You can knit in the round on circular needles or on sets of double-pointed needles. Circular needles, which come in a variety of materials and lengths, are basically needle tips connected by a plastic or nylon cord. Whether you use wood, metal, or plastic is up to you. The circumference of what you are going to knit determines what length of needle you can use; your pattern should specify that length. Before circular needles were invented, people knit in the round on double-pointed needles. Today, double-pointed needles are used mainly for smaller items, like hats and socks. They are sold in sets of four or five. If you're knitting an item that starts out with a circumference wide enough for a circular needle, but decreases to a circumference too short for a circular needle, then you can change from the circular needle to double-pointed needles at that point in the project.
Double-Pointed Needles Too Slippery?
Slippery metal double-pointed needles can produce a lot of dropped stitches. Try using bamboo or wood double-pointed needles when knitting socks, mittens, and gloves. These needles won't slip out of your stitches as readily, and you'll have more control.
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