How to choose Circular Knitting Needles
How to knit with circular needles
Knitting is so therapeutic, isn't it? There's something about this activity that takes your mind off all the worries and keeps you engrossed for wee hours. It indeed feels like an accomplishment when you hold the fruit of your hard work in your hands, a knitted blanket or sweater.
But sometimes, knitting can be confusing, especially for beginners, due to the various choices. For instance, should you use circular knitting needles or straight ones? Which one will offer you more ease? What are the best circular knitting needles? How to knit in the round? These are some of the questions which can leave you overwhelmed.
But don't worry. If you are new to the world of knitting, we are here to make the journey feasible for you and tell you everything about circular knitting needles and more.
What are circular needles?
Not many people know that circular needles go way back. Indeed, initially, these were the needles most commonly used for knitting projects.
Circular knitting needles refer to all those needles that offer you the opportunity to knit in the round. They can either have a cord permanently attached between them or some are interchangeable. Before looking at the circular knitting needles set, you need to know more about this handy tool.
Various materials are used to make circular knitting needles. Bamboo, resin, plastic, and metal are some examples. A flexible cord joins two hard tips in these needles for holding most of the stitches.
Commonly, circular needles are available in US sizes up to 15. You have the option of buying different lengths of cord, depending on the circumference you need for the project. Typically, knitters use the measurements of 16, 24, 29, 36, 40, 47, and 60 inches. The size of the knitting project you intend to make will determine the length and size of needles you should get.
If you are learning how to use circular knitting needles, keep one thing in mind. It is imperative to use the right length for the project. This is because the number of stitches has to fit on the needle comfortably. IYou wouldn't want too many stitches that end up being bunched up. That can spoil all your hard work and leave you frustrated.
With circular needles, knitting is so versatile. You can make so much, including hats and headbands, gloves and mittens, cowls, sweaters, blankets, shawls, and many more.
Indeed, once you learn how to knit in the round, you will realize that these needles allow you to knit on a much larger scale. Circular knitting needles offer flexibility that's missing in other options.
What are the types of Circular knitting needles?
For knitting needles, a circular is an excellent option, but the choices don't end here. Even the circular needles have quite a lot of variety. Let us take a look at some of the types you will come across in the market.
Double pointed needles
Double pointed needles might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of circular knitting needles set. But the history of knitting tells us that some of the earliest knitting needles were of this variety.
Initially, they were quite thin and basic, looking like wires. They were very practical and made of steel. The basic design concept remains the same even after all these years. These needles feature points on both ends, enabling the knitters to work on projects in the round with ease. Apart from steel, these are also made from carbon fiber, wood, and bamboo.
Wondering what type of circular knitting patterns you can create with these? DPNs are mostly used when working on a small project that wouldn't fit on a circular or interchangeable needle. Knitters can use the double pointed needles to knit children's garments and hats, socks, mittens, sleeves, and toys, among other things.
Fixed Circular Needles
These are two short, single point needles that are connected by a flexible cord. The cord can range anywhere between 8 and 60 inches in length, while the tips are mostly 4 to 5 inches long.
Knitters must remember that they cannot change the size or length of these needles unless you are using an interchangeable set, so you have to be precise with what you need for your project.
Interchangeable Knitting Needles
Available in the same sizes as fixed circular knitting needles, these have to be screwed or snapped together. The interchangeable joins have to be locked in place.
You can either buy them in pairs or sets. Most knitters prefer interchangeable ones to fixed circular needles. Why? Because their cord length is adjustable, making it the most versatile. You can adjust the needle tip sizes in progress as per your pattern requirements. These needle sets have variable needle sizes and are excellent for quick access and travel. Once you join the cable, you don't have to worry about dropping the needles anywhere.
The best thing is that these can be used to knit flat and in the round too. So you can use these interchangeable knitting needles for a wide range of projects. If you are working on multiple projects simultaneously, these allow you to lock your work in place—the interchangeables work great for large projects due to their ability to distribute the weight evenly.
Are circular knitting needles good for beginners?
This is what most beginners would be worried about. After all, if you learn how to use circular knitting needles, you would want to know what type of projects you can take on. Is it a good idea to start with a circular needle?
There is no denying that straight needles can be excellent for beginner knitters. They are great for creating simple scarves and similar projects. But here's what you don't know. There is nothing that straight needles can do that can't be done with circular knitting needles. Yes, once you learn how to knit flat with circular needles, you will enter a new world of knitting with endless opportunities to create exciting stuff.
For in-the-round and flat projects, knitters can use circular needles. When these needles are rolled up, you can tuck in your project easily.
These needles are more versatile and easier to work with. Once you learn more about how to knit a blanket with circular needles, you will realize that it is so much you can do with this tool. Beginners will find it quite feasible to handle circular needles and will make their knitting journey more exciting.
Can you use circular needles instead of straight?
Have you mastered how to knit with circular needles? Perhaps you are comfortable with the circular knitting needles and want to use them on all projects.
Straight knitting needles are pointy at one end, featuring a stopper in the other. They are available in a variety of materials, including steel, wood, resin, and carbon. The problem is that with these needles, your options are limited. You have to knit flat. The entire weight of the project rests on the needles, which can be tiring. More space is needed to work with the straight needle as they tend to belong. So, it's understandable if you want to use circular ones for all the projects.
Yes, Knitters can use circular needles to knit flat. This is particularly true when you are working on something big like wraps and throws. Circular needles can hold the stitches better, and they are also easier to use.
Knitting flat on circular needles isn't really different than working on straight needles. You don't have to join in the round. Instead, cast on and knit. Continue knitting from the left needle to the right one as usual, and on reaching the end of the two, turn your work, similar to what you would do while working with straight needles.
Where can I buy circular needles?
Now that you know that when it comes to knitting needles, circular ones work best, the question is where to buy knitting needles.
The thing is, the future of your project depends on the type of needle you use. So there should be no compromises on this. It is best to go for a place that has it all, that will offer you ample choices along with guidance. This is where Fillory Yarn stands tall. Here, you can find all types of knitting needles and materials, and everything else you need to make your knitting project a success.
Circular knitting needles are incredibly versatile. You can knit flat, in the round, and back and forth with these. They are excellent for both big and small projects. They also make knitting more enjoyable. Make sure that you get high-quality circular needles and half of your work is done.