How to Knit in the Round – 2 ways, explained with video

Knitting Stitches

Once you’ve been comfortable knitting with 2 needles for a while, you realize that there are many gorgeous knitting projects that use circular needles. It really makes sense to learn how to knit in the round. Let’s try … today!??

Learn How to Knit in the Round Videos

Here are two knitting videos which clearly demonstrate how to knit in the round.

In the first video, you’ll learn how to use four or five double-pointed needles and int he second video, you’ll learn now to use one long, flexible circular needle with two ends.  Each has its own uses and benefit.  Have a look.

How to Knit in the Round using Double-Pointed Needles

They are specially used for knitting small things in the round. With double pointed needles the stitches travel from needle to needle, as you build your work. It’s not as hard as it looks.

How to get started with double-pointed needles

Start with 3 or 4 double pointed needle and a project that is not too tiny. Cast on 44 or 45 stitches, and divide these evenly over your 3 or 4 needles. For each needle, take on the the 11 or 15 stitches and push that needle so that the stitches are in the middle of that needle. Then set up the next needle till your stitches are divided.

Now, with an additional needle, called your ‘working needle’, you are going to use your ‘working yarn’ (i.e. that bit of the yarn that is not the tail but that is the thread that links to your skein.

The first thing you are going to do is to close the loop and optionally, place a stitch mark indicating the beginning of each new row.  Then, begin knitting as per your pattern.  When you return at your stitch mark, you will have done a full round.

This first knitting video explains how to set up project knitting in the round with three needles.

Knitting in the Round – using double-pointed needles

Tips and Hints

  1. Ensure that that first stitch is pretty tight so you will not get a line going down your knit work.
  2. If you’ll use sock yarn to make a sock, you’ll realise that the yarns are pretty thin and there are a lot of stitches in each row.  Make a test piece to measure your gauge.  Circular pieces seem to have different gauges than knitting back and forth. Test it, so you save yourself a lot of time.
  3. If you like a motif, then consider using self-striping yarn, so you don’t have to wor

How to Knit in the Round – using circular needles, or a magic loop

This is the second way to knit in the round. It is much easier I believe than the other method, although in the end, it’s just personal preference.

1. Cast on your stitches like you normally would using two regular needles.
2. Now untwist all your stitches by lining them all up in the center of your loop before you join your round. (Check this 3x: now, after your first row, and again after your second. Really! You don’t want to end up with a twisted hat-thingo you cannot wear!)
3. Now close the loop by making a first stitch with both the tail and your working yarn. This makes the joint more secure. Some people put a stitch marker at the point where you start your round. I don’t because you don’t need it: you’ll have a tail hanging below this point.
4. Now you can can start knitting like you usually would. You’ll find your stitches bundle up on one needle and are getting tight on the other end of your magic loop. Just gently keep on adjusting the stitches, as you continue knitting and follow pattern.

Many people find this method easier than with 4 two-pointed needles. If you are an arm-knitter (i.e. someone who likes to tuck her needle under her arm, this takes a bit of getting used to), but in the end, it’s one seam less to deal with and decreasing, etc. for your hat top center will feel more natural.

Try it.


Knitting Needles to knit in the round

how to knit in the round knitting needlesNow that you know that you’ll need either a set of  four or five double-pointed needles or a circular needle, I thought to give you a hint as to which ones to buy.

First up: go for quality, as the garbage-quality needles can break during your project, which is nothing short of a nightmare.

Good and easy-to-use knitting needles are usually made of bamboo.

I guess because you are buying an entire set, these turn out to be relatively inexpensive: 7″ Double Point Bamboo Knitting Needles 14 Sets of 5 Pieces per set (70 pieces in total)

how to knit in the round knitting needles The alternative needle you need as mentioned in this article is a circular needle.  See picture. You usually buy a set of different sizes for a variety of knitting projects.

If you want to buy just 1 set, this is a good all-around set of in-the-round needles:
40″ Inch Circular Premium Bamboo Knitting Needles by StitchBerry – 15 Set Collection

While is it a tat clumsy, you can take out the excess of the plastic needle strand to work on projects that are smaller than 40″ in circumference.

OK. That’s  the end of this knitting in the round – lesson.  Let’s get some yarn and needles next.  Now that you know how to knit in the round, start experimenting with knitting in the round. ‘Cuz “Experimentation is the grandmother of invention” (quote by Rose).

In the Round Knitting Projects

I’ve featured several projects on that are knit in the round. This one, Free Knitting patterns: Easter Eggs is a fun and easy project, made with 4 small double-pointed needles. Great to give this technique a go!

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