::: How to Cast On for Knitting in the Round on Circular Needles :::
1. For a nice clean join, cast on 1 more stitch than the pattern calls for.
2. Lay out your knitting so you are sure you aren’t twisting your cast on (notice I put the cast on edge towards the inside of the needle. This way I know it’s not twisted).
3. Transfer the extra stitch from the right hand needle to the left hand needle, then place a stitch marker on the right hand needle.
4. Knit the first 2 stitches on the left hand needle together (the first stitch of the round and the extra stitch)
Once you have cast on, placed the beginning-of-round marker, and joined the work into a round, simply proceed to work the pattern as described. Working in the round on circular needles is simple, just knit (or purl) around and around and around!
This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – our 100% free learn-to-knit series. Check out the fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family! Like our work? Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.
February 3, 2022 @ 7:07 am
I love ❤️ your patterns I’m 88 years old and I think I’ve knitted a sweater set for every new baby fir my friends and my children’s friends I’m getting a lot slower knitting now but I’m still knitting 🧶 as much as my fingers hold up from arthritis I’m going to get a few books from your sight thanks they are beautiful I knit the Antler hat at least 7 times the men love 💕 it and in all different colors now I’ll try the mittens thanks patterns are hard to find you have a great selection but on a fixed income I have to choose wisely for different patterns
March 2, 2021 @ 7:36 am
I’m getting myself ready to knit my first ever pullover. My son has asked me to knit him the Flax pullover. He has bought Donegal Aran Tweed. Hopefully I can use this yarn when I knit your Flax pattern for him.
January 23, 2021 @ 3:17 pm
I want to knit the Barley light hat. It’s my first time knitting in the round. Is it possible to use DPNs to knit the whole hat instead of circulars and then switching to DPNs? If so, what length of DPNs should I use?
January 24, 2021 @ 10:23 pm
Yes, you can use DPNs throughout the entire hat. I’d suggest using the longer standard size of DPNs (ie. not the short ones used for knitting socks, that are 5″ long I think). I think the standard longer ones are 8″ long?
Let’s Knit a Northward Hat | Tin Can Knits
November 5, 2020 @ 1:32 pm
[…] smaller needles, cast on 50 (60, 70, 80) sts, PM, and join for working in the […]
May 1, 2020 @ 3:19 pm
This is my first time knitting in the round and I working on the barley hat. I don’t understand the third step. The extra stitch is already on the left-hand needle. Am I moving the slipknot stitch onto the left-hand needle? And then stitching the first and extra together? Or am I switching the left and right needles? Which needle has the working yarn now?
May 4, 2020 @ 12:30 pm
Hi Gabrielle – The working yarn should be coming from the RH needle. I think that will make the rest of your questions make sense! (If not, do let us know)
February 29, 2020 @ 11:55 pm
Hi I am knitting the Clayoquot Toque hat in the round, but the colourwork pattern in the middle has jogged. Any ideas how to correct this or does it sort itself out once blocked? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated
March 2, 2020 @ 12:59 pm
Hi Kathryn – I personally don’t do anything to correct it. It mostly sorts itself out with blocking, but I just wear that part of the hat to the back.
February 24, 2020 @ 1:31 pm
I have chosen to knit the sweater but I can’t figure out exactly where the markers are to be placed
February 25, 2020 @ 1:27 pm
Hi Marie-Eve – For a top down sweater I recommend giving it a try on once you have split for the sleeves and knit an inch or so on the body. That gives you some idea of where the yoke will fit as far as armhole depth goes, although you are correct, the weight of the sweater can pull it down a bit (a lighter yarn will weigh less a heavier yarn more). If your round gauge is significantly different after blocking I would block the yoke before trying it on. If you want to do it by the number though, if you know your round gauge is 2 rounds less per inch after blocking you need to multiply that by the number of inches in the yoke.
February 25, 2020 @ 1:27 pm
Hi Sherryl – Sorry, which sweater are you working on?
