Even if you are probably more used to seeing crocheted circles, you can knit a flat circle too. You could use various methods, including increases and decreases, a garter stitch, and short rows.
Increasing and Decreasing
Increasing and decreasing stitches allows you to make knitted items with tapered and expanding edges.
You add an extra stitch or loop to your needle when you increase stitches. Doing so will increase the length of your row by one stitch, thus increasing the width. Meanwhile, decreasing stitches means removing a stitch or loop from your needle.
The garter stitch is the most fundamental knitting pattern, formed by knitting regular knit stitches throughout all rows. The resulting cloth is highly elastic in both length and width. It is completely reversible, meaning that all sides appear the same.
You can do these short rows of knitting over a piece of your stitches to add height in a specified region. Short rows provide length to a project in the select areas rather than all the way around. Adding length in specific spots alters the overall form of the fabric.
Among these approaches, I recommend using the garter stitch as it is probably the easiest. Using this stitch is as simple as knitting every stitch, every row. It means you can work it even if all you know is how to cast on and work a knit stitch.
However, it doesn’t mean that the garter stitch is too plain to do some special projects! You can make scarves, mitts, and even hats with your garter-stitched circles.
Inspired by fuzzy felt, you can knit this simple garter stitch circle in any color and arrange several pieces for other garments or decorations.
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How Do I Knit a Flat Circle?
You could use various methods to make flat circles, including increases and decreases. First, you will cast a few stitches onto your DPN and knit into the front and back of each stitch to increase the rows. After several rows, you’ll grab 3 DPNs and alternately increase rows.
Here is the simple process of knitting a flat circle:
Work a slipknot and slide it onto your DPNs. Insert another needle into your loop and k1. Then, you will make a purl stitch and pull the last one onto your right. Note that you need four DPNs in any size.
Move the right DPN to your left hand with the stitches and insert the working needle into a stitch. Next, make a purl stitch and move it to the right. Then, purl-stitch the remaining stitches so you’ll have three stitches on the right needle again.
Insert the working needle into the nearest stitch and knit it, leaving it on the left DPN. Next, insert the needle into the back of the same one and work it, leaving it on the left DPN. So now, you should have six stitches.
Turn your project and insert the working needle into a stitch. Next, purl stitch and pull it onto your right. Then, purl-stitch each of the remaining stitches.
Turn your project again and insert your DPN into the closest stitch to work a knit stitch. Next, leave it on the left needle and insert the right into the back of the stitch. Then knit-stitch and pull it onto the right.
Note that increasing each stitch in the row will double the number of stitches on your needle. For example, you should now have twelve stitches.
Increasing the Circle
Transfer four stitches to another DPN and place another four onto a third DPN. Now, you should have an even number of stitches on each DPN.
Position the needles, so each of them touches and forms a triangle. Then, smooth the stitches that might twist so they lie flat. Keep the working yarn hanging from the right, and remember not to work with the yarn tail.
Take the fourth DPN, insert it onto your left needle, knit the stitch, and slip it onto the empty one. Next, pull the yarn tightly to prevent a gap between the stitches, then keep knitting until you’ve worked each stitch.
Knit into the front and back of the first stitch on your left DPN to work an increasing row. Then work the next stitch as usual and continue to KFB and K1 across all three needles. You should have 18 stitches once you reach the end of the row.
Since you’re working a non-increasing row, you should knit every stitch on the three needles and finish with eighteen stitches, just as you started with the same number.
To make your next increasing row, you will knit an additional stitch after KFB, K1. Next, you will work all the stitches of the next row. Then, add knit stitch after KFB, K2 to do another increasing row. Finally, you will knit every stitch again and continue until the circle is as large as you’d like.
Can You Knit a Circle with Straight Needles?
Although knitting circles and knitting on the round may be better on circular needles, you can still use your straight ones. All those points can be a little daunting initially, but it’s pretty simple. You can knit circles from the center-out using straight needles by increasing four stitches every row or eight stitches every second round.
Another general practice of knitting circles is starting with the same number of stitches as you will have intervals. If you’re making a pattern with six repeats per round, you’ll begin with six stitches; if your design has eight per round, you’ll cast on eight stitches.
There are three basic ways to form your circle: spiral, spoke, and pi-shaped. Please continue reading to know more about them!
You can often see spiral-shaped circles in circular baby blankets, the backs of baby bonnets, and some afghans. The spirals can curve to the left or the right, depending upon where you make the increases.
You can knit your spoked circles using strategic increase placements, creating a spider web look. Since the spoke shape closely resembles a spider’s web, they could also be suitable for your spooky decorations for Halloween!
For example, you can make a spiral based on an ‘8-sided circle’. However, instead of increasing eight stitches every second round, you can create double increases at each of the eight spokes every four loops.
The Pi-shaped circle depends on the principle of Pi, where the number of stitches doubles every time the number of rows does. It expands quickly in the start, and the circle will lay flat up to about 128 stitches.
Beyond this number of stitches, the rapid doubling of stitches on a single round followed by more hoops between the increases will pose some structural challenges you have to sort. You can try blocking to address some of them, but sometimes you could use other solutions.
Start your pi circle with a small number of stitches, followed by a knit round. Next, double the number of stitches and work two loops. Then repeat this step and work four more stitches.
If you want to prevent the circle’s edge from pulling in too much or ruffling, you could knit only about half the number of plain rounds between the last increased round and the border.
