Introduction: Knitting in the Round

About: Making and sharing are my two biggest passions! In total I've published hundreds of tutorials about everything from microcontrollers to knitting. I'm a New York City motorcyclist and unrepentant dog mom. My wo…

By now you've got a handle on flat knitting, which can take you very far! But for round objects like hats, it's more efficient to knit continuously — imagine a spiral staircase — on circular needles. This is called "knitting in the round." It's easier than it may seem! In this beginner's hat project, you'll learn how to set up your circular knitting project, alternate between two colors of yarn (optional), and shape the crown with stitch decreases.

Grab some worsted weight yarn and your size 8 circular needle. Knit a swatch and check your gauge: recommended for this project is 4.5 sts/6 rows per inch or 17 sts/23 rows = 10cm in st st.

Step 1: Join

To join a project for knitting in the round, cast on 88 stitches to a circular needle and then triple check that they’re all facing the same way and not twisted as you queue up the two ends together.

Knit into the first stitch and pull the working yarn tight before continuing on.

When you get back to the beginning of the row, count your stitches to make sure they’re all there. Place a stitch marker or scrap loop of yarn on the right needle.

Step 2: Stripes!

To knit in stripes with two colors, make two rows in your first color, then place a stitch marker and start working in your second color, without cutting the first.

After another two rows you can swap back to the first color by just picking up the working yarn where you left off.

Since the stripes are only two rows tall, the alternate color working yarn can be picked up without cutting. The yarn will make the short span across the short stripe. For larger stripes, you will need to cut long tails and add the new color as if starting a new skein, then weave in all the yarn ends later on.

Step 3: Knit Like the Wind

Continue in K1, P1 rib until you have about 14 stripes of each color, or until the hat measures approx 10 inches/25 cm tall. In the next lesson, you'll learn how to create the dome shape at the top of the hat.

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