October 27, 2019 @ 11:09 pm
I am learning to knit and have picked the Barley hat for my first project. I am left handed, and am really struggling to get the ribbing right, any tips?
October 29, 2019 @ 3:06 pm
Hi Mary – what method are you using to knit left handed? I usually recommend lefties hold the yarn in their left hand, but otherwise knit the same way I do (it’s like being a left handed piano player I think, knitting is a 2 handed thing)
February 12, 2019 @ 4:54 am
HELP! I understand how to knit DPN and circular needles. In the pattern I am making it suggests doing both sleeves on the same round needle… I cannot understand how this will work. I am afraid if I pick up the stitches on one needle that they will make one large circle, instead of two separate ones.
February 13, 2019 @ 4:51 pm
Hi Cathy – You might want to look for a youtube video on socks two at a time. It will show you how to set everything up. You can always do sleeves one at a time too, that’s how I do it
May 29, 2020 @ 11:08 am
When casting on for the flax sweater, should I use regular casting on or another method?
May 29, 2020 @ 12:15 pm
Hi Mary – I just use a regular cast on. They key is that it is a loose enough cast on to go over the wearer’s head.
January 31, 2019 @ 7:05 pm
I really like this hat. I’ve made three. I’m frustrated that the cast on doesn’t seem to be stretchy enough. I’m using the long tail cast on. Is there something else I should be doing?
February 1, 2019 @ 1:26 pm
Hi Naima – If your long tail isn’t stretchy enough I would try casting on with a bigger needle. That should loosen it up enough. It’s important to have the hat fit over your head after all!
January 22, 2019 @ 2:57 pm
Hello, might you be able to help me? I’ve been struggling the whole afternoon to find a suitable technique to work with the 16″ circular needles suggested in the barley light pattern but I just ended up with a very mediocre ribbing and shoulders aching because no matter how I tried my 6,5″ needles felt too long and I was unable to find a proper inclination without constantly pulling on the cable and the stitches. Is it the needles which are too long or am I total looser? Thank you in advance for your opinion, be that comforting or not. Laura
January 22, 2019 @ 9:35 pm
Hi Laura – What size are you making? You should be able to use a 16″ for all sizes, but the wee size might be more comfortable on DPNs or using magic loop. As knitters we all have preferences for how squishy or stretched out we like our stitches so don’t worry you’ll find your favourite style!
February 3, 2022 @ 7:57 am
I make lots of hats. I bought a set of short, interchangeable circular needles for that purpose. The shorter needles are so much easier to use than standard interchangeable circular needles. I still need to switch to DPNs for the crown, until I get a longer cable so I can use the Magic Loop method.
January 1, 2019 @ 3:23 pm
What cast on method is good for hats or socks? Long tail? Old German? There seems to be many kinds of cast ons. I’d like a cast on that is really stretchy, but also visually blends into the ribbing, to be invisible.
January 8, 2019 @ 12:27 pm
Hi Ellen – I have to say I’m a bit boring when it comes to casting on, I pretty much always use a long tail cast on.
December 29, 2018 @ 7:52 pm
I am knitting the flax sweater. I CO 90 sts with the #6 circ needle. I K1, P1 for 1.5″. Now I have to in36 stitches evenly. That is every two stitches and when do I do the 3 stitches?
December 31, 2018 @ 9:14 pm
Hi Linda – for your size it would be [k2, m1, k3, m1] around
December 14, 2018 @ 9:34 am
Hi, I am just looking at your simply effective cowl pattern and it has the number of stitches to cast on and then another number in brackets. Is it for two different sizes?
December 17, 2018 @ 10:28 am
Hi Laura – yep, the second size is the larger size.
December 7, 2018 @ 4:44 pm
Help! I have cast on the 80 stitches for the newborn size on 16″rounds but there is a huge gap… Should I use a shorter round or is there a trick to this?
