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How to Use Circular Needles

Catherine Amo


Things You Need:

  • Yarn
  • Circular needles

If you enjoy knitting and want to take your hobby to the next level, then you might be interested in circular knitting. Projects made with circular knitting needles can be a great way to make your own clothing or have nice handmade items to give as gifts. Circular knitting uses two connected needles to create more advanced items, such as socks and apparel with sleeves. Circular knitting is a fun hobby, and once you know how to use circular needles, you can create items with professional results.

Using Circular Needles:

  1. A basic understanding of knitting is very useful when learning how to use circular needles. Some of the same techniques that you have used in simple knitting projects are also used in circular knitting. In fact, many of the skills required for circular knitting are just more advanced methods of basic knitting. If you have never done any knitting, you might find it useful to gain a basic knowledge of the technique before learning how to use circular needles.

  2. Starting your project correctly will make the process go smoothly. To start your circular knitting project, pull out a single length from a ball of yarn and tie a small loop in the yarn on one needle. Hold this needle in your left hand and the other needle in your right. Slip the right needle into the loop behind the left needle and hold both so that they form an "X." The yarn strand should hang behind both needles. This first step is the best way to start a circular knitting project.

  3. Circular knitting takes some practice to understand and do well. Once you have your project started and your circular needles in the form of an "X," move the yarn from the back of the needles and pass it over the right needle. Bring the yarn to rest between both needles and push the right needle down until the tip is almost level with the yarn. Hook the yarn with the right needle and pull it down and out of the loop. This action should form a new loop on the right needle. Move the left needle into the loop on the right needle and slip it in from the bottom of the loop. This technique creates the second stitch. Reset the process by bringing the working yarn from the back and placing it between the needles. This method might feel complicated at first, but with a little practice, it will quickly become second nature.

  4. Once you have covered the wire or nylon between the needles, you are ready for the next step. When you have enough stitches, pull the right needle out of the loop and arrange the stitches on the wire so that they are straight and all the nodes point down. It is important to do this before you join the first row of stitches so your work is not twisted. Place a marker on top of the first stitch on the right needle. The marker will help you identify the end of each row as you work. Plastic markers for knitting can be purchased, and they keep your work organized. Once you have marked and moved your stitches, pass the right needle under and into the first stitch on the left needle. Place the yarn between the needles and use the left needle to pull the loop up and onto the right needle. This technique joins the first row of stitches, and you will then be ready to move onto the next row. Repeat this process until you have created the length that you need for your project.

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