“Join to knit in the round” was a terrifying phrase the first time I read it, but once I learned how simple it was, I had to laugh at myself.
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Now it’s your turn to learn! I prefer to use circular needles to knit in the round, while others prefer double point needles. Either way you do it, the join is the same, and so very easy.
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Written instructions with photos
Before you begin a project that will require you to knit in the round, you need the right needles. If you use double point needles, you will need at least 3 needle to hold all the stitches (more if they don’t fit on 3), and then one more needle. If you use circular needles they need to be long enough to hold the stitches, but short enough that they don’t stretch the stitches. You want a little bit of “bunching” on the stitches.
Before you join to knit in the round, make sure your cast on is not twisted around the needles. In the photo below there is a twist. If your cast on is twisted, then fix it.
I like to have the bottom edge of the cast on all facing the inside of my needles, as seen below.
If you have a really long cast on, not twisting can be a bit tricky. I have a few tips for not twisting super long cast ons.
- Attach a removable stitch marker (often used in crochet) to the bottom of the cast on every 25 stitches. This will help you keep your count correct, and when it comes time to join, it will be much easier to see if you have any twists.
- Use the right length cord. If your cord is too small, you will have to smush your cast on really tight and it can become very difficult to keep everything untwisted.
- Knit 3 or 5 rows before joining. Remember that every other row (2 and 4) will be knit from the back, so knits become purls and purls become knits. By making the first few rounds as rows instead, when you join you will be able to see very clearly if there are any twists and take care of them. Then when you weave in your ends you can use the starting tail to sew the first few rows together.
Once everything is untwisted, it’s time to join.
The last stitch cast on should be on the needle in your right hand. This last stitch worked is the last stitch of the round. Place a stitch marker on the end of that needle to mark where the round ends.
Now you simply work your next stitch in the stitch at the end of the left needle. This is the first stitch of the round.
Now just keep on going as your pattern tells you to continue your rounds. Every once in a while you will need to push the stitches that have bunched up on the right needle onto the cable, and then slide some of the stitches from the cable up onto the left needle so they are bunched up there for you to work from.
Here are some supplies you may find useful.
Happy stitching my friends.
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