Emily Explains: Knitting a Flat Pattern in the Round
On my last trip to Maine, I was sitting on the porch with my mom and flipping through Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. She’d given me this book as a gift, at a time when I believed I would never become a good knitter. It has been an endless source of inspiration and knowledge ever since and I have a habit of lugging it around with me wherever I go… just in case!
On this particular morning, I noticed a section in the front of the book that I had never read before, explaining how to convert patterns for circular knitting. I was so excited to find this! I felt silly that I had not noticed her help on this technique that I’ve struggled with over the years.
Here are some of her simple tips that I found helpful for some of my knitting projects…
- Translate your wrong side (ws) rows to right side (rs) rows. When circular knitting, you typically are working on the same side the entire time.
- Think of rows as rounds
- WS knits become purls
- WS purls become knits
- WS slip with yarn in front (wyif) becomes slipped with yarn in back (wyib)
- WS slip with wyib becomes slipped wyif
I find that taking the extra time to carefully write your revised pattern instructions prevents confusion. Adapting a pattern for circular knitting works well if the pattern is symmetrical. Personally, I like doing this with stitch patterns that seem easy to convert. For example, a lot of cable patterns direct you to the knit the knits and purl the purls on the wrong side rows, which would be the same thing on the right side rows. Also, a lot of lace patterns direct you to purl on the wrong side rows, which translates to knitting on the right side rows.
I am going to try this with a simple sweater to start, and maybe work my way up to something more complicated.
Don’t be afraid to try, though! As Barbara herself said, “All knitters can create.”
Have you converted any seamed patterns to in the round recently?
I’d love to hear your tips too!