Knitting in the Round for Beginners

Today we’re going to learn how to knit in
the round with circular needles. Normally when you’re knitting with flat needles like
this, the fabric that you end up with looks like this. So the fabric is flat, which is
great for scarves, blankets or coasters. Basically things that sit flat like this are perfect
for knitting on two needles. But let’s say you want to knit a pair of socks or a hat
or mittens. What those things have in common is that they’re knit in the round. So they’re
circular shaped. So in order to knit any of these things you’ll need to knit in the
round. Something that was knit in the round looks like this. So this sample that i made
was knit in the round, and you can see that it’s actually round. It’s circular shaped
and it’s seamless. So today we’ll learn how to do that using circular needles. Circular needles look like this. There’s
a needle attached to a flexible cable, and attached to that is another needle. Circular
needles come in different lengths. The one I’m holding is sixteen inches. But we’ll
talk about different lengths and why we need them at the end of this video. For now, let’s
get straight into the demo on using circular needles. So I’ve casted on some stitches onto my
circular needle, and I’m knitting with a pair of sixteen inch circular needles in this
example. I’m knitting a hat, so I’ve casted on about 92 stitches or so. Your pattern will
tell you how many stitches to cast on. So now that I’ve cast on my stitches, I’m
ready to join in the round. But before I do that, it’s important to make sure that my
stitches are not twisted. Now what this means is that if you look closely at your stitches,
you can see that there’s kind of a raised braided section on your stitches here. The
rest of your stitches wrap around your needle, but there’s this raised area here. So you
want to make sure that this area is all facing the same direction across all of your stitches.
So let’s take a look. This area here is great. It’s facing inwards. So let’s move
down across our cast on stitches and see – yup, these are all facing the same direction. They’re
facing inwards. That’s perfect. Let’s move across and see that yes, these are also
all facing the same direction, and that’s perfect. When all our stitches are facing
the same direction that means that all our stitches are untwisted. They’re good to
go. If your stitches are twisted, they’ll look like this. So I’m going to intentionally
put a twist in my work. And here you go. You can see that our stitches are facing the same
direction until they get here, and then at this point there’s a twist. It kind of goes
around our circular needle and then ends up inwards. But this braided raised section is
now facing outwards. So we need to untwist that. So what I would do is untwist that area
so that now all of our stitches are facing the same direction. They’re facing inwards.
Inwards, inwards, inwards, inwards. And you can move it if you have to to make sure they’re
facing the same direction. So when your stitches look like this. They’re all facing the same
direction, they’re not twisted, then we can join in the round. Now that our stitches are untwisted, we are
ready to join in the round. Now before we do, it’s important to make sure that the
needle that’s attached to your ball of yarn is in your right hand. So i’m going to switch
hands here and move that needle to my right hand. Now we’re going to push our stitches
close to the tip of our needle. Sometimes your stitches can get bunched up when they’re
cast on, so push them up so that they’re close to your needle tips. Before we join,
we’re going to mark the beginning of our round with a stitch marker. A stitch marker looks like this. This is my
stitch marker. It’s basically a round, ring-like shape. And this is called a split-ring stitch
marker, which means that I can open and close it like this. But you do not need a fancy
stitch marker at all. You can use anything that is ring-like. For example, you could
use a rubber band or a ring. I’m wearing a ring on my finger. You can use a ring and
just slip it on to your needle. It just needs to be a circular ring-like thing. So I’m
just going to put this right onto my right needle. And this marks the beginning and end
of our round. This tells us where our rounds starts. So now that we’ve done this, then
we can officially join in the round. I’m going to push my stitches up close to
the tip of my needle. Then I’m going to take my right-hand needle and go into that
first stitch. So i’m going to knit my first stitch. I’m going to push my needle right
in there and then take my yarn and just knit into it and then pull it off. Now i’m going
to pull tightly on my first stitch because I don’t want a weird little gap to form.
I want it to be nice and tight. So I’m going to pull. And now you can see that our knitting
is joined in the round. We are connected. Now we can start knitting. Whatever your pattern
tells you to do, you would just start knitting. this would be considered your first round,
or Round 1 in your pattern. So work across your whole needle, all the way around, and
when you get to your stitch marker, just slip that stitch marker over to your needle and
continue knitting. That’s all there is to knitting in the round. You might be wondering what’s the big deal
with this whole twist thing? So what if i put a twist in my work? What’s the big deal?
