Using Long Circular Needles to Knit a Small Circumference in the Round

Many knitters shy away from projects that involve double-pointed needles because they’re awkward to work with until you’ve completed several hours of practice to find your groove.  If you’re not into that level of commitment, this new technique might be just the thing you need to enjoy making socks, mittens, or even sleeves!

Besides using a really long (40″ or longer) circular needle that may already be in your stash, this technique also gives the opportunity to knit both halves of the pair at once, helping keep consistent gauge and progress in front of us for the entire project.  And when you reach the last row, voila!  You’ve got your finished garments, instead of being only halfway through.

Before starting any project, it’s important to SWATCH using the same yarn and needles as you will use for the project.  And also important: using the same technique.  If you’re knitting back and forth, swatch back and forth.  If you’re knitting in the round, swatch in the round (staying consistent if it’s DPNs, one long circular, etc.).  This is such an important step most knitters overlook – but think about how you’re laying the foundation for your project here.  You hold straight needles differently than you do circulars, and your knit stitch is not exactly the same as a purl in reverse, so using the same tools and techniques will get you the most accurate results!  On a scarf it might not be that big a deal, but on socks or a sweater, 1 more (or less) stitch per inch will make a very different garment – and be the difference between your happiness and frustration.

This short video demonstrates the technique of knitting in the round using a loooooong circular needle.

Join our Instructional Knitalong Facebook Group to try out this technique and more with a supportive community of like-minded knitters!

Our current project using this technique: the Morehouse Variegated Socks – or Striped Socks!.