User guide for circular needle


I’m a newbie to this knitting community. I would like to switch to circular needle.

If you have tips for me to help me starting.

Thank you

Welcome to KH! What do you mean you want to switch to circular needle? Are you in the middle of a project or do you just want to use them in place of straights?

Knitting with circulars is really just like knitting with straights. You just have a cable connecting the needles. You do have to take into consideration what you want to knit so you know what size cable to use and there are a few different methods to use with circulars.

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Thank you for your message.

I have always use straights needles and i’m a bit scared to start with the circular but sounds fun.

I will start with a hat.


Before you start you need to know this info- There are three ways to use circular needles for knitting in the round. I’ll add some links, too.

  1. 16" circular needle - This works well up until you need to decrease for the crown. Then you need to use another method of circular knitting such as DPN, magic loop, or 2 circulars. Because of the length of the cable you can’t use this method for small diameter knitting which is why it doesn’t work at the top of a hat.

  2. Two circular needles - You can start and finish a hat with this method. You need to circulars with the same size needles. The cable should be the same length, but it will work even if one cable is a little longer.

  3. Magic Loop - You can start and finish a hat with this method. You need one long circular needle. The shortest length you can use comfortably is probably 32". I prefer 40" because there’s less pulling on the joins. I use this method almost exclusively now for in the round knitting of hats and socks.

There IS one more method for knitting in the round- DPN. I learned by doing the top of a hat, but now I only use them for very small diameter knitting like stuffed animal legs, etc.


My name should be DPN ! :laughing: LOL !!
There is a DVD on knitting in the round using DPNs
by Lucy Neatby. When you get familiar with them the
control factor becomes greater. Some good 10 " ones
made of birch wood by Brittany needles. Go to; for a humungus selection of
needles. Also, any stitch pattern where you have to slide
the work to the other end, you need DPNs. Especially
"Two Color Brioche" knitting. However, you should learn
every technique for knitting in the round. :blush:
They all come in handy at one time or another ! !

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@Wolfie You’re nuts… circs are so much easier. LOL :joy: To each his own. :slight_smile:


Thank you very much for your advices. First i need to find an easy pattern and i’m on it.

For the moment i’m just finishing a baby hat with straights needles :relaxed:

Thank you very much so kind to get some advices.

Without bashing mfgrs, there is one make/model readily available that I have tried and will never buy another one. At the point where the cable attaches to the needle there is a bend or crook. Perhaps because I knit too tightly, moving the stitches from the cable back on to the other needle is frustrating to say the least! And the “cable” is like nylon fishing line with a “memory” that won’t straighten out or relax.

Is there a brand available that has a more relaxed or pliable cord?

I love Addis. They’re a little expensive but I’ve never regretted buying them.
I’ve done battle with curly or stiff cables and lumpy joins, and don’t want to go through that again!

There are many types and brands. Personally I’m not a huge fan of Addis. I’m a loose knitter, but I found the cable bends sometimes near the needle and stays that way. A few of my friends had it happen, too. It’s not a big deal, but annoying to spend so much and have it happen.

One of my favorites are Knitter’s Pride Dreamz. I also have Knitpicks Options nickel plated and I like them, too. I choose needle material based on yarn.

And always make sure the cables don’t have memory and are flexible. Most of the better brands are good. None of the ones I bought in craft stores have worked well for me. I’ve tossed them all.