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Round and Round: Circular Knitting


Round and Round Circular knitting article on Love to Sew.

Circular knitting, also called knitting in the round, looks a lot trickier than it actually is. In fact, there are some knitters who only use circular needles because they donít like to purl. Itís an important skill for a knitter because there are some projects where circular knitting is necessary.

So what is circular knitting? Itís a style of knitting done with one long needle. Circular needles have wooden, or metal ends to actually do the knitting with and are connected by a plastic cord. Theyíre often used in projects like hats or mittens. When you knit in the round, you end up with a project thatís already circular, so thereís no need to sew up any seams.

If youíd like to try using a circular needle, you can simply cast on your stitches and begin knitting. Youíll see that once you finish knitting your first row, you wonít have to change hands as you do with two needle knitting. All you have to do is slide your knitting along the plastic cord from the right needle to the edge of the left needle and begin again.

Once you are ready to tackle your first knitting in the round project, the most important thing is the length of the needle. Not only do circular needles follow the same sizing rules as straight needles, they also have length distinctions and they are very important. For example, if your project is a hat, you know that the diameter of a hat is going to be something between 15 and 20 inches, approximately. If you choose to use a 32 inch long circular needle, your project will be stretch and you may not even be able to connect the two ends. When working with a pattern, it will always tell you not only the size of the circular needle, but also the length.

Circular knitting is the same as standard knitting, except if youíre planning on a project that has to be knit in a circular fashion. One youíve cast on and knit your first row, joining it into one circle is very easy. You simply slide each end of the row to the tips of each end of the circular needle. In your left hand should be the first stitch you knit where you began and in your right hand should be the end with the yarn trailing to your skein. With the strand of yarn, knit into the first stitch on the left needle. Be sure to keep these stitches pulled firmly, but never too tightly as it will stretch the yarn. Though it may take some time to master this, it becomes easy and all you have to do is keep knitting.

by Sarah Carbone






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