Getting started with circular needles is easy with Vickie Howell.
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Working with circular needles is really easy and a lot of fun. I'm Vickie Howell from DIY’s Knitty Gritty, and I'm going to show you how it’s done. First let's look at what a circular needle looks like. As you can see, there's a needle tip on each end connected by a long cord. Now the length of that cord will vary depending on what project you're working on. For example, if you're working on a smaller hat, let's say a creamy hat or a baby hat. You need a short cord. But if you're working on a larger project like say a sweater from the neck down, you're going to need a significantly larger cord. One thing however, you don’t only need to use circular needles for knitting in a round, I actually prefer to use them when I'm knitting straight. The reason for that is that you can work with a heavy fabric and not have to hold the weight of it. I get a little bit of wrist pain sometimes just from the weight of heavy fabrics. And as you can see this really holds the whole project and it can sit in my lap while I'm working. I'm going to show you how to use circular needles though while knitting in the round. The first thing that you're going to do is you're going to cast on your stitches, just as you would if you were working with straight needles. And then you want to lay them down so it forms a circle and make sure that your stitches are all going the same way. This is making sure that you're joining a round without twisting the stitches. If the stitches are twisted now, then your entire project will look a little wonky. So this is a really important step. Next. We're just going to knit a stitch as you normally would. And then you place some marker. The marker is going to show you where each round ends. And then you would continue knitting as you normally would. Now my first project ever was actually done in a round like this, and that’s because I could create stockinette stitch without having to know how to purl. Normally, straight stockinette stitch is knit one row, purl one row. But since you're never working on the back of the fabric when you're working a round, you can just knit every single row to achieve the same thing. And you can see that here. You can also see how the tube is forming. So easy. I mean really, that’s all there is to it. Here’s a quick tip though, if your needles get a little bit bunch and coiled, they can be a little bit cumbersome to work with. So you want to maybe straighten them out. A quick way to do this is just drop them in a bowl of hot water for about a minute or so. And as you pull them out, you can see that they really start to straighten out. It will make it super easy, super fast, super firm. Alright. I think you have everything that you need to know to get yourself started on your circular needle adventure.
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