12 Days KAL: Knitting in the Round

This is the fourth in our series to help get you ready for the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland Knit Along. Today we are going to talk about knitting in the round.

I love knitting in the round, no seaming, less purling, it’s great and once you get the hang of it, it’s not hard at all. A single circular needle is great for knitting in the round when you are making something with a large enough circumference, but when you are making something smaller like these mittens you need to use other methods.

My method of choice for small circumference knitting is double pointed needles, dpns. People see this method with its four (or even five) needles and are intimidated by it. Here is the thing though, you may have your stitches on multiple needles, you are still only using two at a time.
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Cast your stitches on and then divide them between three needles. Make sure not to twist the cast on row between needles. Have the needle with the yarn attached to it (needle 3) in your right hand and the needle with the first cast on stitch (needle 1) in your left. Place a stitch marker on the needle 3.
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Knit the first stitch on needle 1 onto needle 3. This will create your circle. The stitch marker marks the end of the row.
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Using a fourth empty needle (4) knit all the remaining stitches from needle 1 onto needle 4. Needle 1 will now be empty and you will use it to knit all the stitches from needle 2. Continue around the circle.

One issue people often have with knitting in the round on dpns is that they get a ladder or column of loose stitches where they move from one needle to the next. There is one trick I have found that helps prevent that. When I have knit all the stitches from one needle to the empty needle instead of starting on the next needle with the empty one, I knit the first stitch from the next needle onto the one I just filled. This changes where you start a new empty needle throughout your project.
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This is not the only way to knit small circumferences in the round, it is just the way I do it. You can also use two circular needles or magic loop. To be truthful with you, I have never found a need to learn either of those because I feel so comfortable with dpns, but if you are new to knitting in the round or want to try different ways of doing it, here are links to videos and tutorials for all three ways.

DPNS
Purl Soho Photo Tutorial
Knitting Help Video
Stitch Diva Video and Photo Tutorial

Two Circular Needles
Knit Picks Photo Tutorial
Knitting Help Video
Stitch Diva Video

Magic Loop
Knit Picks Photo Tutorial
Knitting Help Video
Stitch Diva Video

Next week we’ll talk about stranded knitting.

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5 years ago by in 12 Days of Christmas KAL , Knitting , Needlecraft | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
2 Comments to 12 Days KAL: Knitting in the Round
    • JulieJC
    • Boy, do you make it easy for people to be successful! Thanks for all these mini lessons leading up to the KAL. I know it must be a bit of work!

      • Kat
      • Thank you. It’s been nice having the time before the KAL to do this sort of thing. Last year we just sort of dived in.

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