W.I.P. Wednesday : Knitting in the round, kinda.

Feeling a little knitting frustration this week, though I’m sure I’ll work my way through it. Going through the outdoor market last week I finally got my hands on a pair of circular knitting needles, and was all set to get to work on the beehive beanie. However, I need help! I am having one heck of a time trying to get these needles to work with me, or to learn to work with the needles.  This is one of  the many times in my knitting apprenticeship where I know the help of an experienced knitter would be so helpful.

Those of you familiar with circular needles may be nodding your heads with a knowing smile on your faces as I roll my eyes to the sky in frustration.  I can cast on my stitches with no problem, and joining in the round was no problem, either, but keeping my stitches from twisting seems a real problem, not to mention that things just don’t seem to be going very smoothly. Grr.

The good news is that I found this great video which taught me how to do a “long tail cast-on”.  It’s really clear and helped me so much, so I wanted to share it with you!

After casting on my stitches, I found myself completely perplexed when I actually tried knitting with these unruly things. After a few moments of frustration, I decided to try to find some help on using circular needles. This article helped me quite a bit as did this one with more ample photos (I’m such a visual learner!).  I’m not sure if I can describe it very well, but I keep ending up with more and more “play” (not a technical term!) with the yarn between the two needles (and no, I’m not losing stitches).

I’m guessing a bit more practice with these new needles will help me tame them, but if anyone out there has any advice, I’d sure love to hear it!

Do you have any new W.I.P.s in the works? We would love to see what you’re up to! Snap a shot of your  “in progress” masterpiece and add it to the  W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool. Whatever your works-in-progress, have a crafty week, and don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are working on.

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13 thoughts on “W.I.P. Wednesday : Knitting in the round, kinda.

  1. I love circular needles – for me they are SOOO much easier to use, I use them for all my knitting. I think they are easier to use if you are a “continental” knitter, but it also helps to practice using them knitting regularly before you start knitting in the round. Browsing through the comments others have left, I’ve found some useful tips as well. Happy knitting!

  2. I agree with everything above, but thought I’d throw in one last suggestion in regards to your stitches getting twisted. Before you join your work in the round, lay your work on a flat surface and make sure none of your stitches are twisted. It’s alot eaiser to make sure your work isn’t twisted when it’s on a flat surface rather than when you are holding it. Once you are sure everything is in order, then pick up the work and do the join :)

    • You are all so fabulous! Thank you so much for all the help. I’m hoping to attack the beast again this afternoon armed with all this great info. You are so wonderful, all of you!

  3. I love the website that video is from- it’s helped me so many times. Glad you’re finding it helpful! As for knitting in the round, it’s definitely kinda tricky. I’ve always had a hard time with circular needles as I find it really hard to keep the tension even. I prefer knitting in the round with a set of 4 or 5 double-pointed needles (there is a great video tutorial on this on the same site as your posted video)… I’ve never personally made anything bigger than a sock with this method, but my grandmother did sweaters and such, so I’m sure it’d work out fine for an itty bitty beanie.
    Windy city vegan pointed out that if the cord between your needles is too long, it’s just not going to work. Totally true. The size of your circular needle (length, not gauge) has to equal the circumference of your project (you probably already know that)… if this is the case with your needle, maybe you can modify it? Or make another of your own: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=6638

    If not, just keep trying!! It’ll work out sooner or later!

    Good luck!

    • Wow! Thank you all so, so very much for all the amazing encouragement, suggestions & links! What would I do without you? I mean it. I’m such a beginner, this is all such a great help – hopefully I’ll have something to post next week!

  4. Oh, I’m glad some people have already stopped by with tips! I would have wanted to help you, but with this heatwave melting my brain I’m not sure I’d have been able to do so in a way that’d have made much sense.
    I agree with Kajin, no need to worry too much about the gap if it isn’t too big: the stitches will even out after washing. As for giving a hard tug to the second stitch following the joint, I’d say a cautious yes: it works for some people, not so well for others, and often a not-too-hard tug works best. Experiment and see what works for you!
    You can also have a look at http://techknitting.blogspot.com/ – it’s a wonderfully helpful blog. Check the index (link in the sidebar) to find posts about specific things; the archives are a real treasure trove!

  5. I agree with the others, just pull the yarn tight between stitches and keep practicing! I remember the first few times I knit with double pointed needles, I kept getting tangled up in them, dropping stitches etc and when I did get going I somehow often ended up knitting on the inside of the work instead of the outside, it drove me crazy! However, I now knit socks all the time and dpns don’t scare me anymore so I’m sure you’ll be fine with a little bit of time!

  6. So glad you found some circs! I’m also a visual learner – taught myself how to knit from a Martha Stewart magazine and now I have a huge collection of books, for the instructions as much as the patterns.

    Everyone had great tips already – especially about how to eliminate/minimize the gap. Also, if your needles are too long for your project it just plain won’t work. Once you get the hang of these needles, get yourself a pair of metal ones and you’ll be amazed at how fast you knit!

  7. Hey, I’m a lurker but I thought I’d reply to your knitting help request! As Kajin said above, make sure you knit tightly when you get to the joint. And if your cord is giving you trouble because it’s getting twisted up and confusing you, one trick is to steam it so that it lies flat instead of twisting.

    Yay for knitting! Good luck!

  8. Ciao dear Shel, are these needles the ones with two metal points connected by a plastic cord ? if you didn’t cast on 200 stiches the cors is too long so every now and then I pull it out but I’m not too good you are a visual learner and I am a visual teacher !! I’ll share some of my books don’t know if I asked you but if you aren’t interested just throw them out !

  9. Ha, I hear you! It is not easy to get the hang of it, but keep trying – you will be glad you did!

    You have to use a needle with a very flexible cord – otherwise, it is very frustrating!

    To eliminate the “gap” at the joint, tug hard on the yarn when you knit the second stictch following the joint, it helps a lot. Also, don’t try to eliminate it completely – if it’s small, it won’t show that much when the knitting is done and after washing.

    You go girl! :-D

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