Re: Circular Needle Questions..?
1) I've seen several baby blanket patterns that require circular needles. I thought circular needles only produced tube-like structures, like bags and hats? How do you knit a blanket with circular needles?
[color=green] A large item such as a baby blanket is much easier to knit on circs because the weight of the piece rests on the cable (and therefore on your lap) rather than being supported by your wrists and arms. It's also safer for the person sitting next to you on the bus.
If you really want to, you can use straight needles for a blanket, even if the pattern specifies circs. But I haven't used straight needles for years, and once you try circulars, you may not eitherl.
2) I'm looking at the "Chinese Charm Bag" from the Stitch 'N Bitch book and the pattern begins as follows: CO 80 sts. K 1 row, then join ends to form a circle. How do you knit 1 row and THEN begin knitting in the round? It just doesn't make sense to me.
I don't know the pattern, but a lot of people always knit a row or two before joining the ends to help avoid twisting the circle of stitches. When you're finished you just close the starting row(s) with a stitch or two.