Small Circumference Knitting
Right Round Baby
Knitting in the round on circular needles is pretty easy, but it doesn't work for small circumference knitting; for that, you have two options: magic loop, and double-pointed needles. I favor double-pointed needles, and for very small circumference knitting, it's really the only option.
I’m casting on for a toy football pattern, which you can get for free via the form below.
It starts out with only 8 stitches and they’re worked in the round! Cast them on all at once to one double-pointed needle. (Henceforth referred to as a DPN.)
Divide and Conquer
To start dividing onto DPNs, all you'll do is transfer an equal (or close to it) number of stitches onto 3 or 4 needles. In this case, 4. Make sure you have one extra to knit with. As you get the stitches on each one, let it fall, and kind of rotate them clockwise so that they go into an array. Slide the stitches to the middle of each one so you don't have to worry about them falling off. If you’re careful, all of the stitches will be facing outward.
If you weren’t careful, or perhaps someone jumped on you when you were trying to be careful, you can still sort it out without having to undo everything.
Take a deep breath and find the bottom of each stitch. If you look closely, you can see a purl bump for each one. Just get them all in order again, turn them so they’re all aimed down, and you’re set!
Now We Knit
The first stitch you’ll knit into is the first one you cast on. This will join everything into a circle. For that first stitch, you want to give it a tug afterwards to tighten up any gap that's going to form where the join is.
You don't have to worry about them getting twisted anymore!
After knitting all the stitches on one needle, grab the empty needle with your right hand and move on to the next one.
It’s usually a good idea to keep track of where the end of the round is, but if you try to use a stitch marker, it will fall right off the end of the needle. I tend to live dangerously and not mark it at all… but the tail of the yarn is always coming out from the last stitch of the round, so that acts as a marker of sorts also.
And that’s all there is to it! Don’t forget to snag that football pattern and try out what you learned today.