HELP... having difficulty with my circle knitting

Hey guys, I am trying to knit a Stephen West cowl for this winter. Only issue is I have started this over 3 times! Reason twisting. On larger circular needles(29 inches +) I do ok for the first few rows. Then all of a sudden on rows 5 and 6 I suddenly have a twist. Is there something I am doing wrong. I watch carefully for the first few rows after I join, what is causing me to have the latter twist?
I don't any issues with dp's. In fact I love knitting with them over circular. I have also tried to find larger dp's to handle the large amount of stitches but no luck, tempted buy buy some cheap needles and make my own but not sure if i could get the tips smooth enough.
Any ideas? On smaller circulars never had this problem.


AKQGuy's picture

I suspect you have the twist all along, you just can't see it due to the lack of length of the work until a few rounds into it. Solution? You are going to have to tear out once again and start over being VERY careful to make sure there is no twist (I look for that cast on edge ridge wrapping around my needle). This is why I often start circular projects on the DPN's and switch to circulars but I can see where that's an issue with larger numbers of stitches. Can you start it on DPN's and cap off the ends as you go around to keep stitches from falling off?

ronhuber's picture

I usually put my needle on the table once I have all the stitches cast on and make sure all the stitches are not twisted around the needle and that all the "knots" are on the insde of the needle. I then pick it up carefully and carry on. In one of her books, Elizabeth Zimmermann said one could knit back and forth for a couple of rows and then join it into the round. It would be very evident after a few rows, if the knitting was twisted. When you are finished you would just stitch those couple of rows together.

New York Built's picture

I have done this so many times...your experience mirrors mine.

The EZ method worked well the first coupla times, BUT...

Joining the obvious and inelegant gap annoyed me to no end, what to do with the pesky, lumpy knot at the join, and I was so much further annoyed with finishing loose ends...why can't it be done NOW, when I am right here?????!!!!.

Then I read Techknitter's solution 3-in-1 Techjoin and never looked back.

Take a gander...self-inflicted bald spots can be so much more annoying.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

ronhuber's picture

One way to get rid of the jog (which never bothers me and can be adjusted with a simple stitch) but doesn't help make sure the stitches aren't twisted.

CLABBERS's picture

Hi David,
I have been lucky so far and not had any twists. Like others, I just lay the knitting down on the table and "walk" my fingers over the stitches to make sure they are all going the right direction. I then switch the last and the first cast on stitches. This keeps things tidy, no jag, and things stay untwisted. I tend to rush sometimes, but I make myself slow down and make sure things are untwisted. I have noticed that after I knit my first round that everything looks twisted around the needle many times. I just keep knitting knowing that the "twisting" is simply a matter of how my hand handled the yarns on the needles and the needles themselves. The actual knitting is not twisted. After the second round, I do stop and lay out the knitting again and make sure that everything is untwisted.

Good luck!


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

For knitting in the round, whether socks or larger projects, I cast onm the number of stitches then knit back in pattern for one row before joining into the round. After the piece is finished, I use the tail to join up the slight gap and weave it in.

Of course, this works quite well for ribbed projects; I haven't tried it on other objects. I usually don't have a sign of twist for non-ribbed items, which I normally join right away.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Thomasknits's picture

This is one of my favorite joins for round knitting. Picked it up when I learned tubular cast-ons.


SAPBrown's picture

I agree, the twist most likely occurred when you joined the round.
Ron's suggestion works (lay flat, line up, lift carefully) I use it often.
I'm still reading through TechKnitter's web site. Really good info there.

If you are set on making your own dpn's, I recommend bamboo skewers.
You can find sizes = to US3 and US6 easily. Most are 11inch long and already pointed on 1 end (the working tip, the other end does not need to be perfect, just watch which end you start the row/needle). I use a twist pencil sharpener to get the basic point shape, and sand smooth with an emery board (fingernail file)I wax my new needles to smooth out any unevenness.

I even attempted a raglan cardigan with nothing but my skewer/needles (used 10-12 total). It is frogged now. I had completed almost3/4's before noticing a yarn over on one shoulder. It haunted me, appearing ever time I started to work on it. Besides the Supersaver yarn would have worn dreadfully. (frogging provided me with many skeins of the dreaded acrylic yarn)

I've made other sizes with hardwood dowels. They tend to be brittle and unforgiving.


Hey guys thanks for all the helpful hints. Going to try them and get it in order. I have one i am using some really nice mix i got merino wool, silk and another fiber at the present can't remember.