Knitting Yarn Tutorial – Knitting in the Round. A Guide to Getting Started
Like so many knitters, I first learned to knit using straight needles. My first project was a simple scarf, knit back and forth in a garter stitch. After gaining a certain amount of confidence, I moved on to knitting sweaters. These were also knit with straight needles and then sewn up later. For me, making the jump from straight needles to double pointed needles and circular needles was easy. I had a desire to knit my own socks and I just went for it. Since that first pair of socks, I’ve knit quite a few things on double pointed needles and circular needles. My first hat was a disaster but everything else turned out just fine. My transition to knitting in the round was easy and therefore it always surprises me when I hear an inexperienced knitter expressing concern.
The truth is that knitting in the round is exactly the same as knitting flat. The only thing that you have to remember is to make sure that your stitches aren’t twisted when you join the yarn. If your stitches are twisted, you’re probably going to notice before you get too far into your project. Then you just frog the few rows you have and start again. It’s not scary or difficult. Don’t be intimidated by it and you won’t have a problem.
A great way to get started knitting in the round is to work on an infinity scarf. I discussed infinity scarves in an earlier post but they are worth talking about again because they really are a great way to get over your fear of knitting in the round. You can cast on as many stitches as you would like, you don’t have to follow a pattern if you don’t want to, and there is pretty much no way to mess it up. The folks over at Hello Yellow Crafts have shared some basic instructions for getting started.
Photo Credit: Hello Yello Crafts
Once you’ve gotten over your fear of knitting in the round, you’ll probably want to move on to knitting a pair of socks. Socks are going to be a little more complicated because you will have to turn a heel. This usually involves working short rows, which aren’t as complicated as they initially seem and actually become quite easy once you get the hang of them. Before you jump right into a complicated sock that might turn you off of the experience forever, I suggest you get started with Kate Atherley’s training sock. This sock is going to be knit up using size 7 needles and a worsted weight knitting yarn. It’s not meant to be functional, but instead to give the knitter a chance to get comfortable with some of the techniques used in sock knitting.
Photo Credit: knitty.com
In my opinion, the most difficult thing to knit that requires that you knit in the round, is a pair of gloves. You might not want to jump right in creating individual fingers. It’s a little tedious and can be nerve-wracking for a newer knitter. It would be better to knit up a pair of mittens. Knitting mittens instead of gloves means that you will get experience with creating a thumb gusset but you won’t have to worry about fingers just yet. Red Heart has a free knitting pattern for basic mittens available for anyone who wants to give them a try.
Photo Credit: Red Heart
I know that getting started with double pointed needles can seem a little intimidating at first, but once you get started you’ll be opening yourself up to a whole new world of knitting patterns. Some people are so in love with knitting in the round that they will modify existing patterns to allow for knitting on circular needles. Knitting in the round is nothing to be scared of, so what are you waiting for? There’s no better time to cast on than now.
Related Knitting Posts: