Thanks so much.

Okay, I just found this video, it explains the DPNs vs ML vs circs.

It’s great!!

LOL it hurts!!!

Do you knit with the loop even if the pattern doesn’t call for it??
I am trying to figure out how to do that!

If the pattern calls for knitting in the round or you just want to knit the item in the round, magic loop is one way of doing it. There are several ways to knit in the round: on a circular needle, dpns, single loop, magic loop, two circulars etc. The method you use to knit in the round is your choice.

Sometimes the loops stay pretty much in the same place and sometimes they move. It kind of depends on how long your cable is and the project. Just try magic loop and you’ll see how it works. It takes a bit of practice, but once you learn it it’s great to use for any circular project. :thumbsup:

You are so right. The videos are general. My main question was if a pattern calls for 5mm on 14 inch, can I use 5mm on 24 inch cable. Wont I just have more empty space? Thanks so much for your help. Thank you for the video!!!

Okay the video was awesome. So now when it refers to the “back” needle, that would be the one closest to me? Thanks.