Rant about circular needles

dotmomJuly 23, 2010

sorry...I'm so frustrated. I am trying to knit a hat, the pattern (and it seems all patterns) call for circular needles. I broke down and bought the 16" size, plus the set of double point needles called for. It took me a few tries to figure out the pattern, and finally was knitting along.....then....I discovered my piece was twisted. This has happened twice, even though I thought I was being careful. I just tore it all out AGAIN, and will start AGAIN. I have knitted for over 45 years and I guess the circular needles are here to stay, but I sure don't enjoy using them. Anyone else feel this way about them, or am I a lone-ranger?

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socks

I recently read a way to untwist stitches like that, but too late now to share it with you. It came to me in an email from Knitting Daily so if you want me to forward it to you, I can. Let me know. I'd post it here but there are pics which I don't think would come through.

I know circs can be very helpful, but I've never loved them either. They are too curly, don't relax. I use dp's for socks.

If you are lone-ranger, then I'm Tonto.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 6:27PM
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oilpainter

I have knitted since I was 10. That was a very long time ago. I too hate circular needles and tend to avoid them if I can. I find them awkward and the cord connecting them stiff and curly. I use double pointed longs for larger projects and the shorts for smaller ones. I'd much prefer to knit with 4 or even 5 needles to working with the circular needle. The only time I ever use a circular is to do afghans where you work back and forth.

You can see you are not alone. Many people share your dislike of the circular needles

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 2:16PM
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dotmom

Glad I'm not alone, and actually have my faithful friend Tonto with me. LOL
Thank you Sox, for the offer, but I have dial up email, and if anything is sent to me with pictures, it jams up my mail box.

Oil Painter, you gave me an idea. next time I try to knit something that calls for circular needles, I'm going to try using several double point needles.

I did finally get the hat going, after tearing it out, I don't know how many times. It is such a cute pattern and it took a lot of research to find the pattern, so it has been worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2010 at 8:23PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

I learned to knit so many years ago that circular needles were unheard of and I certainly did not see them in any stores. I do still prefer to use straights. But some circulars are easier to use than others because their cord does not kink, and that particular kind of cord is used to make the Knit Picks circulars, available only online at their site. My sister put me on to them, and they are the easiest to use circulars, I have to say. Nevertheless, straights are still my favorite to hold in my hands.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 12:36PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I like them. I use the interchangeable sizes that swivel. In an instant I can grab the knitting and pull it down on the cord, from the two tips and toss it into a bag. No lost stitches. I guess it boils down to whatever you are used to.

-Babka

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:17AM
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tami_ohio

I love circulars. In fact, the only things I don't use them for is scarves and dishcloths. As for your project twisting when joining, that can happen even with double points. You just have to be very careful when joining. I learned socks on double points and did quite a few pair that way before learning to do them on one long circular. I twisted many when joinig. If you notice it when you finish the first round, you can fix it without tearing out. After that, it will show, and must be taken out.

To stop the cables on circulars from curling, I was taught to "cook" my needles. Heat a cup of water and put the cable in the hot water for a few seconds at a time, removing and straightening, and doing it again if needed, until the curl comes out. The curl is from being coiled in the package.

Tami

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 11:54AM
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donna_loomis

Like Tami, I LOVE circular needles and rarely use my straights or DPNs at all anymore. Just like anything new, it might take some getting used to. But if you persevere, you might just find out that they are wonderful.

And yes, some have cords that are stiff and unyielding. Those are not my friends. You can buy some very inexpensive ones at KnitPicks that are very pliable. There are others too. I only mentioned KnitPicks because they are my personal favorite, partly because of the cost. I see they are Sheila Joyce's favorite, too.

It might take a bit of practice to avoid twisting the stitches, but it happens sometimes. Even to me, and I've been using them for quite a while. But it happened to me when I used DPNs too.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 2:58PM
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cannahavana

If it wasn't for circs, I could not knit anymore. I have carpel tunnel and the straights hurt my wrist so bad that I put down knitting for 10 years. Yes, some do curl, but like the others, I love knitpicks options. I gave all my straights away.

Rebecca

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 12:13AM
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Vickey__MN

Put me in the I LOVE CIRCULAR NEEDLES. Don't knit with anything else anymore! Magic loop, or single loop, or whatever I have to do to use them! I have the Knitpicks interchangeable needles, LOVE THEM!!

Vickey-Mn

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 2:00PM
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maryrose58

I love circular needles ... here's a tip ... before you start knitting ... take the cord portion and put it in hot (tap) water ... this will make it more flexible and take care of any kinks.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 5:23PM
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Cougar1

I soak my circs in really hot water also for about 2 minutes then take them out and pull them straight for less than a minute till it cools...sometimes it only takes once to straighten out the kink, sometimes I have to do it twice.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:04PM
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kelona

I enjoy the circulars unless it's a small project. You just have to be very careful on the first row/round that you don't twist your work. Maybe because of the way I knit, I find that some of the straight ones are always poking me! Now, as for their curls, I found a holder for the circulars where they drape through slots. It's a God-send. No more fighting with curling needles. I also saw online where someone made a circular holder using a pants leg from an old pair of jeans.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 3:11PM
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