It seems like knitters go way out of their way to come up with inventive ideas for knitting in the round for sock-diameter and smaller. Why aren't there, say, 5" circular needles? The tips would be tiny, for sure, but it would still work, right?
Yeah, if you get that short, the tips would be too tiny to be able to hold properly. You wouldn't be able to knit. I've seen them down to about 8 inches (clover mini). I have some that are 11 inches and have no problems with them but I have very small hands. I think that given the awkwardness, most people would rather use magic loop, 2 circs or DPNs.
There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference. ~Elizabeth Zimmerman
Clover has the 8 inch mini circs, but they are a HUGE PITA to knit with. There's also 10 inch Stretchy circs, they take some getting used to, but I love mine. Addi has a 12 inch circ, I love mine this length too, but because of the slickness of addis, you have to be careful with them.
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i bought one pair of 12 inch addis just to see if i would like them before investing more money in them. I liked them well enough...no trouble with them really....but i would rather use two circs if i need something that small...i just prefer the tips to be a bit longer than that. you have to consider that the average tip length is about four inches. consider them being an inch longer and how you would bend that around and try to hold them and still knit with them. the idea of trying to work with that hurts my head...lol