Knitting tutorial: How to Join in the Round

Circular Knitting: How to Join in the Round

Are you spending too much time neatening your joins when knitting in the round? Maybe you’re a beginner, and you’re not sure how to join in the round?

As I get ready to launch the Rainbow Unicorn Hat pattern out into the world, I thought a few simple tutorials might be helpful. And since I was knitting a new hat up, just for the purpose of tutorials, I thought why not start at the beginning? So here we are: I’m going to tell you my favourite way to join my knitting in the round.

Cast On

First things first: Cast on your stitches. In this case I needed to cast on 28 stitches. First trick: I cast on ONE EXTRA stitch, so in this case, I cast on 29 stitches.

First step: Cast on

Join Your Stitches

Next you’re going to have to join those stitches. You always hear “join carefully without twisting your stitches.” That means you need to make sure the edge of your knitting faces the same way all the way around. See those arrows below? The cast on edge of the knitting is inside the circle, while the live stitches (the ones on the needles) are on the outside.ย  If one of those is twisted around you end up with a mobius strip … and that doesn’t make a good hat!

Join carefully without twisting

Once you’re sure everything is lined up right, take the LAST stitch you cast on off of the RIGHT hand needle (it’s the stitch that has your working yarn coming from it), and slip it onto your LEFT needle.

First and last cast on stitches are on the left needle

Now you’re ready to add a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round, and start knitting! Knit both the first and second stitches together as if they were a single stitch. Knit the rest of the round as directed in your pattern (in this case, we’re knitting 1×1 ribbing).

Knit both stitches together

Finishing Up

And that’s about it! Once you’ve knit the second row, you can tug the cast on tail to tighten up the join. Not bad, right? After blocking, it’s typically completely invisible.

Second round

What do you think? It’s a nice simple way to join in the round. What’s your favourite method?

Knitting Tutorial: How to Join in the Round

9-inch circulars – Yay or Nay?

I tried something new recently. I’ve done bits of colorwork before, and even designed a few intarsia patterns for myself, but I’ve never attempted anything I would consider “real” Fair Isle knitting before. Then a friend requested some mittens, and not just any mittens. The “How Cold Is It?” mittens by Drunk Girl Designs on Ravelry.

How awesome are these mittens? Really, really f’in awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰ They bring a smile to my face every time I work on them. Plus the pattern is easy to follow! I was worried they were going to be a bit small, but with a bit of blocking, which the colorwork needed anyway, they fit great!

The designer used 9-inch circular needles for these mittens. It was another new thing for me, but I thought they would be worth a try. Anything to play with a new knitting gadget ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have you used 9-inch circs before? I picked up some ChiaoGoo needles from my LYS, found some squishy yarn, and headed home to play.

OK, for the first three rows, I nearly lost my mind. Working in the round on such tiny little needles, with tiny fine yarn, and alternating colors for the ribbing? It was awful. I pressed on (only because I didn’t have any appropriately sized DPNs). I think my husband may have learned a few new curse words as I attempted to pick up the numerous stitches that I dropped.

But then an amazing thing happened.

The farther I got, the faster I got! Pretty soon I was done the ribbing (thank goodness) and I moved onto the colorwork section. And I was hooked. There was something quite satisfying about slowly and carefully creating the f-word in such a ladylike and “proper” medium. (I had a tough start to the week, so that might have contributed to the joy of swearing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Even more amazing, when I got to the tip of the mitten, where I had to switch to DPNs, I was disappointed! I had grown to love my tiny 9-inch circs. I dropped a stitch with them, and my tension is all over the place, especially carrying floats between two needles. If anyone has any advice on doing that, I’d love to hear it!


Have you used 9-inch circulars before? I have to say I’d recommend them for sure – just don’t give up when you first start. I’m about to cast on for the second mitten, so I’ll find out if it was just inexperience, or if the first three rows always suck (I’m expecting the latter).ย  I’d love to hear whether you enjoy using them or not! ๐Ÿ™‚

The story behind the Barents Hat and cowl set

Barents Hat and Cowl

You may have recently read about my disappointment when I realized the cowl I designed had already been invented. However I really loved it, and I loved the stitch pattern, too, so I figured a hat with the same stitch was in order!

Barents Hat & Cowl knitting pattern

When I received this yarn from The Fibre Co.ย … well, first I couldn’t stop petting it ๐Ÿ˜‰ But when I stopped and read the colorway names (Blue Lagoon and Barents Sea), I totally pictured a cowl with icy waves and whitecaps, and jaggedy, unforgiving landscapes. I tried a two-color cowl, but I wasn’t entirely happy with how that turned out. The hat, however … I LOVE how the hat turned out in both colors!!!ย I might love it even more than the cowl! It totally reminds me of the icy Barents sea:

Icy Barents sea


I’ve got to write up the hat, then decide if I’ll do anything with the cowl … so keep your eyes out for another call for test knitters!



PS, do you love this hat? I’ll be looking for test knitters soon! Join my Test Knitter mailing list to be the first to hear the call for testersย ๐Ÿ’™

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