Learn how to use circular knitting needles

circular knitting needles and yellow yarn on pink background
How to use circular knitting needlesRorygez Fresh - Getty Images

Have you mastered the basic knitting stitches and looking for a new way to push yourself in your knitting projects?

Well then perhaps it's time to give circular knitting needles a go, which will allow you to learn the technique of knitting in the round.

Knitting in the round is a really quick way for projects to build up, and so easy to do once you know the basic technique.

What are circular knitting needles?

Circular knitting needles are created with the same materials as straight needles – they usually come in bamboo, metal, plastic or resin.

They are attached together by a plastic cord which comes in a variety of lengths, depending on the size needed for the project.

How do I knit with circular knitting needles?

To begin knitting with circular needles, cast on as normal with the number of stitches required for your project. After you've knitted your first row, you join the first and last stitches together to create the round shape. Once you keep knitting, your work will appear below the needles in a tube shape.

A lot of circular knitting is in stocking stitch, which is made by knitting every row in knit stitch, rather than alternating knit rows and purl rows as you would with knitting with straight needles.

To make garter stitch in the round, you knit a row then purl a row. For reverse stocking stitch, you purl every row.

Make sure you mark the beginning of your row with a stitch marker, so you can work out how many rounds you have to go!

If you need to brush up on your basic knitting stitches, don't miss our step-by-step how to knit guide.

What can I make with circular knitting needles?

There are so many lovely knitting projects you can make with circular knitting needles, but it works particularly well when working projects in the round, such as beanie hats or socks.

There are plenty of beginners' knitting projects which can be made with circular needles. Projects like blankets and throws are best worked using straight needles.

And once you start knitting with circular needles, you won't want to stop! You'll find your projects work up so quickly.

Have you knitted a project with circular needles? Share your creations with us by tagging @primamag on Instagram.

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