How to Knit on Two Circular Needles


The Alternative to using Double Points or the Magic Loop

I am often asked, "Can I use circular needles instead of double pointed needles?" Knitting a small number of stitches in-the-round can be challenging especially if you just aren't feeling confident with double points or the magic loop.  The newer small length circulars are good but can cramp your hands.

What if there was an alternative? A way to work small spaces easily and seamlessly?

Well there is! I'm going to show you my go-to technique for knitting in-the-round on small projects.  This technique is perfect for top of hats, working sleeves, cuffs, socks, toys, etc.

Is it easy?  YES!

Why I Love Knitting in the Round On 2 Circular Needles

There's a lot to be said for working this method and here are a couple of thing that come to mind:

  1. You can use any size just need 2 of them.
  2. No ladders as you get in the beginning and end of the double point stitches.
  3. Stitches will not fall off the needle.
  4. Easy to learn and portable.

What You'll Need:

  • 2 circular needles of the same tip size
  • 1 stitch marker

How to Knit in the Round on 2 Circular Needles

Casting-On with 2 Circulars

Step 1: Cast-on the total number of stitches onto 1 circular needle.
Step 2: Slide half the number of stitches onto the 2nd circular needle as shown above.
Here's what it will look like (Image Above, Right)

Step 3: Slide the stitches from both needles to the opposite tips.  This will put the working yarn in position to join.
Step 4: Join the stitches making sure the cast-on edges on each side are facing inward and not twisted. Place a locking ring marker in the 1st stitch to mark the beginning of the round.

 Step 1

Step 1

Knitting with 2 Circular Needles

Step 1:  Work down the stitches on the 1st circular needle using the opposite tip. After working the last stitch your working yarn will be in place to start working the next needle.

When you finish the last stitch on the needle and move to the next needle, pull the tip of the circular last worked to the right.  You’ll have a couple of inches of cable on each end and the tips will not get in the way.
— Donna, Knitting Doctor
 Step 2

Step 2

Step 2: Proceed to work the stitches on the next needle again using the opposite tip.

Note: As you prepare to work the next needle you will see a long strand at the join.  No worries. This is normal will disappear as you work the next stitch.

Step 3: Continue in this manner working the stitches on each needle with it's opposite tip until you reach your desired length.

Switching to 2 Circulars On A WIP (work in progress)

Do you love this knitting method? Why not change all of your double pointed needle projects over to 2 circulars? Here's how it's done:

  1. Slip 1/2 the number of stitches onto 1 circular needle and the remainder onto a 2nd circular.
  2. Follow steps 3 and 4 as shown above.

That's all their is to it! 

Want to give this knitting technique a try? Cast on the Zauberribs Arm Warmers Free Knitting Pattern

Do you have a favorite knitting tip you'd like to share? Leave it in the comments below!

Happy Knitting,
- Donna, the Knitting Doctor

1 Comment

Donna Pelzar

Donna (aka the Knitting Doctor) is the face behind The New Street Knitter patterns. She teaches knitting instruction for all skill levels in her studio and loves to focus on techniques and interesting stitch patterns. She recently expanded into pattern design and we are thrilled to be able to offer her patterns at NobleKnits. Donna also hosts all of our Knit Alongs.