Cicular knitting is a technique used for creating tubes or other round knitted pieces. When knitting "in the round", as it is also known, the two ends of the knitted piece are joined to form one continuous piece of material. The knitting then progresses in "rounds", and the knitting progresses until the piece is completed.
On Double-Pointed NeedlesEdit
When it was first invented, circular knitting was performed using sets of double-pointed Knitting needles. In this technique, the knitter may use four, five, or more needles, and works as follows:
- Cast on the requisite number of stitches, distributed evenly on the needles (alternatively, you can cast all the stitches onto a single straight needle and then transfer them to the dpns).
- Work across the first needle in pattern.
- Begin working over the next needle using the now-freed needle, ensuring that you maintain a consistent Gauge.
Note, the primary disadvantage of this technique is the danger of inconsistent gauge between the needles. This can take the form of either too much or too little space between the stitches, and results in a visible line down the piece.
On the other hand, dpns can be used to work any size of piece, from three stitches all the way up to any arbitrary diameter. Furthermore, dpns tend to be available in a wider variety of Needle sizes, and so are more appropriate when working small pieces or Lace.
On Circular NeedlesEdit
The standard method of knitting in the round over circular needles requires a circular with a cable length close to that of the final expected diameter of the piece. In this case, the knitter casts on the requisite number of stitches, joins the two ends, and proceeds to knit in rounds. However, this greatly limits the diameter of the piece which may be worked.
Fortunately, there are alternate techniques which may be employed: