What length circular needles?

I’m trying to start a project; I want to make a long tank top that I can wear over other t-shirts. This is the first garment I’ve attempted (other than socks) and I don’t have a pattern, so I don’t know what to do. I’m thinking I’ll use worsted weight cotton yarn on size 6 circular needles. But what length circular needles should I use? Not having a pattern I haven’t decided EXACTLY how big or small to make it; the smallest circumference could be 32 inches, and the largest circumference would probably not be any bigger than 45 inches.

When you knit in the round with circular needles is the circumference of the finished object bigger than the length of the circular needles? if so, by how much is it bigger? What length needles would be best for my shirt with a circumference ranging from 32 - 45 inches?

Make sure you do a gauge swatch for the pattern first. Unless you’re a loose knitter 6 is a little small. Most worsted weight yarns recommend a 7 or 8.

Is the pattern you’re doing flat or in the round? If you’re knitting in the round a 32 should be fine unless you’re making a very small size. Usually the fabric bunches up a bit on the circular needle and that’s fine. To try it on you put it on a couple circulars or better a thinner piece of yarn or dental floss.

Well I don’t have a pattern I just have this idea in my head. I made a swatch on size 6 needles using some worsted weight cotton that I already had and it seemed fine for what I want.

I’m going to knit it in the round. I want to knit it straight up like a tube. I thought I heard somewhere that when you knit in the round on circular needles the finished object is bigger than the length of the needles. Like if I knit something in the round on 29" needles would the finished object have a circumference of 29" or would it be bigger?

Worsted cotton on size 6s is going to be dense and heavy because you’ll use more yarn. Use a lot larger needle especially if you’re going to wear it over other shirts, a 10 or 10½ wouldn’t be too loose.

The size of the item will depend on how many sts you cast on. With a 29" needle you need at least as many sts that will measure 29" or larger. You can knit up to 50" around on that size needle, just nothing smaller. Figure how many sts per inch you get, then multiply by the finished size you want. If your bust is 33", then cast on 33" worth; if it’s 36" then you need 36" worth of stitches.

If you have to…if you’re very small then you could use a 24", but I think a 32" is best for most people.

I like the 29" needles pretty well, though I don’t think they’re being made much anymore.

im glad to be here.

I already have some 29" 10½ needles that I made a swatch on using some worsted weight acrylic and I thought that might be too big; but I’ll rethink that. I don’t want it to be too hot; I live in the south, it get’s hot here. Thanks!

If you don’t want it hot, don’t use acrylic, it’s quite warm, suitable for sweaters, but not tank tops. An acrylic/cotton blend isn’t too bad, but an all cotton would be better.

On a whim, I went looking for cotton tank top patterns, and found this, which sounds like what you’re describing. Maybe looking at this pattern will help you come up with yours:

http://www.purlbee.com/leah-tunic/ (uses fingering weight cotton)

This one uses worsted weight cotton:


suzeeq: I was just using acrylic because I had it and I was trying to figure out what size yarn and needles to use. I’m going to use cotton. But thanks. :slight_smile:

cftwo: The pattern that uses worsted weight looks a lot like what I was thinking of. Thanks!

Okay, though a cotton yarn may give you a different gauge than you got with the acrylic, so check what it is so you cast on the right number of stitches.

Okay I will. Thanks!