Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Technique Tuesday: Tips for Knitting in the Round

I love knitting things in the round.  Mostly because this mean no seaming which is a great reason to knit in the round.  Although I didn't always start out loving circular knitting.  This was because I am a self taught knitter I had no wise experienced knitter who could let me in on tricks and helpful hints.  Here are some of my tips for knitting in the round.

1. Always make sure your circular needle/dpns are the right circumference for what you plan on knitting.  I thought that a 24" circular was the perfect needle size for my first hat in the round so I filled it with as many stitches as it would hold, needles to say my hat came out huge, which was more of a gauge problem.  So I then cast on the appropriate amount of stitches and there were too few to make it around the needle and I was pulling and stretching my stitches which made it hard to knit anything.

For a hat a 16" circular with do you good for baby hats all the way up to large adult size hat.  With item that are smaller than 16" in circumference think about useing DPNS, magic loop, or two circular needles.  Items such as sweaters you want to think about the smallest part of the sweater, I like to start on a 16" and then move up to a 24" or 26" when I need too.  Depending on th esize of the sweater you may want to use a 36" circular. 

2. Always use a stitch marker to mark the beginning and end of a round.  This way you are never confused as to were you are to start and end which comes in handy if you are using a stitch pattern or are increasing or decreasing in a pattern.

2.2.  Never stop at the end/beginning of a round.  Your stitch marker will fall off your needle.  Always try to stop with one stitch after or before your stitch marker.

3.  Be careful not to twist your stitches.  I read this all the time in patterns.  Before you join your work take the time to make sure your cast on edge isn't twisted around your needle.  An appropriate length needle is helpful, but you just have to suck it up and make sure that the cast on is oriented the same way before you place your maker and join your work.

4. Use a Long tail cast on.  I know it's a pain when you miss judge the amount of yarn you need in your dead end, but this cast on tends to be more elastic and creates less of a jog where you join. 

5. To help with the jog situation where you join your work cross your last and first stitch over and place your maker between them.  This way your first stitch is now your last stitch and your last stitch is now your first stitch.  This makes a tighter neater join.

These are all of my tips are there any more that others use?

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