I’m so happy to be back at Berroco! My first day at work felt a little like a reunion, with so many familiar faces welcoming me back to the office. I instantly felt right at home, and promptly began stashing chocolate-covered pretzels and vanilla wafers in my desk drawers to complete the transition.
A few of my first tasks have touched on circular knitting, a rewarding technique but also one that requires some practice. I’ve thrown together three little tips I rely on:
1. BE CAREFUL NOT TO TWIST. Those sneaky twists in your cast on row aren’t always easy to spot when it’s time to join in the round. The trick I use now is to lay my needles flat on a table and arrange the cast-on stitches so that the bottom of every stitch is pointing towards the center of the circle (see photo below – in this case, the shape is more like a triangle than a circle, but the stitches are all lying inside). Then I insert my right needle into the first stitch and knit it before even picking the thing up again, just to be sure.
2. PULL TIGHT AT THE JOINS. When you’re using double-points or two circulars, the stitches are divided onto multiple needles. When you jump from one needle to the next, the tension of the stitches closest to the jump may end up loose, forming “ladders” in the fabric. I always give my yarn an extra tug when working the end stitches on a needle to prevent gaps.
3. GAUGE CAN CHANGE. Even if you’re using the same yarn and needle size, a stockinette swatch worked flat can be very different from a swatch worked in the round. When knitting flat, you purl every other row, whereas circular knitting will use only knit stitches. Since many people purl at a different tension than they knit (myself included), a gauge worked in the round will be the best way to prepare for a circular knitting project.
Keep an eye out for KnitBits #396- it includes some exciting circular project ideas to inspire your next knitting endeavor!