4 Methods for Knitting in the Round

Knitting in the round is an important skill for any knitter to learn. Lots of items can be knit flat and then seamed, but if you learn to knit in the round you can speed up your knitting and avoid having to seam things like hats, cowls, socks, and more. Here are four common ways to knit in the round. Try them all to figure out which one is your favorite for circular knitting.

Circular Needles

Circular needles come in many different lengths and are perfect for every project that needs to be knit in the round. Use a smaller circular, like a 9” circular for the sleeves of baby sweaters or when knitting a sock. Longer circular needles (16”, 24”, 32”, 40”, and beyond) can be used on everything from hats to adult sweaters.

Double-Pointed Needles

These needles have points on both ends, making them ideal for knitting in the round. Double-pointed needles (DPNs) can be configured in a variety of ways, depending on your needs. For socks, I prefer to have my stitches on three needles and use the fourth needle for knitting. For bigger items, like hats, I will have my stitches on four needles and use a fifth needle for knitting. Play around with the DPN configuration that’s best for you!

Two Circular Needles

You can use two circular needles to knit in the round. Typically, the stitches will be split up with half of the stitches on each circular needle. I like using this technique for items like hats, as you don’t have to switch to double-pointed needles as you decrease for the crown of the hat.

Magic Loop

Using one long circular needle, you can knit in the round using the magic loop method. The stitches are split in half, much like using two circulars, but the long cord is holding half the stitches, while knitting across the other half of the circular piece.

I’d love to know: what is your preferred method for knitting in the round?

Related Videos: Neatly Weave in Ends on Circular Knitting

, Knitting in the Round with a Circular Needle, Knitting in the Round Using the Magic Loop Method

Discussion
  • (will not be published)

31 Responses to “4 Methods for Knitting in the Round”
  1. Ellen Bolen
    Ellen Bolen

    Very helpful as I’m getting ready to knit my first pair of half fingered gloves!!

    Reply
  2. Kathie
    Kathie

    I am partial to using two circulars for socks, sleeves, hats, etc. I will use dpn’s when necessary. I dislike magic loop.

    Reply
  3. Carmen Bardsley
    Carmen Bardsley

    Love to learn new method of magic loop.
    Other wise I prefer use circular needles when possible/ when I have them in correct size

    Reply
  4. Jacki Lindblom
    Jacki Lindblom

    I prefer using two circular needles most of the time. I’ll use a single circular as well.

    Reply
  5. Kathy L Franccis
    Kathy L Franccis

    I just love knitting in the round because I don’t like to seam. Anxious to try using two circular needles and also the magic loop.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Gillian,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      Please contact our customer service at: 1-833-622-6523 or email knittingcircle@program-director.net so they can reset it for you.

      If you have any additional questions, please email or contact Customer Service at 1-833-622-6523.

      Sincerely,

      Lindsay
      The Knitting Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  6. Diane
    Diane

    I love the magic loop. I have less needles to buy. You can work arm, body or a sock with the same needles.

    Reply
  7. Nancy Kaye Allen
    Nancy Kaye Allen

    In the past I’ve always used dpn for knitting socks, but will try magic loop on the next pair. It seems most patterns for straight knitting are using circular needles I’m thinking it has to do with new construction methods for sweaters, etc.

    Reply
  8. Sharon Stanger
    Sharon Stanger

    My favorite way to knit in the round is with dpn’s but if it is a larger item, I like to use traveling loop.

    Reply
  9. Cynthia Valentine
    Cynthia Valentine

    Do you have the same laddering issues using two circular needles as you do with magic loop?

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello Cynthia,

      Thank you for contacting us.

      It really depends on the person and their style of knitting. Most of the time, laddering can be resolved by tightening down slightly on the first and second stitch on the needle.

      If you have any additional questions, please email or contact Customer Service at 1-833-622-6523.

      Sincerely,

      Lindsay
      The Knitting Circle Video Membership

      Reply
  10. Lois Hamer
    Lois Hamer

    Since I learnt the magic loop method 5 or 6 years ago it is the only one that I use. Bootees to afghans, my interchangeable needles are always in use.

    Reply
  11. Cheryl Rigsbee
    Cheryl Rigsbee

    I liked the video on magic loop knitting, but how do you prevent the look of a seem between the two sets of stitches. Do you just pull a little tighter when you switch sets?

    Reply
  12. RaNae
    RaNae

    I am knitting socks right now. I have only knitted for a few months and have undone my project many times after realizing errors in alignment of my stitches in the pattern. I was told by a friend that the first million stitches are practice (haha) which I am sure is somewhat true. I have only used circular needles since trying at first to use four needles and feeling like I had all thumbs, just couldn’t get use to the handful. Anyway I live “twist” needles which I was introduced to. They are amazing!! So looking forward to learning much more from you all.

    Reply
    • Julienne Jack
      Julienne Jack

      Socks are an ambitious project for a new knitter. There are sock looms on the market that make it easier to create the heel which can be the frustration. Missed stitches gives you the spot to show that the socks you made are not machine made. Throw a button over the mis-stitch and a matching one on the second sox. Enjoy.

      Reply
  13. Julienne Jack
    Julienne Jack

    4 Double pointed needles seem to have a mind of their own and get away as soon as possible leaving you with empty stitches.

    Reply