Joining on a circular needle

To work the first stitch of the round, follow these steps:

1. Place a marker on the RH needle before making the first stitch if you want to keep track of the beginning of the round.

Many in-the-round patterns tell you to place a marker to indicate the beginning of a round. When you're doing color work or any sort of repeating pattern, knowing where one round ends and another begins is vital. And if you have to place other markers later (common with pieces that require shaping), do something to differentiate your "beginning" marker from the others: Make it a different color than the other markers you use, or attach a piece of yarn or a safety pin to it.

2. Insert the tip of the RH needle into the first stitch on the LH needle (the first cast-on stitch) and knit or purl as usual.

Figure 8-3 shows the first stitch being made with a marker in place.

For double-pointed needles, use the empty needle to begin working the first round. If the first stitch is a knit stitch, make sure that the yarn is in back of your work. If the first stitch is a purl stitch, bring the yarn to the front between the needles, bring the empty needle under the yarn, and insert it to purl into the first stitch on the LH needle. After the first couple of stitches, arrange the back ends of the two working needles on top of the other needles. (Do you feel like you have a spider by one leg?) The first round or two may feel awkward, but as your piece begins to grow, the weight of your knitting will keep the needles nicely in place and you'll cruise along.

Figure 8-3:

The first stitch in a round.

Figure 8-3 shows the first stitch being made with a marker in place.

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