First time with circular needles.

So, after reading Warren's and Jessie's blog entries re the Jacqueline Fee book I decided it was about time I started using circular needles.

I was so impressed with Jessie's sweater and Warren’s swatch that I thought I would start reading the book and get those needles out of the packet. I think I've done all the maths properly and after casting on lots of stitches I was set. Not sure what anyone else thinks about circular needles but for me they are proving to be a bit tricky...The first round took me ages to knit, the stitches kept getting caught on the needles and I could feel myself getting more frustrated as I went on but I persevered. I thought I had cracked it until it came to work the second round when I realised I had the stitches twisted. I didn’t swear that much!! Determine not to be defeated I pulled the stitches out and started again.

I’m now on round three and things seem to be going well at the moment. I will keep you all posted on my progress.

I'm really gonna try and take my time with this project. I’m sure that this will open a whole lot of options for me when it comes to knitting larger projects.

If anyone has any helpful handy hints or would like to give me a few words of encouragement they would be gratefully received.




Warren's picture

Darren, I don't have any advice, just some encouragement.  I'll bet those circulars will get to be second-nature to you in no time at all!  Good luck with your project, please post pics of it.

victor's picture

Hi Darren,

Perservere with them and once you get the hang of them you won't ever use straight needles again. They are much easier to handle and I find I don't need 'wings' when I knit!! I was converted to them about 25 years ago and have hardly used straights since even for flat projects.  Victor


Except for Kick-Ass Lace projects, Circs are the bestest to use for any project 'cept socks and Circular-made sweaters.   Well, of course, there *is* the odd Willy Warmer that you'll need DPNs for but, OTHER THAN THAT, Circs will become yer friend.  Use Bamboo/Rosewood/Ebony for regular knitting, Steel/ aluminum for lace, but only if you're going for cob-webby projects.  You'll do fine with the former woods.

Warren said it all:  Please Post Pics of your Success!

~Mike in (now drying out) Tampa 

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

YarnGuy716's picture

So Mike... when will you be posting pics of yourself modeling said Willy Warmer? Inquiring minds want to know.

 Sorry, I couldn't resist ::grin::

The first couple of rounds definitely require the most attention, but after a few your work will start to fly.  You'll also learn to slowly and routinely move the stitches around the needle--a little push on the right, a little pull on the left--so you hardly realize you're doing it.  If you're constantly having to stretch the stitches around to the left, switch to a shorter needle.

Stick with it.  It's definitely worth the effort.


garykfc's picture

I find that I have to warm up to my needles.  It's like picking up a pen to write with, at first it's odd, but then you get caught up on what you are writing and don't realize it.  Sounds like you need to find some power knitting time!!!!!

VillageKnittiot's picture

I totally agree with all the comments, especially the 1st round or two being the trickiest.  ( I do a  lot of Mobius knitting, which is truly a pain in the keister at first.)  If these are new circs. try dipping the cord into hot water for a couple minutes, this will make the pesky loop that wants to be everywhere you do, out of the way.  If you have new bamboo circs. (my pref so far) reach for the handlotion and give them a good lube, then wipe off with kleenex.  ( I would flush the kleenex, incase someone digs through your trash and thinks your a sex maniac).  Embarassed

kiwiknitter's picture

I have a couple of comments.

1. I've never knitted anything on straight needles.   I don't like them and can do anything I want with circulars.  On the sleeve cuffs which are too small, I used circulars with the Magic Loop method.  As the sleeve expanded, I switched to 16" circ's to finish it.

2. By "caught in the needles" do you mean that the stitches are catching on the needle joins?  If so, invest in some well-made circs like Addi (my favourite).

3. When the directions say to be sure that the cast-on row is not joined prior to joining, they aren't kidding (as you found out).  I re-check it at least twice before making the join and then a third time after that.

4. It takes a bit of practise to get used to pushing the stitches around so that you're not pulling the knitting apart as you knit.  This comes with time and the correct length needle.

This project is definitely worth this learning process!  I've worn my jumper a number of times and have received multiple compliments on it but the one comment that everyone has said is "If fits you perfectly!" and then they're gobsmacked to learn that I did it without a commercial pattern but knitted to my measurements.

I think you'll find it progresses quickly as soon as you get your stride.  It's easy to knit Continental and the stitches fly since it's done in all stockinette stitch. 

Friends don't let friends knit drunk.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Thanks guys for all your words of encouragement and little purls of wisom. Will be posting pix as soon as I can and thanks for the tip about the hot water gnewgnitter. Will definatley be trying that one. Smile