Can you change direction when knitting in the round?

Q&A: Can you change direction when knitting in the round?

You know those puzzling moments where you’re knee-deep in a knitting project and you stumble across a pattern change that demands switching directions? If this has left you scratching your head, trust me, we’ve all been there too.

We share the same bewilderment when it comes to exploring new territories in the knitting world. But let’s unravel this mystery together: yes, flipping directions while knitting in the round is entirely possible! This article is here to be your friendly guide through simple instructions on how to do just that—minus unnecessary purling or seam formation—and uncover helpful strategies that turn your knit ‘n’ purl journey into an exciting adventure filled with flexibility and triumphs.

Ready to embrace something truly transformational? Let’s jump right into it!

Key Takeaways

  • Changing direction when knitting in the round is possible by using techniques like knitting backwards or working in reverse stockinette stitch.
  • Knitting backwards eliminates the need to turn your work after each row and allows for smoother transitions between rows.
  • Avoiding purling and turning your work can speed up your knitting projects and make them feel less cumbersome.
  • Changing direction in circular knitting opens up possibilities for creating intricate patterns and designs without much hassle.

In this article…

How to Change Direction When Knitting in the Round

To change direction when knitting in the round, you can try knitting backwards using the continental style or find ways to avoid purling and turning your work.

Knitting Backwards (Continental Style)

Let’s delve into an interesting knitting technique called knitting backwards, often used by those practicing the continental style.

  • Start with a live stitch on your left needle.
  • Bring the yarn to the front of your work if it isn’t already.
  • Insert your right needle into the stitch from left to right.
  • Wrap the yarn around the inserted needle counter – clockwise.
  • Draw this loop through your first stitch on the left needle.
  • Slide off old stitch from the left needle, leaving a new stitch on your right.
  • Switch hands and continue with these steps until you finish your row.

Avoiding Purling & Turning Your Work

Let’s dive into the world of knitting without purling and turning your work. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t!

  1. First up is mirror knitting or “knitting backwards”. This technique allows us to knit in reverse. Essentially, we’re working from left to right instead of the traditional right to left.
  2. By adopting this method, we avoid the need to turn our work around after each row. Knitting projects tend to progress faster and feel less cumbersome as a result.
  3. We also bypass the need for purling with this method, particularly when working reverse stockinette stitch in rounds. Purling tends to slow knitters down compared to regular knit stitches.
  4. Another advantage of using this technique is that we can easily switch sides in circular knitting without having to physically flip the work.
  5. Moreover, it offers a great way of changing direction in circular knitting swiftly and effectively.
  6. As an added bonus, “knitting backwards” minimizes issues with directionality or tension that could potentially throw off your entire project.
  7. Finally, it opens up possibilities for creating intricate patterns or designs without much hassle or extra effort!

Techniques for Knitting in the Round

In this section, we will explore different techniques for knitting in the round.

Can you change direction when knitting in the round?

Traditional Knitting Direction

Knitting in the traditional direction involves working your stitches from the left needle to the right. Think of it as moving ‘clockwise’ around your project. This process is common and often automatic for many knitters, providing a consistent look to stitches.

Knitting typically follows this path, whether you’re crafting a scarf on straight needles or using double-pointed ones for a beanie hat. The rhythm and flow created by this method are soothing and intuitive, making it ideal for creating beautiful patterns and textures in your work.

Working in this familiar manner can also help avoid confusion or errors when following most knitting patterns.

Reverse Knitting Direction

To switch up the direction of your knitting in the round, you can try using the reverse knitting technique. Instead of working from right to left, or clockwise, like traditional circular knitting, reverse knitting allows you to knit counterclockwise or from left to right.

This technique is great for achieving garter stitch without having to purl and turn your work. By simply changing the direction of your stitches, you can create unique stitch patterns and avoid seams or jogs in your circular projects.

Give it a try and see how it adds a new dimension to your knitting!

Introduction to Knitting in the Round on Magic Loop

To expand your knitting skills, you may want to try knitting in the round using the magic loop technique. This method allows you to create projects with a small circumference, such as hats or socks, without needing double-pointed needles.

With the magic loop technique, you use a long circular needle and divide your stitches onto two sections, creating a loop in the middle of your work. As you knit around, sliding the needle through the loops and adjusting accordingly, you can easily continue working without interruption.

Give it a try and see how this technique opens up new possibilities for your knitting projects!

Benefits and Uses of Changing Direction

Changing direction when knitting in the round brings a variety of benefits and uses. It allows knitters to create unique stitch patterns, avoid seams or jogs in circular projects, and achieve garter stitch without purling.

Creating Unique Stitch Patterns

To add a touch of creativity to your knitting projects, try creating unique stitch patterns when working in the round. By changing the direction of your stitches or incorporating different techniques, you can achieve eye-catching designs and textures in your work.

Experiment with lacework, cables, or colorwork to give your knitted items a personalized touch that stands out from the crowd. Let your imagination run wild and explore the endless possibilities of creating one-of-a-kind stitch patterns in your circular knitting projects.

Can you change direction when knitting in the round?

Avoiding Seams or Jogs in Circular Projects

To avoid seams or jogs in circular projects, there are a few techniques you can use. One method is to slip the first stitch of each round without knitting it. This helps to create a smooth transition between rounds and eliminates any visible seam.

Another technique is to switch from one type of stitch pattern to another, such as going from stockinette stitch to garter stitch, at the beginning or end of a round. This helps to disguise any jog that may occur when changing directions.

By utilizing these techniques, you can achieve seamless and professional-looking circular projects without any visible seams or jogs.

Before you go…

In conclusion, changing direction when knitting in the round is definitely possible. By using techniques like knitting backwards or working in reverse stockinette stitch, you can switch directions without having to purl or turn your work.

This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for creating unique stitch patterns and avoiding seams or jogs in circular projects. So don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different ways of changing direction while knitting in the round!


1. Can I change direction when knitting in the round?

No, when knitting in the round, you typically keep working in the same direction without changing.

2. How do I knit in the round without changing directions?

When knitting in the round, you use circular or double-pointed needles to create a continuous loop of stitches, allowing you to work in a spiral without turning your work.

3. What projects are suitable for knitting in the round?

Knitting in the round is ideal for projects like hats, socks, cowls, and seamless garments such as sweaters and dresses.

4. Why would someone choose to knit in the round instead of back and forth?

Knitting in the round can save time by eliminating seams and creating a seamless finished product. It also allows for more complex stitch patterns that may be difficult to achieve when working back and forth.

5. Do I need special needles or tools for knitting in the round?

To knit in the round, you will need either circular needles or double-pointed needles depending on your project. These specialized tools allow you to easily create a loop of stitches without having to turn your work.

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