substituting straight needles for circular

Hi there, I have found a pattern i like but it uses circular needles which I haven’t used before, is it possible to substitute straight needles for the circular ones or is it too difficult.
The pattern is Premier Yarns Olivia cardigan. Thank you.

I think it can depend on why the designer used circular needles - they’re not too much different to knit with once you’re used to them. Some patterns call for them because they have, or will end up having a lot of stitches, even if they’re not being knitted in the round. It can be easier to handle a lot of stitches on a circular needle rather than straights or DPNs.

Thank you for your quick reply, I’ve come to the conclusion that I must try circular needles as so many patterns call for them, now to look for a simple pattern to start with!

You’re welcome!

Hi Nantyci,
For quite a while, I was apprehensive about learning how to knit with circular needles and spent a couple of years only knitting with straight needles. Like you, however, I was intrigued with many of the patterns that called for circular knitting and decided to give it a shot. Lo and behold, I loved it! The trick is to try not to worry about doing things “perfectly” the first time and also to allow yourself the mental room to make mistakes; it’s not the end of the world and it is the very best way to learn. The other nice thing about circular knitting is that there is usually less seaming involved, which I really like! Lastly, this forum is the best place to ask for help, so you are in good hands here!


Thank you Claudia for such an encouraging message. I have decided to bite the bullet and order some circular needles for my next project, I have learned in the short time I’ve been knitting that mistakes happen all the time! so a few more with circular needles won’t be a problem and anything that reduces the need for seaming has my backing. Thank you again, I shall try to let you know how I get on!!

You have already conquered the hardest step of " taking the leap" - please let us know how your project goes and I cannot reiterate enough: use this excellent forum when you feel stuck; they are always there and always helpful and encouraging!

Hi! As the others have said, circulars sound more intimidating than they are. I have found my elbows relax more with them, than with straight needles. Not to mention the seaming!

I love circular needles and will often convert flat patterns into in the round! Stick with them. You’ll love it.

Thankyou Claudia Daphnie and Jo for the encouragement, I really can’t go back now !!!


Years and years ago I read a book by Elizabeth Zinmerman (I have first printing). I’ve not used straights since then. Another way is start with one circ or dps, go round a bit, then use two circs (same size). I am always sure to knit at least one or two sts from the next needle when you finish the one you are working with.

When doing socks I sometimes use dps. Purling is not my thing tho I’ve learned to do it with yarn in back so when I do ribbing I don’t have to keep switching front to back to front.

Do what works for you.