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Old 04-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
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NEW Totally Frustrated w/ Circular Needle
Hello -- AAAARGGH! I finished a simple scarf with straight needles. On to the next project and ready to scream! Total frustration. I am doing a simple afghan/throw. It called for a circular size 17 needle and use super bulky yarn (someone told me projects will go faster). I cast on 75 stiches and the first 3 rows are k1 p1. Finished my 1st row and the last stitch is connected to the first -- pulled it apart and did it again only to have the same problem. I don't want my afghan to turn into a sleeping bag that only a doll could fit in. I have NO idea what I have done you? It's not supposed to be like that, right? I watched a video on using circular needles but it only shows the 1st few stiches and not what to do at the end of a row. I would appreciate your expert advice. This knitting thing is addicting ... finally have a decent block of time to work on this and I feel stuck. Thanks so much. Julie
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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When you're knitting something so large it makes sense to do them on circulars, since the cable can hold a lot more stitches. But you don't actually want to "knit in the round", you are still going to knit back and forth. You have to treat them like they aren't connected, so make sure that when you finish a row, you put the needle that you are holding in your left hand and transfer it to your right hand and visa versa. If you never switch the needles to opposite hands, you will connect it in the round like you've been doing.

Just remember, just pretend like the needles aren't connected and knit as you normally would.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:38 PM   #3
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Hey Julie~ You just need to turn your work...same way you would with straight needles. Circulars are really great once you get the hang of them. They are also used to make "tube" type knitting. When you come to the end (perhaps put a stitch marker there so you catch it before you connect your work) just turn it around so that you are knitting the next row with the needle on the other end. Keep trying, I know you'll get it! And it IS addictive and sometimes frustrating...similar to how my brother described golf
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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oh, and once you DO get used to them, you may even prefer them for most of your projects. No needles getting lost, and I think it is safer as far as stitches slipping off. I just push the work to the center of the cable and then you can get double point protectors to keep the needle ends together and secure. I love the metal Velocity ones. Enjoy!
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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When you turn your work make sure the working yarn, the yarn you will be making the stitch with, is coming from the left needle. If it's on the right you will be joining into a round.

Once you get the hang of circular needles you'll love them. I haven't with straight needles for years.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 04-03-2009, 08:28 AM   #6
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Thanks to all of you. I am a dork! I tried one more time and apparently....I hadn't reached the end of my row (guess I was overzealous) and pulled it all I got it right FINALLY! Love this site and appreciate the help! I am using plastic circular needle with a clear plastic 'string' between the needles .... always seems to 'coil up' like when it was in the package. These were cheaper and maybe I got what I paid for. What brand do you prefer? My first project was on straight metal needles and in some ways I prefer the slipperiness of the metal. What are your circular preferences? I will heed your advice since I am so new and all....thanks!
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:42 AM   #7
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Michigan, sometimes you can get your "string" to uncoil if you soak it in hot water for a while. It will also relax a bit the more you work with it. By the time you finish your project, it should be about right. I don't have a set preference on circular needles - I am most interested in the tips. I do hate ones which have squeaky connections between the string and the tips - Crystal Palace has beautiful tips, but squeaky connections. The best metal circulars, IMO, are Addi Turbos. They are slippery and sturdy.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #8
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Just wanted to jump in and say, "Don't feel like a dork!!!"

We all made some silly mistakes when we were learning --and truth be told, experienced knitters still have to rip out and start again as well--one of The Yarn Harlot's blog posts recently described having to start the same project over quite a number of times!!! Just consider it a learning experience!

As to the circulars. Those cheapie ones are okay...before you start your next project, put them in warm water first, then blow dry the coil between as you hold them straight. That will minimize the curling up while you work.

As for preferences...people here are all over the board. Look at the "sticky" threads (probably on the general knitting board) and read some reviews. I, personally, use the Knit Picks Options and Harmonies---they're inexpensive, the cords don't have "memory" so they don't coil up too much, and they work wonderfully.. You can buy one or two to see how you like them, and the whole set is quite reasonably priced!

Happy knitting!
Lisa R.

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Old 04-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #9
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My favorite circulars are from Knit Picks. I have a set of the Harmony interchangeables (wood tips), and some regular Options circulars (metal). I love them, and the cables don't have a memory like some others do.
"Be afraid of bears, of bungee-jumping, of faulty wiring in old houses, but never, ever be afraid of trying something in knitting." Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Knitting Rules

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Old 04-03-2009, 09:47 AM   #10
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Many needle brands have cords that stay coiled up. The hot water bath works (just put the cord in) or any method of heating them up that will soften them a bit. I like cheap Boyes and they're fine after straightening up.
sue- knitting heretic

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