Knitters love their circular needles as they are proven blessings. The versatile needles allow a variety of knitting both flat and round from the smallest to the biggest projects. While many knitters have been inseparable from their circular needles many are still using them only for round projects. Flat knitting is used for creating sweaters, scarves and many patterns. Also, almost all beginners prefer to create flat items once they have understood the knit and purls. Knitting flat with circular needles is convenient in many cases, especially if you knit while you commute or work on heavy projects, or knit to practice knitting with mindfulness.
If you are the proud owner of circular needles or sets from our Mindful Collection, you have everything you need. The stainless steel tips work with all kinds of yarn and the cords are available in varying lengths of 20" (50cm) to 60"(150cm) making it possible to work from small scarves to huge blankets. The smooth teal cords of the fixed circular needles come with flexible cords with 1" interval markings that are helpful to keep an eye on the lengths of a particular project. The interchangeable needles can easily be fitted with smart cords of the collection in varying lengths according to the requirements of the project.
If you are used to straight knitting needles and find it difficult to switch, then while holding the circular needles pretend there is no cable connecting the two tips. Anyway, the cord adjusts on your lap and between your hands till it starts carrying your project.
If you are just beginning with knitting, then here’s a step-by-step guide on knitting flat with them.
Step 1 - Make a slipknot and slip it onto your right-hand needle. Make sure you stretch out the needle length before beginning so that the cord is not twisted in any way.
Step 2 - Cast on as you normally would. There are many ways to cast on and each one works perfectly fine. Make sure to consult your pattern instructions for the technique suggested and even the number of stitches you need to cast on. The slip knot counts as your first cast on stitch, so, if you need to cast on 40 stitches for your project, after the slip knot you only need to cast 39 more stitches.
You can slide your cast-on stitches to the cord if you cannot accommodate them on the needles.
Step 3 - Before beginning with knitting make sure that the working yarn is on your right. When knitting flat, the working yarn should be on your right-hand side.
Step 4 - Knit the rows according to your pattern or project. Complete knitting all of the stitches that are on the left needle. Always be careful not to knit with the cast-on tail but rather with the working yarn that comes from the skein or ball of yarn.
Remember to turn your project after each row when you knit flat on circular needles. When you are working back and forth the stitches transfer from left to right. And, when knitting flat the stitches must always be in your left-hand needle. While knitting round on circular needles you will only have to do this 1 time when knitting in the round. For the rest of your rounds, the yarn will slide around the needles and always be on your right.
Step 5 - Bind off as you normally would. When you have finished knitting your rows, you will need to bind off the last row or round of stitches. If you are following a pattern you will have the instructions to bind off the project.
Step 6 - Tie off and cut the excess yarn. After you have finished casting off your stitches, cut the working yarn about 6″ (15 cm) from the last stitch. Tie a knot through the stitch and then cut the yarn 1.5″ from the last stitch to secure it.
If desired or instructed in the pattern, you may also weave in the end of the yarn instead of cutting it. The weaving can be done with the darning needle. You can easily weave the yarn end in and out of the stitches along the edge of your project.
If you are still not convinced that knitting flat with circular needles is mindful, then this will convince you.
Once you've used circular knitting needles for a few flat projects, you'll probably find yourself reaching for them for most projects. If you have not tried out Mindful needles, you can find all information on our previous blog.