Knitting in the round is often the preferred method for making everything from hats to sweaters, but with smaller circumferences things can get tricky! In this week's Technique Tuesday, Kelley shared several methods for knitting a hat in the round such as using a 16" circular needle, Magic Loop, double pointed needles, Addi FlexiFlips, and using two circular needles instead of Magic Loop.
Starting a knit hat from the brim and working up with a 16" circular needle is one of the most popular methods for knitting a hat. There's no need to mess with multiple needles or Magic Loop, it's fast to knit, and no ladders between needles. The only downside is needing to switch to another method, like DPNs, for the crown decreases.
With the Magic Loop method, you just need one circular needle of 32" or more to knit the whole hat. One big advantage to this method is that you can try the hat or project on as you go! The cons with this method are that it's hard to learn, ladders can be hard to avoid, and some people make the mistake of knitting on the inside of their hat. With practice, this method can go quickly and all the cons can be avoided.
Double Pointed Needles are the classic method for knitting in the round – you just need one set to knit the whole hat. Many people really enjoy this method, others find it hard to keep track of five different needles and avoid the potential for many ladders.
FlexiFlips are a newer line of double pointed needles from Addi. They took the advantages of DPNs and made adjustments for ease by making the needles flexible instead of rigid. They're easier to manage than straight DPNs, making it easier to avoid ladders. There's also less needles to keep track of!
Many people have discovered you can translate the Magic Loop method to two circular knitting needles. Instead of having to fiddle with one long needle, you work with two smaller circular needles. One needle is always the "top" needle, the other the "bottom" needle. You always work the stitches on the same circular needle, you never transfer stitches from one to the other. The only downside to this method is that it can be more expensive because you do need two circular needles, but you don't need to change needles for the decreases.
It's important to remember that we all have different likes and dislikes about knitting methods and techniques. It takes some experimentation to figure out what methods for knitting a hat in the round work best for you, but that's all the more reason to knit more hats for gifting!