Beginner or experienced knitter, you have certainly learned to knit with straight knitting needles. These are the classic needles that everyone knows, even DIY novices. However, expert knitters could tell you: there is another kind of needle that you will not be able to do without after having tried them… It is about circular needles. But what is it, then ? And why use them?
WHAT ARE CIRCULAR NEEDLES?
A classic knitting needle is straight and relatively long (between 15 and 40 cm).
On the contrary, circular needles are short . In fact, it is 2 needle points (rigid parts of about ten centimeters with which you knit), connected by a flexible cable (nylon or plastic).
There are 2 types of circular needles :
- Fixed circular needles . End caps and hose are integral.
- Interchangeable circular needles . As their name suggests, they are removable. You can change the needle points to adapt their size to the knitting pattern and the yarn chosen. But you can also screw/clip another cable depending on the length needed. Indeed, you will not need the same length of hose if you knit a hat, a sweater or a plaid!
Just like straight needles, the tips of circular needles are available in different materials: bamboo, steel, plastic, wood… The choice is yours!
Now that you know a lot about this type of knitting needles, discover all the advantages of using circular needles.
WHY KNIT WITH CIRCULAR NEEDLES? 4 GOOD REASONS TO USE THEM!
1. Easy to carry to knit wherever you want
Addicted knitter, you jump at the slightest opportunity to practice your favorite creative activity, at home or on the go. But with straight needles (stiff and large), it’s not easy to meet your desire… Have you ever tried to transport them and knit with them on public transport? No comment…
On the contrary, circular needles are very practical for knitting wherever and whenever you want ! Indeed, space- saving , they slip easily into a bag, even a small one. In addition, you can knit on the train, bus or plane, without your elbows or the length of the needles getting in the way of your neighbors. No more risk of knocking them out!
2. Circular needles: essential for easy knitting in the round
Like many knitters, you love to knit, much less sew to assemble the different parts of your garment. This final step seems very tedious to you every time…
Do you dream of knitting a sweater in one piece, without having to sew the finishing seams ? This is possible with circular needles!
Another benefit of circular knitting or seamless knitting is that you can try on as you work . Thus, you adjust your knitted garment (body length, sleeves) without waiting to realize that your sweater has finally turned into a dress!
3. More comfort for knitting
Knitting with circular needles is much more comfortable than with regular needles. Do you doubt it? Give it a try!
With this type of needles, the weight of the stitches is distributed on the cable which is placed on your knees, instead of being supported only by your wrists. You handle much lighter needle tips. Say goodbye to pain in the shoulders!
You can sit comfortably in an armchair by resting your forearms on the armrests, since the tips are short. This pleasant knitting position offers you maximum comfort and significantly reduces your fatigue. You will be able to knit for hours while keeping a smile!
Another notable advantage, especially for a knitting beginner: thanks to the cable, there is no risk of losing the stitches (as can be the case with double-pointed knitting needles), since they are contained on the flexible.
Thus, you knit serenely, especially large projects . What knitter has never struggled to hold more than 200 stitches on straight needles to make a shawl? With circular needles, you can easily cast on a large number of stitches necessary for making plaids, shawls, etc.
4. One pair of knitting needles for multiple uses
You got it: knitting in the round with circular needles is one of the advantages of using this kind of needle.
But did you know that it is also possible to knit flat with circular needles ? Yes ! They adapt to all your desires: you will love their creative flexibility!
Nothing could be simpler: to knit back and forth with circular needles, use the same technique as with straight needles.
No need to buy different types of needles (straight to knit flat and circular to knit in the round). With circular needles, you can realize all your knitting projects! For example, invest only in a kit of interchangeable circular needles: you will save money without curbing your creativity!