Four Fabulous Tricks for Knitting in the Round (by Robyn Devine)

May 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Advanced

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It may seem like an advanced move, but knitting in the round can be mastered by beginner knitters with ease. And by adding it to your knitting bag of tricks, you will open up an entirely new world – one of hats, sweaters, and socks!

Getting started with knitting in the round can seem tricky on the best of days, but with just a few tips and tricks you can be joining to work in the round in no time at all. When I began my circular needles journey, these four tips helped me immensely.

Trick #1 – Make sure your circular needle is shorter than your finished circumference. If you’re knitting a hat for a 20” head, grab 16” long circular needles. If you’re knitting a sweater for someone that’s 36” around, be sure you’re not using your 40” long needles. Seems self-explanatory, but I spent many frustrated hours fighting with needles that were just a bit too long for projects I was working on. When in doubt, go a bit shorter – you’ll never regret it!

Trick #2 – Cast on one extra stitch. When you join for working in the round, knit that last stitch you cast on together with the first stitch you cast on. You will have the correct number of cast on stitches, and you will have a much less noticeable join for your work.

Trick #3 – When casting on a large number of stitches, to ensure you don’t twist them (and create a Mobius on accident!) knit the first few rows of the pattern before joining. You’ll have a much clearer view of joining your stitches together, and you can use your tail to sew up that open spot later.

Trick #4 - Use a different color stitch marker to mark the beginning of the row. When you are using stitch markers to mark decreases, increases, pattern changes and the like be sure your “beginning of the row” marker is a different color, shape, or size. This will help you more easily distinguish it from your other markers.

With these four simple tips, you will find yourself knitting around and around before you know it! You can use this new-found skill to whip up some sweaters for all the folks in your life, hats to keep their noggins warm, and maybe even donate a few things to a local charity!

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