A Guide to Circular Needles

 In Helpful Stuff, Questions Answered

Circular Needles, is the hype real and how do I do it?

This is a commonly asked question and I am here for it!

My own journey started with circs when I was pregnant and suffering from Carpal Tunnel in my wrists – rendering me non-knitty able… when I should be getting my stash of new born baby knits sorted!

My local woolshop did not stock circular needles or believe in them, so my path with them had never crossed… until a chance conversation with a lady lead me on my on a journey to find out more.  She explained they are EXACTLY what I needed to knit with CT, and in her case, the knitters worst enemy; Arthritis.

I found a wool shop that stocked circs and so my love affair began.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, the transition was weird, but really in the end it happened quickly and I started my collection of the beloved Knitpro Symphonie interchangeables.  I learned a lot, I researched, experimented and talked to other knitters and here is a quick overview of my opinions.

  • WOODEN WINS!  I found the metal tips too slippery and I have heard from many sources metal needs have vibrations that can set off Arthritis.  Bamboo was too dry for my liking, and quite snaggy.  Knitters you know what I mean!  Plastic is well plastic and not my scene.  I enjoy the highly polished rosewood ends of the Knitpro Symphonie, they glide, they don’t split the wool, my hands stay cool (not sweaty) and I think they look as good as they perform.
  • INTERCHANGEABLE MAKES SENSE! Instead of having every combo of needle tip and usable length cables, you build up a tool case of variables and chop and change as needed!  It’s pretty rad really.
  • FLAT IS GOOD TOO!  Knitting in the round makes sense for a lot of reasons, like no sewing hahahaha, but how about knitting something like a blanket that must be knit straight / flat?  Well I say these make total sense too.  You knit the same way, changing needles from left to right hands at the end of the row and it all works just dandy – plus your stitches don’t fall or jump off the ends!

But the BIG change is these things;

  1. The weight of the knitting sits on the cable and not on the needle – taking the load off your wrists
  2. The angle of your wrists change, easing the issue of repetitive strains and trapped nerves
  3. Your fingers are no longer working hard balancing and controlling the needles, they are simply guiding them
  4. With more relaxed hands you work is more relaxed, as in not squeaky toight
  5. You posture improves and you can drop those shoulders hiking up and straining your neck!

And if that’s not enough reasons, these cool things happen too;

  1. Your knitting now fits into something small to carry, no long needles sticking out
  2. You can knit in smaller spaces, more comfortable positions as you don’t have long ‘wings’ anymore!
  3. Your knitting tools fit into a cute little pouch, all the tips and cables, like a make up purse or pencil case!
  4. You’ll look gangster, should have maybe mentioned that sooner hahahaha
  5. Oh and you can knit on planes!

So if you are up for a try, I’ve got some videos to help you get the gear sorted and demystify some of the how to do it’s … last thought before that, if you are an arm tucker (as in you tuck the classic knitting needle under an arm to control it, pinning it to your body) you will find the transition the most weird – as you now have two moving needles.  So as fumbly and weird as it may feel, keep going!  You’ll get the hang of it quicker than it feels like you will.  I know it feels odd being ‘new’ at something you know how to do well, but you will soon be swish swooshing those stitches!  Yeow!

Ok viddy links are here… Give me a holla if you need to understand something not covered here, always happy to help!

I’m a massive fan of knitting in the round – makes beanies easy and as for knitting a jumper, why the benefits are awesome, would you like to hear more about circular knitting?

Arched Knittens Knit Kit

I should also add, double pointed needles are cool too, and have their place – like very little circles…

Big loves to all



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