On the other hand, knitting in the round is an easy alternative to making circular or tubed items. It would be best to use circular needles for these projects, such as socks, gloves, and sweaters.
Knitting in the round involves connecting stitches and working them in a circular pattern to create a seamless tube of completed fabric. It is also known as circular knitting due to the round nature of knitting in the round.
Is Knitting in the Round Difficult?
Circular knitting is an easy alternative and, for most people, the preferred way when knitting anything involving circular or tubular fabrics. Socks, hats, summer tops, sweaters, gloves, and legwarmers are all examples of apparel you could work in the round.
Knitting in the round is one of the most straightforward techniques to master and is essential for going beyond the basics. You might think it’s too complex, but that is not true. Here are three ways to knit in the round:
Using Circular Needles
First, you will select any circular needle and a circular cable shorter than the diameter of your knitting. For example, if you’re knitting a sweater with an 86-cm diameter, you must use one that’s only up to 76 cm long.
Then, you will cast on as many stitches as you need for the project and slide them onto the cable and needle near the tip of the left one.
Smooth the stitches, so they’re facing the same way and not twisted to prevent your fabric from warping. Then, when you’re ready to start knitting, you will put a stitch marker on the right needle to help you keep track of how many rows you create.
After smoothing your first stitches, insert your right needle tip into the stitch on the left one. Next, wrap the working yarn around and move the knit stitches onto the right needle. Then, keep knitting until you’ve worked the entire row and are back at the stitch marker.
Ensure you’re knitting with the working yarn, not the yarn tail. Next, keep knitting every row until your fabric is as long as your pattern recommends.
Knitting with Double Pointed Needles
Cast your stitches onto one of your DPNs and follow your pattern, casting on as many stitches as it instructs.
Divide the stitches between the other DPNs and evenly split them into the number of needles your pattern has. For example, if you cast on fifteen stitches and the design requires you to use three DPNs, you must slip five stitches onto each needle. However, if you can’t evenly divide the stitches, the pattern should instruct how to do it.
Next, you will move the needles, so they’re all touching each other, connected in a triangle shape. Ensure that your working yarn is hanging from the right side, your stitches are lying flat, and the edge you cast on is facing the triangle’s center.
Insert an empty DPN into the first stitch on the left and knit the stitch. Next, move the stitch onto the empty needle and pull the yarn tightly, so there isn’t a gap between the stitches. Then, keep knitting until there are no stitches on the left DPN.
After knitting all the stitches on the left, you can remove the empty needle. Then, turn the triangle of your DPNs a little so you can insert the empty one into the next one with stitches. Then, knit all these stitches and transfer them to the empty needle.
Note that you’ll always want to move on to the needle to the left of the one you just finished stitching to produce ideal results.
Finally, keep knitting into the stitches on your DPNs using the extra, empty one and knit according to your pattern or until your fabric is as long as you want it to be.
Making a Magic Loop
When knitting circles smaller than the needle point’s length, it is impossible to knit in a continuous round. But, the magic loop is a brilliant technique that allows knitters to knit small-diameter objects with circular needles.
The secret of knitting magic loop is dividing knitting projects into two sections, wherein you constantly attach one portion to the flexible cable. If the line is long enough, you can knit stitches freely with your needle on the opposite end. Here’s how to make a magic loop:
First, you will cast on the required number of stitches using a standard long-tail cast-on and add one extra stitch. You could also consider starting your cast-on with a backward loop for a different invisible join.
Slide the stitches to the cable’s center, fold them at the center of your cast-on edge and pull out a loop through the middle. After doing so, you should have about half of the stitches on either side.
Next, you will slide the stitches on both sides back to the needle tips without twisting them by holding the cables as you do so. Then, slip the first cast-on stitch back to the other needle, ensuring that you bring the stitch around by 180 degrees.
Now, you will pass the second stitch on the back needle over the one you just slipped and tug gently on the tail if it loosened up the stitch a bit. From here, you will turn your DPNs around by 180 degrees.
After doing so, you will pull out the needle in front, so the loop at the end of your DPNs should have about the same length as the cable attached to your working one. But, avoid pulling the loop too close as it can stress the seam and result in ladders.
Start the magic loop technique using your free-working needle by knitting into the first stitch. Make sure you can freely move your working yarn around your project.
Keep the last stitch on the cable and your first stitch close together as you knit the first one, and keep a nice tension. Then, continue knitting across the rest of the stitches on the back needle according to your pattern.
Once you finish knitting all stitches on the back needle, you should have a free one again. Gently tug the loop at the end of your DPNs to pull back your free one until all stitches are back on your needle’s tips.
Make sure to pull on the right end of the loop and avoid dropping the stitches you just knitted off the needles. Then, secure the stitches on the other side with your fingers.
Turn your project around (180 degrees), allowing the needle tips to point towards the right and a big loop on the left. Pull out the front needle and slide your stitches to the middle of the cable.
Pick up your free needle, allowing your working yarn to fall behind your work freely. Then, start knitting across the next 1set of stitches. Again, keep the last stitch on the loop close to the first stitch you will knit on the new needle.
Remember to keep a nice tension and avoid pulling too tightly. Then, continue working on it. It means you will tug on the loop until all stitches are on the needles again at the end of each section, turning your work around, pulling out the DPN in front, and continuing knitting.