16 in circular needles

I hate them. I got one to make one of my recent hats, and started working with the circular needle... I find the needle part far too short... I ended up knitting with my finger tips instead of my whole hand. Anyway... Suffice it to say that I went back to working hats on my harmony DPNs. The perfectionist in me is just going to have to ignore the ladders that I imagine to be there.

Anyone else feel the same?

TomH's picture

On the last hat I knitted with circulars I used a 24" circular and it worked fine for me.

teejtc's picture

I don't like using circs for hats..... but for bigger projects like sweaters and such, they're really great. I also like them for flat pieces - circulars work really well (often better than straight needles.)

Oh, and the ladders will go away as you get better with your dpns :-)

Grace and Peace,

ronhuber's picture

I, too, prefer dpn's to a l6 inch circular. I find that if you use 5 dpn's that the ladders are not so pronounced. I think it has something to do with the 90 degree angle. As well, I look over all the socks that I have knitted, and there were ladders there when I was knitting them, however, there are none after the first washing. When they come out of the washing machine I always grab an end and give them a good whack on the table or back of a chair. I think that straightens out everything.

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I use two sets of circulars at a time for my hats and they work very good for me. If you are not careful you end up knitting by the edge and your work will be very tight. Your best bet is to make a project without an agenda, but to learn how to use them.

YarnGuy716's picture

I've used 16" circs with not much problems, but have found the Addi Turbo to have a shorter needle length compared to the cheaper Susan Bates circular.
You could try using the magic loop technique and use a longer needle.

Buzzboy's picture

Hey Thomas,
I truly loved working with two circular needles. I know it sounds daunting to you but you can do it. I'm working on a stocking using two circular needles. Cat Bordhi has a video on her web site that helped me alot. I have a hard time using dpn's. Just a thought. Keep up the great work.


NonStopAndrew's picture

OMG I love 16" circs. I have made way too many hats recently and have only been able to finish them in good time. Any kind of ladder just drives me crazy, so I use circs to prevent that. I only switch to dps when I have too, normally on my k2tog, k5 round.

If you give a gentle pull on the yarn after you knit the first stitch on a new needle you wont get the ladders. It works for me and it doesn't change the tension at that point.

Thor's picture

Chalk me up as a fan of knitting the hats on a 16" circ... then when it gets smaller due to decreases... I insert a second circ and it's off to the races! I can actually crank out a hat in about two sittings using this method.

However, with certain projects - like the shark hat (see previous posts) - I did it completely on DPNs. No ladders... I think I saw that Cat Bordhi video on YouTube!

As with anything in knitting, or life, it pays to be flexible and go with what feels right and natural and with what will give you the desired results.

I agree with Craft Andy... do a project "just to learn"... EXPECT MISTAKES... don't even think that this is going to be for anyone... it's just a learning tool. Then knit! Just to learn! I must admit that this is how I did the Shark Hat. I first worked the pattern just to learn how to do it... then I knitted it again with all of the great knowledge I had gleaned from my "practice hat" and it came out great. I had never knitted on DPNs before so this was all new territory for me.

Now, mind you, I have done TWO of these "practice" socks... and I assure you that I will end up doing even a third "practice" sock as the learning curve seems to be so steep for me. Are my feet bare and cold this icy December night? Well, yes, at the moment they are... but not for long! I will persevere and use all that I have learned in each foray into creating my perfect first pair of hand knitted socks!

drmel94's picture

I started using primarily circs a few years back, as straight needles were causing my wrists too much trouble. It takes a little bit of adjustment to get used to the shorter needle length on the 16" circs, but it just takes time to develop familiarity. If you want to talk short, I just darned a couple of holes in my dog's sweater using a 5" dpn and a tapestry needle to knit across the patches. There's nothing wrong with dpn's, though, and the truth about the ladders is that they generally disappear after a few washes anyway, once the stitches have had a chance to even out a bit.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

Mnjack's picture

I still like DPN's for socks but use circular needles for everything else. I like them because I travel a lot and they are much easier to stick in a bag and carry along. I don't have to worry about losing the needle that has no stitches on it. I also have never had problems eith security, even when they were banning just about everything.

Thomasknits's picture

I think the reason I'm partial to DPNs is that my first circular projects were socks. Also I knit a little on the tight side (not as bad as I once was), so I don't have to worry about DPNs falling out, but I do get annoyed by having to slide the stitches off the cord to the needle when working with circulars. I really have nothing against circulars in general, it's just the 16 in really short ones. Perhaps I'll give them another go sometime soon. Perhaps not. Now that I have harmony wood DPNs...which I love...
Really, I've pretty much gotten rid of my ladders early on in my DPN usage career...but I'm kind of anal about my knitting sometimes, and imagine there to be ladders there when there aren't...or if they're so minimal that you can't really tell anyway. Guess I should suck it up and block.


crmartin's picture

I always use 16" circulars for hats, I really like them. I also use 9" circulars for socks and would never go back to DP's or magic loop after using them.



rmbm612's picture

I'm a big fan of circular needles and have a fortune invested.....I only buy Addi turbos. The cable on Turbos is the best and the nickel plated needles really make knitting faster. If the 16" needles are too short, I agree that two 24" circulars might be the ticket. Unfortunately, with the Euro strong and the dollar weak the cost of Turbos has really increased........but the the another big advantage to circulars over straight needles is the weight of the project is centered and causes less fatigue especially at the beginning and the end of a row. I've abandoned straight needles and knit exclusively on circulars.............but like the others have stated........do whatever works for you and gives you the results you are happy with. Afterall, long 16' double pointed pins were used for decades before the introduction of circulars were invented and the sweaters in the round were spectacular...........keep on knitting!

YugiDean's picture

I love circular needles until I get down to smaller diameter knitting. As I've stated in some previous blogs on here, I DESPISE magic loop knitting...not on principle or as an idea, but in practice. It drives me batty. If you can and do choose to knit with magic loop, I'm glad that you can because I'm sure it's easier. But for smaller diameter knitting, I actually find comfort in knitting with DPNs. There's something soothing about seeing all those needles.

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright