Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Circular Knitting Needles.

Circular Knitting Needles are my favorite kinds of needles.
The anatomy of a circular knitting needle: Most Circular knitting needles consist of a knitting needle that has a point on one side and is tapered off, it is connected to a cord, which is connected to another knitting needle with the same characteristics as the other needle. The needle parts can be made of Aluminum, bamboo, or any material that other needles are made of. The cord is usually made of plastic, or a wire or a wire covered in plastic. The needles can be any diameter, and the cord can be any length.

Why use a Circular Knitting Needle? They are very versatile; they can be used to make circular pieces as well as flat pieces. The circular knitting needle works well for projects that have many stitches across, such as a blanket. Circular knitting needles also reduce the stress exerted upon the knitter’s hands and wrists, helping the knitter to avoid injuries. Yes, knitting can lead to injuries other than poking yourself with the needles!

Circular knitting needles can be used to make socks or sleeves two at a time. There is a method that uses one needle called the Magic loop method and another method that uses two needles to make socks and things like that. Does anyone know what that method is called? It might just be called “knitting on two circulars”? At knit night last month, I actually got to see someone doing the Magic Loop Method. Now I want to learn how to do it. Making socks two at a time seems like it would have a lot of advantages. One advantage is that the socks should be a lot closer to identical. Another is that the “Second Sock Syndrome” shouldn’t be a problem. When you are binding off one sock, it won’t take very much effort to finish the other.

Circular needles also come in sets, which are very helpful. I have a set that I bought at Michael’s that was made by Boyle. I bought this particular set because I had a ½ off coupon from Michael’s, and thought they would be useful. They are very useful, especially when trying to determine which size needle to use to get gauge. The set comes with a few cords of different lengths and needles in most sizes available. The biggest problem I have with this set is that the cords and the needles screw together. The reason this is a problem is that sometimes they come loose or even the needles will come off of the cords, which is annoying. Knit Picks has a couple of sets, and I think their connections are different and seem like they would be better. There is another company that makes them also, called Denise and these are supposed to be nice too.

Don’t be intimidated by circular knitting needles, they are easy to use and very versatile.

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