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Circular Knitting Basics

Learn the basics of knitting with circular needles from expert Jessica Kaufman in this Howcast video.


So, it is so easy to knit on circular needles. You'll wonder why you haven't been doing it yet.

It's actually, I think, much easier than knitting flat on straight needles where you have to think about a right side and a wrong side, and if you want stockinette you have to knit on the front and pearl on the back. All that goes out the window for circular knitting.

If I want to get this nice, beautiful stockinette stitch, all I have to do is knit. Around and around and around and around. I never have to pearl.

There's no end to my needles where I have to stop and turn the work. I just keep going. Around and around.

So I'll show you what that looks like.

I'm here at the beginning of my round and I know that because the tail of my yarn is hanging down here for the beginning of my round.

You can also use a stitch marker, if you're doing something more complicated than just knitting miles of stockinette. You can put a little marker here that says "hey, you're getting to the end of the round".

So I'm going to knit just like I do with straight needles by having the working yarn in whatever hand you feel comfortable with. For American or English knitters, it's in the right. For Continental or European knitters, it's in the left. And you knit the stitch from the front, it's from the left side of the front leg, and you knit the stitch from the left needle to the right needle.

I am not really a Continental knitter, so I'm going to switch back to my right hand. And you just go around and around and around.

Now, if you're not doing miles of stockinette and you've actually got some pattern to follow here, you may have increases or decreases, or you may have some color work or some cables, great, you'll work those just like normal too except there's never going to be a wrong side.

You're just going to work everything from the front, from the right to the left, just like normal.

So, that is it. You just knit around and around and around. And as I knit, I'm watching the end of my round move along. And we'll go ahead and take you to the end of the round here.

But by this point if it's your first time investigating what is circular knitting, you should be itching to try it because it just makes everything so much easier.

Also, if you're knitting something in pieces, you don't have to do that with circular knitting. You can knit an entire sweater without sewing any seams. You can do socks from the toe up or the cuff down. You can knit cowls, hats, and mittens all seamlessly.

Here I come to the end of the round here. So I've just come to the end of the round doing nothing but the same action over and over, no stopping, no turning, no wrong side.

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