Knitting is a skill that most people have gained through experience. Most people have learned knitting skills by use of straight needles. However, circular needles are not standard, and most people may find it hard to use them.
Blankets are heavy fabrics that require some special type of needles for knitting. To ease your knitting tasks, you need to make use of circular needles. However, most knitters tend to get confused about how to go about knitting blankets using circular needles. This article discusses How to Use Circular Knitting Needles for Blanket. Read on!
Step by Step Guide
Knitting a blanket requires long stitches. When using circular needles, the cable joining the needles gives these needles the length needed for stitching a blanket. This pair of circular needles is advantageous because it helps you view your project’s progress as you knit. After all, it allows you to spread your project and note how far you have done it.
Additionally, much of the stitches are cast on the needle then moved to the cable part. This is one way that the knitter is saved from doing the strenuous job of holding the relative weight threads. The circular needles enable you to do as many stitches as the blanket requires.
When breaking from the project, you may need your project intact and that your stitches do not fall off the needle. The circular stitching enables you to put the stitches in the cable section hence fewer chances of fall off.
The following is a step by step guide on how you can effectively use circular knitting needles for blankets:
1. Gather all the Materials Needed
To get started, you need to have interchangeable circular knitting needle sets. Buying a set would save you from choosing different sizes. You also need yarn to start knitting. The yarn requirement fora blanket can be light to bulky wool. However, you may consider the washable yarns and, at the same time, relatively bulky yarns that work perfectly in cold weather. Price is also a determining factor for the type of your yarn you will use.
It would also be best if you considered the length of the circular needles for knitting the blanket. Contrary to what most knitters believe, the length of the circular needles you use is equal to the project’s width. For instance, a circular knitting needle with a length of 36 inches can be used to know a blanket of 45 inches’ width and a winter scarf of 8 inches’ width.
However, while the circular needle’s length does not matter so much, it is recommended that you go for those needles with a length of between 32 inches to 36 inches. This length is usually preferred for most projects, including blankets. Whatever length of circular needle you choose to work with ensures that its cords are flexible and do not easily curl up.
Alternatively, you can choose to go for those needle sets that have interchangeable cord lengths. The interchangeability of the cord length allows the circular to be even more flexible. Three examples of interchangeable circular needle sets that you can go for are:
- Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina — These circular needles feature US 4 – 11 needles.
- Knitter’s Pride Karbonz – These Interchangeable needles include US 2.5 – US 10 needles with long tips.
- Lykke Grove wood – These feature US 3 – 15 needles, each with 3.5-inch tips.
Also, before settling for the type of interchangeable circular needles to buy, you must consider the following factors first:
- The length of the tips of the needles
- The total number of cords included in the needles
- Whether the cords are stiff or flexible
- The styling of the case
- The material used to make the needle, whether wood, metal, etc.
- The shape of the interchangeable circular needle.
2. Cast Stitches
The first step to knitting blankets is making stitches on circular needles. The casting of stitches on the circular needles is made on the left needle. You can achieve this by casting the stitches on the straight part of the needle, whereby the stitches slide to the cable part of the needle.
Also, note that the casting of stitches when knitting blankets is similar to that which uses straight needles. In this process, the circular needles work in a ‘flat,’ back and forth manner. The best thing about this type of casting is that it makes it easier to work with lots of stitches and knitting blankets. More so, by using circular needles, the knitter can spread their knitting projects and view the progress.
Another important factor that you should consider when casting stitches for blankets is the space needed between the stitches. Ensure that, when crocheting, you always leave plenty of room between each stitch you make. While this may prove hard initially, you will get used to leaving enough space for the stitches in no time with patience and enough practice.
When you start knitting, the yarn should be on the left hand. Some projects may require you to make elegant stitches for successful knitting. However, other projects may not necessarily require this. The knitting starts with the first cast stitch on the left. Knitting is done in the same way we use straight needles.
The knitting is such that the stitches are always in the left hand. Work across the project as you would with straight needles. When you knit to the end of the needle’s row, the process flows the same way as you would with a straight needle. Then, turn around and keep knitting.
The turning around ensures that the needle with the stitches is on the left hand. The switching between the left part of the needle to the right and vice versa enables you to create rows for the blanket, which keeps the project expanding. Keep switching to either side when the stitches on one side are less.
Indeed, most of us are used to knitting with straight needles. However, knitting using circular needles is not as tricky as you most probably presume. As discussed above, all you need to is gather the right materials, cast your stitches well then start knitting and avoid mistakes during knitting. Yes, knitting with circular needles is as simple as it sounds. So get that yarn today and start knitting your beautiful blanket using circular knitting needles!