Using a Circular Knitting Needle for Your Knitting Projects
The circular knitting needle is a popular tool for knitters for many reasons. A circular knitting needle is a tool which can help you to create a spiral piece of knitting that has no side seams, which makes them ideal for creating hats, socks and baby sweaters. This tool is also essential for creating seamless neckbands and collars for garments.
These needles can also be used to knit back and forth, and are often the chosen tool because they are easier to work with in tight spots (like the car) and there is less worry of dropping stitches. That makes a circular knitting needle especially attractive for big projects like afghans. You also have the advantage of keeping track of a sole needle, instead of worrying about losing one of a pair.
How to use a Circular Knitting Needle
If your newly purchased circular knitting needle is coiled tightly when you remove it from its package, you can run the coil under hot water before using it. This will help the coils to relax so that you can work with the needle. You can also store your needles in such a way that that they do not coil up on you. It is also a good idea to invest in a needle gauge that you can store with your circular knitting needle since many of them are not labeled with sizes.
A circular knitting gauge is basically a measuring device where you can stick your needles through a hole on the gauge to determine needle size. When considering size for your circular knitting needle, keep in mind that the circumference of your needle must be smaller than the circumference of the item that you are knitting in order for your knitted piece to fit around the needle properly. The most useful lengths of needles to keep in your stock are 16-inch and 24-inch. If you are planning to work on bigger projects, a 29-inch needle or longer is also good to keep on hand.
When you cast on to a circular knitting needle, it is basically the same process as casting on to a straight needle. The only extra step you will want to take here is to make sure that the stitches you cast on did not twist around the needle at all before beginning to work your first row. Instead of moving back and forth from row to row, you will continue to work around your needle in a continuous manner.
Because it is difficult to determine the ends of rows this way, it is a good idea to keep a marker at the end of your row. This marker can simply be a piece of scrap yarn wrapped around the stitch at the beginning of a row. As you work additional rows, you will simply move your marker up.
Circular knitting needles can open up a whole new world of possibilities with your knitting experience. You may find that you enjoy working with this tool so much; you may start substituting the circular knitting needle for your straight needles in other projects.