Saturday, 22 November 2014

knitting with circular needles

strictly speaking, I'm using circular needles here to knit a flat piece of knitting, but it is so comfortable and look how much knitting I can get on the needles!
Earlier this week I finally learned to do something which has been on my 'knitting to do' list for ages - knit with circular needles. This is something that I have wanted to do for so long because there is actually a finite number of things to be knitted on straight needles, but now I say NO MORE to avoiding patterns on Ravelry that state they are 'in-the-round' - I am a liberated knitter!

That was a super geeky thing to type, and strictly speaking I could already knit in the round on double pointed needles, but I really am so excited that I now know how to use the mysterious contraptions that are circular needles, and even know that wondrous technique that is the 'magic loop', particular after friend B and ladies at my knitting group all go on about how much easier circular needles are to use.

So this is all leading up to me sharing with you how I learnt to do this (as a mostly self-taught knitter using the wonders of the internet!) so that if you want to learn too, you can.
image my own of product purchased from Amazon

First things first, you will need some circular needles to work with. As I was looking for as large of range of sizes as possible - because who knows what exciting knitting adventures we will go on as we grow up - I bought this set of 18 bamboo circular knitting needles. I did so because I saw last month that the lovely Elise over on Foof and Faff had bought a set, and from further enquiries on Twitter she said they were worth the pennies.

So far I have transferred a diabolically difficult scarf onto a set of these, and learned how to knit a tube on another pair, and for the £3.20 that you pay for the lot - yes, you read that correctly, £3.20 - I think that this set is worth it, particularly for a beginner circular knitter. Just be prepared for some sticking of your knitting as you often find with new needles, but nothing that can't be worked through, and I am in no hurry to spend more money on needles.

my next project to cast on! a hat for a christmas present
How to
Using circular needles is as easy as pie(patronising alert..but I like the term so much) if you want to work a large project flat, you simply carry on like you normally would with straight needles and the plastic connector (technical term alert..) will carry the weight of your knitting, which actually makes it more comfortable to hold the  work in progress - bonus!

However if you want to knit in the round you will need a teacher or a good online tutorial. After some quick googling I came across this absolutely perfect lesson for using the magic loop technique, for when your knitting is too small for the length of your needles. Tin Can Knits have an easy photo step-by-step guide on how to knit with the magic loop which I picked up on the first run through, and would heartily recommend. And the best part is that it is easily transferable if you are knitting something larger and don't need to magic loop, you simply knit in the round continuously, marking your rounds with a stitch marker.

I'm really looking forward to making lots and lots of things with all my circular needles - but I do have one problem now, how do I store them all neatly? Any hints or tips?


  1. Yay glad you like the needles! I avoided in the round patterns for so long too and I'm kicking myself now I know how easy they are! I just cast on a jumper for Tam which will easily be my biggest make yet, hope the needles stand up to it ;)

    1. yeah they are so great! and such a satisfying price :p I know right, it is so straight forward and awesome and exciting! hehe aww I'm sure that it won't be a mistake :) I hope they do tooo! jenny xx

  2. Congtats on learning something new! It's always very satisfying! I keep my circulars in little clear pouches with ziplock fasteners... not sure where I got them but they keep the needles nice and tidy, mabe a make up case might do?! Enjoy the rest of your knitting in the round! x

    1. thanks - it really is! thats a great idea, thanks for the hint! I will look into that for sure. I keep all my crochet hooks in a pencil case so i see some similarities there. oh I will :) jenny xx

  3. Hurrah! I bought my circulars from Lidl when they had them one day. I've made two Stephanie Japel Shapely Boyfriend cardigans woth them (the body is back-and-forth but curved so easier on bendy needles) and a Andi Satterlund Miette - and this time last year I could barely knit! Hurrah for going for it.

    1. gosh Lidl! I love how knitting has become to popular now you can buy supplies from the most unexpected of places! gpsh well done! I'm yet to knit any garments that I am happy to wear really, but I have a good feeling about that now I have the needles for it :) thanks so much for commenting! And well done it sounds like your knitting has come on in leaps and bounds!! jenny xx