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Help please - circular needles

(23 Posts)
Bez Wed 14-Mar-12 21:10:16

Hope that someone can help -- I have just been onto the pattern site and downloaded a jumper pattern - it says to use circular needles (looks as if it is two needles of different sizes) - I have read through the pattern and although it is knitted in one continuous piece - ie starting at a bottom edge and working up and then down the other side it clearly is not knitted in a circular manner.

I have done lots of knitting but have never used a circular needle - when doing socks I use a set of 4 -- can anyone please tell me how you can use such a needle and still work back and forth as it tells you to do? confused

Carol Wed 14-Mar-12 21:15:32

I didn't think you could Bez. There's no point having circular needles if you're going to turn round and create a need for a seam.

bagitha Wed 14-Mar-12 21:19:48

Yes, you can. You just turn the work around as you would if you were knitting on two needles. a circular needle is good if you're knitting a large piece because it can hold more stitches without them being too cramped. If the piece is not actually joined in a circle, you could also use two needles if you prefer.

Bez Wed 14-Mar-12 21:28:48

My thoughts too Carol -- have been sitting here trying to picture how you could go back and forth with just one -- thank you for saying it would work bagi --- think I might just go for the right size and a normal pair though.
Thank you for replying. x x

Sook Wed 14-Mar-12 21:36:40

Bez circular needles scare the pants off me but do have a look on YouTube as there are often tutorials.

Jacey Wed 14-Mar-12 21:41:00

I gather ...from someone who always uses circular needles (though uses them as we would a pair of needles) ...that for large items helps to distribute the weight of the piece as it grows hmm

bagitha Wed 14-Mar-12 21:51:12

Yes. You also need less "elbow room", I find. (But maybe I'm a clumsy knitter).

Carol Wed 14-Mar-12 22:00:14

I could understand using circular needles if you want a seamless garment, as this appears to be, and using circular needles because you can get many more stitches on, but the way this is described, it's a seamless garment that would not necessitate turning round and going in the opposite direction, as the pattern appears to indicate, would it?

bagitha Wed 14-Mar-12 22:10:26

I don't get the impression from bez's description that it is a seamless garment, carol. Up one side and down the other suggests no shoulder seams, but you might need side seams, mightn't you? Are there any seams, bez?

By the way, I would recommend having a go with circular needles. My daughter and I have found them very easy and comfortable to work with for both to and fro knitting and circular knitting. Except socks. Socks are still easier on a set of double pointed straights!

Check out site for tips as well, and Drops Design. smile

grannyactivist Wed 14-Mar-12 22:16:03

My youngest son often uses circular needles and says he finds it much easier for knitting hats and some big things, but he always knits socks on four needles.

Bez Wed 14-Mar-12 22:19:15

yes Bagi - you have interpreted right - it is a pattern with side seams but no shoulder seam -- might give the circular ones a go. smile

jennydaisy Tue 20-Mar-12 00:35:38

I would also recommend trying circular needles. They're very comfortable to work with once you get used to them. I don't use anything else now.
By the way, apart from Ravelry and Drops design sites, patternfish is a good site to trawl through when you're searching for a pattern (I don't think any of them are free as with Drops patterns and some of the Ravelry designs-they are quite cheap however and you download and print a pdf)

Wheniwasyourage Tue 20-Mar-12 12:43:33

The best thing about circular needles, assuming you don't turn round and come back, is that you don't have to sew up the seams and so the whole thing can look neater. (I hate sewing up, anyway.) In fact I usually use a circular needle up to the armholes and if it's a set-in sleeve I pick up and knit downwards for the sleeves which avoids the sleeve seam and the sewing in of the top of the sleeve, which I find very hard to get right. Quite often you can go round and round with a pattern although you do have to count your rows more carefully to know when you're on the "purl" one. I'm doing an Aran at the moment and it's turning out all right. I don't think they make circular needles small enough to do socks, but 4 needles are fine - you often need them for the lower part of sleeves too.

nanapug Thu 22-Mar-12 17:43:43

I am in the same boat Bez, I want a pattern for a plain toddler dress and have looked for a free pattern on Ravelry but they all seem to be knitted in the round (which they do far more in the states I believe). I have actually made an appointment to have a free lesson at John Lewis on Saturday. Wish me luck!!

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 18:08:29

Have fun, nanapug. If you learn how to do "magic looping" (I think that's what it's called), you can teach the rest of us!

nanapug Thu 22-Mar-12 18:44:40

Ha ha Bagitha, have looked at that on youtube and it looks complicated. May have to give it a go though if you are up for a lesson!

bagitha Thu 22-Mar-12 19:31:59

DD says it's dead easy, once you've got the hang of it hmm.

Grannyknot Sat 28-Jul-12 22:45:06

I just got the hang of the 'magic loop' technique and it really is dead easy, once you get going, it seems logical. All you're really doing is using the loop bit to 'store' the stitches whilst you knit as if with two needles, and round and round you go smile Am knitting a smart beret style hat.

Momof2 Fri 10-Aug-12 01:46:54

I love to work on circular needles and do so for most of my projects of any size. It minimizes the weight on my wrists and it stores very nicely. I frequently carry my projects in ziploc baggies and can take them any where. I can work in smaller spaces without needles sticking out hitting arm rests or nearby strangers. I can take many projects such as sweaters and eliminate the side seams because I can put so many more stitches on the needles. You could never use 29" straight needles.

nickelbabe Tue 28-Aug-12 17:28:10

I've just bought a continuous loop needle.

blimmin' knitting shop returning books to me (i do them sale or return for resale purposes) - they returned a "socks from the toe-up" one and I wanted to try it.
i can't knit.

ElsieJoy Mon 08-Oct-12 16:06:13

It is easy to convert a pattern on circulars to flat knitting..just add an extra stitch at each side to allow for seaming..then complete pattern. I hate knitting on circulars, have tried them but was then taught how to convert a pattern. I also knit socks on two needles and they wear just as well as on dpns.

Brendawymms Mon 27-May-13 18:49:06

Just completed a bit of mobius knitting. 420 stitches for each round. It looks good finished and as an experience was a worthwhile challenge but the finished piece is almost unwearable as its 15" deep but has no where for arms so feel like in a straight jacket!!

Just ordered £60 of angora wool to knit one 2 ply cardigan, the back of which is made on four needles and a jacket made of small crochet squares. Am I mad or what.? hmm

Sook Mon 27-May-13 19:40:01

ElsieJoy thanks for that tip it's just common sense really isn't it grin I am often put off beautiful patterns that involve circular needles. I am currently knitting socks on dpns confused two needles are much more my style.

Brendawymms Yes you are mad but I bet it will look fantastic when it's finished,