Who cares? So i’m going to show you what happens when you put a twist in your work
before you join. So, cautionary tale here. This a mini cowl that i made as a sample for
my niece. You can see that it’s knit in the round. It’s circular shaped. But I put
in a twist here! And this is what my twist looks like. I made a twist before i joined
in the round, and then i noticed after a couple rounds, but i kept going because i wanted
to show you want a twist looks like. It is literally a twist in your work. So if you’re
knitting a hat, mittens, socks or anything that will eventually come to a close, a twist
is just not going to work. If you’re knitting a cowl, like this, you can still wear this
with a big twist in it. But anything that comes to a close won’t work. If you find
a twist in your knitting there is no way around it other than pulling your work off the needles
and just ripping it out and starting all over again. This is really a sudden death situation.
Once you have a twist there’s no way forward other than to go backwards, rip it out and
redo it. So that’s why you should make sure that all of your stitches are untwisted before
you join. Remember: don’t it twisted when you’re knitting in the round So let’s talk briefly about needle lengths.
Circular needles, just like regular needles, come in different sizes. This circular needle
is a 6mm this is a 7mm, this is a 10mm. They come in the exact same sizes as regular flat
needles come in. But there’s another variable, which is the length of the needle. So you
can see here that this needle here is a 16 inch circular needle. From this tip all the
way to this tip, it measures 16 inches. Now this needle is great for knitting hats. So
let’s take a hat out here. A hat measures anywhere from 17 to 21 inches. So, if you
think about the average finished measurement of a hat being 19 inches, that 19 inches of
fabric needs to fit on the circular needle that you’re knitting it on. Generally, hats
are knit on a 16 inch needles because if you take a look at this needle here, you can imagine
the stitches of the hat sitting pretty comfortably on a 16 inch needle. Now sometimes people
ask, “Can I use a 24 inch needle or another sized needle?” And the answer, if you’re
knitting circularly in this way, is not really. I mean, you could, but it’s not going to
be comfortable, and I’ll show you why. So, this is a pair of 24 inch needles. From
tip to tip, it measures 24 inches. So let’s see: if I hold the tips together, you can
see that’s pretty big. So let’s see. Can I knit a hat with 24 inch needles? Well, this
is my hat right here, and if I hold the needles against the hat, well, can all the stitches
on this hat fit on a 24 inch needle? Well, you would really have to stretch it out. You’d
have to stretch it out like this, like crazy stretching, in order to get the hat to fit
onto a pair of 24 inch needles. So, could you do it? Yes, you could, but your hat will
be kind of stretched out of proportion, and it wouldn’t be a very nice knitting experience,
in my opinion. Furthermore, your knitting tension might be all out of whack because
you’re literally stretching this hat across this big needle. Like, look at this. How is
this hat going to fit on this needle? It’s going to be crazy hard. Generally, the rule
of thumb is you want needles that are smaller than your finished object. So my finished
object here is my hat. Let’s say it’s 19 inches. I know for sure that my hat can
fit comfortably on a pair of 16 inch circular needles, which is smaller than the finished
measurement of my hat. Just to really bring this concept home. I’ve got a pair of 36
inch needles here. This is very, very wide. This would be great if I were knitting a sweater.
So, can I knit a hat on 36 inch needles? Well, just take a look at this right? I’d have
to stretch my hat to pretty intense proportions. I don’t even want to try. So can I knit
a hat on 36 inch needles? I don’t think I can. Not with this method of knitting in
the round. There’s another method called magic loop that you can use, but for this
method that’s we’ve just covered in this video, the answer is no. No you cannot. You
will need to use a pair of 16 inch needles. Remember the rule of thumb: you want circular
needles that are smaller than the finished size of whatever it is that you’re knitting.
If the finished measurements of your hat is 19 inches, you’ll want circular needles
that are smaller than 19 inches. So 16 inches would be perfect. That’s how you knit in
the round using circular needles.

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