It is sometimes easier to make garments in the round working with circular or three or more double pointed needles. This will produce a seamless garment, and the front of the work always faces you making patterns somewhat easier to follow.
Circular needles are used from the beginning when knitting a garment, but a set of double pointed needles will be more useful when picking up stitches such as when knitting necklines or when working small areas such as fingers for gloves. Two circular needles can also be used for flat knitting on very large items.
The most important thing to remember when working in the round is that to achieve stocking stitch, you must knit every row because the outside of the work always faces you when working stocking stitch.
Using a Circular Needle
|A circular needle is a flexible nylon tube which has two pointed metal ends (needles) sized in the normal way. You cast on stitches in the usual way and knit into the first stitch to make a continuous round. You should always mark the beginning of a new row.|
Using Double Pointed Needles
|Sets of double pointed needles are sold in traditional sizes. Normally bought in fours, as many as six needles can be used if the area is large, the number of needles required will normally be specified in the pattern. When knitting with double pointed needles, the stitches are divided among all but one of the needles. The remaining needle is used to knit off, so that each needle in turn holds stitches and then is used to knit off.|
To knit, divide your stitches equally over the needles and knit a round. To close the circle, knit the first stitch with the working yarn from the last stitch. Keep your last and first needle as close together as possible. Make sure your first knitted stitch (you should mark this)is close to the last needle so that you do not end up with a gap in the knitting.
Continue to work rounds in this way, using your empty needles to knit off and keeping the stitches evenly divided. Hold the two working needles as usual, and drop the others to the back of the work when not in use.