Circular knitting or knitting in the round is a form of knitting that creates a seamless tube. Work in the round is begun by casting on stitches as for flat knitting but then joining the ends of that row of stitches to form a circle. Knitting is worked in rounds (the equivalent of the rows in flat knitting), which forms the tube by winding around in a helix.[1]

Knitting using a circular needle.
Four double pointed knitting needles.
Knitting on double points.
Magic Loop knitting on one circular needle.
The earliest image of circular knitting, from the 15th century AD.

Originally, circular knitting was done using a set of four or five double-pointed needles. Today, knitters often use instead a circular needle, which resembles a pair of short knitting needles connected by a cable between them. Circular knitting can also be performed by knitting machines: a double-bed machine can be set up to knit on its front bed in one direction and then its back bed on the return, which creates the tube.[2][3] Specialized knitting machines for sock-knitting use individual latch-hook needles to make each stitch in a round frame.[4]

Many types of sweaters are traditionally knit in the round. Planned openings (arm holes, necks, cardigan fronts) are temporarily knitted with extra stitches, reinforced if necessary. Then the extra stitches are cut to create the opening, and are stitched with a sewing machine to prevent unraveling.[5] This technique is called steeking.

Magic loop technique edit

Invented by Sarah Hauschka and first described in Beverly Galeskas’s booklet The Magic Loop, this technique uses a long circular knitting needle[6] (for instance 40 inches) to knit projects (of any circumference substantially less than the needle length) in the round. The key is pulling a loop of extra cable out between the stitches halfway through the round.[7]

The magic loop technique also allows knitting two-at-a-time projects like pairs of socks or the sleeves of sweaters. This knitting both pieces at once makes it easier to render the two as similar as possible.

Spool and machine circular knitting edit

Spool knitting is a form of circular knitting using pegs rather than needles, one peg per stitch. A variant automates the stitching action, thus producing a hand-crank circular knitting machine. Commercial knitting machines are heavy-duty powered versions of the hand-cranked ones; they may knit multiple threads at once, for speed.

Notes edit

  1. ^ "Circular needles".
  2. ^ "Flat knitting machine having four opposed needle beds - Patent # 4100766 - PatentGenius". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  3. ^ "Circular knitting machine - Patent # 3969912 - PatentGenius". Archived from the original on 2017-01-01. Retrieved 2017-01-01.
  4. ^ "Sock Machine Museum Sock Knitting Machine Information, Sales, Patterns and Museum".
  5. ^ "KidsKnits - Steeks Introduction". Archived from the original on 2016-02-24. Retrieved 2007-09-03.
  6. ^ "Circular knitting needle".
  7. ^ Wessel, Emily (October 3, 2013). "Magic Loop Technique: How To Knit in the Round Using a Single Long Circular Needle". tin can knits.

Further reading edit

  • Allen, Pam, Trisha Malcolm, Rich Tennant, and Cheryl Fall (2002). Knitting for Dummies. New York: Hungry Minds, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7645-5395-0
  • Breiter, Barbara, and Gail Diven (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting Illustrated, 2nd Edition. New York: Alpha Books. ISBN 978-1-59257-089-8
  • Galeskas, Bev (2002). The Magic Loop: Working Around on One Needle. Fiber Trends. (Sixth edition ISBN 978-1933398006)
  • Hiatt, June Hemmons (1989). The Principles of Knitting: Methods and Techniques of Hand Knitting. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-55233-6
  • Rutt, Richard (2003). A History of Handknitting. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press. (Reprint edition ISBN 1-931499-37-3)
  • Zimmermann, Elizabeth (1972). Knitting Without Tears. New York: Simon & Schuster. (Reprint edition ISBN 0-684-13505-1)

External links edit