How To Use Circular Knitting Needles
This Videojug film is designed to show you how to use circular knitting needles. Follow the simple techniques to learn to expertly work with circular knitting needles.
I am going to show you how to work with circular needles, both back and forth in rows or joining in a round, to make a seamless tube. Circular needles come in a variety of different materials. Here are two different sets I can show you of different length. These are metal needles. These are made by a company called Aadi and they have a wire joining them. These tend to be really easy to use because the wire is quite flexible so it doesn't twist in its own, like some of the other needles do. Also, this joint space is the one you want to look for when you purchase circular needles. You want to make sure that the joint is really smooth so that you can push in knitting over the top of it and it doesn't get caught and it doesn't snag there in the joining place. So, these are metal, these are bamboo circulars and they have a clear plastic training area and these are nice and light weight and easy to use. Also, the lengths of the wires themselves come in different lengths. So, you can get shorter and longer lengths. If you are working in the rounds, that is important because you have to have enough stitches to go all the way around that needle. So depending on the size of the piece that you are making, you may choose a shorter or longer wire for your circular needle. Circular needles can be used in two different ways. You can use them to knit back and forth in rows, like you would with straight needles. But because you have that extra bit of wire, it gives you some extra space to hold your knitting stitches. So, normally with knitting, you are limited by the length of your needle. So, with straight needles for example, you can only knit this much knitting. You can push some extra stitches on but at some point, you are going to run out of space. So if you are knitting something really large like the panels of the playing kit or a really large jumper, maybe for a man, you might want the extra space that a circular needle would give you. When you are knitting back and forth in rows with the circular needle, you use them just like you would straight needles. So you knit across the row just by pushing those stitches to the end of one needle and holding that needle at the back and then the empty needle in the front and you use that one to knit with. So, we are just knitting across this row and when you get to the end of that row, you will push all the stitches over to the other needle and use the empty needle to knit across the row again. It is pretty straight forward; it is exactly like knitting with straight needles. To knit in the rounds with circular needles, first of all, you have to have enough stitches to go all the way around the needle so you can knit something very small in the round with the circular needle. There is a method you can use called the magic loop but that is a bit different. This is if you are using a plain circular needle and you want to go all the way around it to knit in a tube. Before you join, you need to make sure that all of your stitches, the bump at the bottom of all of your cast-on stitches, are facing toward the inside. You want to make sure that you don't have any twists so that your stitches would twist around the needle like that. If you do that and you will join and start knitting, there is no way to fix it. You just will have to pull it out and start again. So, it is important to make sure that everything is facing in the correct direction before you start. You take the needle that has your active yarn attached to it and that would be your right needle and then your needle that doesn't have yarn would be your left needle. And once you have all your stitches cast on, you can just insert into the first stitch on the left needle and start knitting. And you would knit, you have now joined, you have created one seamless piece of knitting and you would knit around and round and round that circle. To create stocking stitch, all you have to do is the knit stitch. You don't need to purl because you are always knitting around the outside of the piece, you are never knitting the inside so that you would just continually make the knit stitch and you will create stocking stitch. There is one other method to join that I can show you that makes more solid joint. So, sometimes, if you start knitting with that first stitch, it can make a little hole or a little loose spot. A little trick to try is after you cast on your total number of stitches, you cast on one extra stitch using the long toe cast on method here to create one extra stitch and then you will pass that stitch over to the left hand needle. Just tighten that stitch and then you will knit the first two stitches together. So, the first one you cast on and the new stitch, we knit them together and that creates more solid stable joint, so that when you carry on knitting, you are less likely to get a hole at the joining spot. You can place a marker when you join so that you know where the beginning of your row is on your round but you can also look to see where the tail is hanging down and that would be the beginning of your round as well. And that is how to use circular needles in knitting.