How to knit in the round step by step for absolute beginners. So Woolly
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How to Knit in the Round for Absolute Beginners

Today, I’m sharing the basics of how to knit in the round, using circular needles; a step-by-step introduction, for absolute beginners.

It’s a magic technique: You can create seamless accessories such as cowls, socks, hats, mittens, and gloves.

Imagine a world where we knitters don’t have to seam anything? Yay! 

Well, let me tell you: It’s possible when knitting in the round! (Both, with circular or double-pointed needles).

For example, you can knit a top-down sweater or cardigan, in one piece: Starting from the top (the neckline), down to the sleeves, and then the body, finishing with the hem.

Moreover, this is not the only advantage when knitting in the round…

Since we’ll be facing the right side of the work all the time if you are working on a piece in Stockinette stitch, there’s no need to purl.

As we’ll see further on, the Stockinette stitch is created by knitting every stitch of every round (not row, round is the right term).

What you’ll need to knit in the round

You’ll need circular needles and some matching yarn weight; my suggestion is to start with a regular-size needle, for example from US 8 (5 mm) up to US 11 (8 mm), and number 4 / worsted weight yarn. 

There’s a great variety of circular needles: Plastic, metallic, bamboo, wood, with a fixed cable or interchangeable (my favorite), round or cubic… you name it.

In general, I think the bamboo or wooden needles are the best, because they’re not slippery, and they don’t get cold or warm (plus I love the sound they make) #ad 

How to knit in the round different circuolar needles. So Woolly.

The cables come in different lengths, from 10 inches (25 cm), for socks, hats, etc., up to 47 inches (120 cm), for sweaters, for example.

If you are using interchangeable needles, they come with a connector, so you can join 2 cables when needed!).

You’ll need at least one stitch marker. They also come in different forms (safety pins, round, clips, etc.), and materials, but you can also make them, using your stash leftovers #ad

We’ll use the stitch markers to show us the beginning of a new round.

Last, but not least (to close the last round without a jog ) you’ll also need a tapestry (darning needle) #ad

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What you’ll learn from this tutorial

I have divided the basics of how to knit in the round into 2 sections, as follows:

First, we’ll see how to cast on, and how to join or close the circle (it’s called “to join in the round”).

Second, you’ll learn how to bind off jogless (without the small gap or ladder which forms naturally, because we are knitting on a spiral).

In summary, after this tutorial, you’ll be able to follow a tutorial to knit a simple project, such as this easy hat for the whole family.

Ok, let’s get busy 😉

How to Cast On when Knitting in the Round

The good news is that you can use any method to cast on your stitches: 

The Long-Tail, the Knitted cast-on, the Cable, the backward loop method, or even the Chained cast-on we learned a while ago.

Choose your favorite, or try a new one, it’s up to you.

In the video tutorial, I’m showing the long tail method, which is stretchy enough, so it’s suitable for any project.

To knit in the round the first time, cast on enough stitches to fill your needles (from one tip to the other). I’d prefer if you knit a big diameter tube (hopefully, your cable is 16 in (40 cm) in length.

Then make sure that the stitches are not twisted; put them on a table and check that you’re facing the right side of the cast-on row.

Knit in the round how to join the circle. So Woolly.

Then, join the circle: Knit the first stitch of the left-hand needle, give the working yarn a little tug, and keep knitting while arranging the stitches, to the last one.

You completed the first round (you’ll know it because you’ll see the cast-on tail).

Place a marker before starting the second round, and keep knitting.

When you finish the second round, slip the marker, and start the third one.

After some rounds, you’ll have a tube in Stockinette stitch.

How to knit in the round. The Stockinette stitch. So Woolly.

As easy as pie! Just knit every stitch of every round 🙂

How to Bind Off without a jog when knitting in the round

There’s no difference between binding off when we knit back and forth or when we knit in the round.

Bind Off Knitwise: Knit one, *knit the next, and pass the first stitch over the last one*. 

Bind Off Purlwise: Purl one, *purl the next, and pass the first stitch over the last one*.

However, when we finish the last round, we’ll see a small gap, jog, step, or ladder, since we are knitting on a spiral.

How to bind off jogless (knit in the round). So Woolly.

The solution is to close that gap using a tapestry needle:

First, cut the yarn leaving a nice tail.

Second, thread the tapestry needle, place it below the two legs of the first stitch from the bind-off round (left side), and pull.

Third, place the tapestry needle below the two legs of the first stitch from the right side of the bind-off round, and pull.

Finally, weave in the end.

How to cast off without a jog (knit in the round). So Woolly.

So, my little Woolly, this is how to knit in the round with circular needles.

Click on the next link and watch the step-by-step process:

How to Knit in the Round for Absolute Beginners

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and wish you a happy circular knitting career 🙂

Hugs, and kisses,

Carolina – So Woolly

PS: Don’t forget to share the love! Remember, sharing is caring!

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