December 10, 2018 @ 10:02 am
It sounds like maybe your cast on is a little tight, you might want to try casting on more loosely, or casting on a few extra sts and skipping the increase on the next round.
November 18, 2018 @ 4:41 pm
Seriously, what would I do without your fantastic tutorials? I’m sitting here IN MY FINISHED FLAX SWEATER, wearing my own knit (Rye) socks, and I’m dumbfounded when faced with joining in the round. I can’t even blame it on the wine.
Thanks for always being there for me, dear Tincanknits tutorials. <3
(p.s. Yes I do buy your patterns, too!)
February 12, 2021 @ 4:07 pm
Okay I laughed out loud at your “I can’t even blame it on the wine.” So real. I love when I think “oh I’ve had a couple glasses but I’m fine” and then tomorrow I say “Sara, you know that doesn’t work” as I rip out almost everything I did… lol.
August 14, 2018 @ 5:20 am
This makes the join totally invisible! Thank you!
July 26, 2018 @ 1:56 pm
sorry I lost my place where I last posted you about making a gauge for the Bumble beanie. It seems it needs to be done using slip stitch purlwise but could you give me advice on how this works? I tried sliding the row with the yarn held across the back but i must be doing it wrong because the swatch is not growing/developing, help!
April 25, 2018 @ 3:35 pm
Hi, I am a beginner knitter and want to make a hat for my 9 month twin grandchildren. The pattern I am using wants me to cast on 60 stitches on to a circular 16″ needle. I find that very clumsy as the needle ends are not long. can I cast my stitches on straight needles and then transfer them to the circular needle.
April 25, 2018 @ 6:18 pm
Hi Charlotte – absolutely!
August 13, 2018 @ 7:17 pm
I do my cast on on straight needles and then transfer.
Marieke van der Aalst
February 15, 2018 @ 2:38 am
I want to try to make the flax sweater but I cant find circular needles 16″. It is 8, 24, 32 what should I use for the smaller size to make a size S?
Will 8″ do for the sleeves?
February 19, 2018 @ 1:20 pm
Hi – It would be pretty squishy, but I suppose you could do it on the 8″
February 13, 2018 @ 1:12 pm
I am knitting the barley hat. It says to knit rounds 1& 2 until the piece measures a certain length from the cast on edge. Do you measure from the edge to the garter stitch section or from the edge to the stockinette stitch section?
February 14, 2018 @ 12:38 pm
Hi Vicky – I measure the stockinette section, I find after blocking the garter section ends up more like the stockinette
February 2, 2018 @ 8:13 pm
Hi, I am going to attempt this sweater for my six year old granddaughter who is on the smallish side. For the yarn that I am using I know I will need to use a 4.5mm needle instead of the 5.mm but I don’t understand how many to cast on. Also are the 24 inch needles the 8 size? so then I would need a half smaller?
February 5, 2018 @ 9:30 am
Hi Linda – are you working on the Flax sweater? The cast on numbers are in the pattern, the 24″ needles are in the size 8 so you would need a 7 / 4.5mm needle instead.
October 19, 2017 @ 1:25 pm
how do I switch from 4 DPNs onto a circular needle? thanks,
October 19, 2017 @ 1:34 pm
Hi Christine – You are just going to knit them on. Your DPN will be in your left hand and your circular needle will be on the right and you will work the sts from the DPN onto the circ.
Let’s Knit an Antler Toque | Tin Can Knits
February 9, 2017 @ 12:43 pm
[…] the first size in brackets. If you have never cast on using circular needles before, check out our tutorial here. Once you have completed your ribbing your toque will look like […]
September 29, 2016 @ 10:12 am
I have started the Flax Pullover sweater and for the yoke you say to use the smaller circular needles which would be the 16″ but are you using the #6 or #8? Same with after you work the ribbing, I am to change to the larger needles which I assume would be the 32″ but is it the #6 or #8?
September 29, 2016 @ 3:59 pm
Smaller needles refers to the size rather than the length
June 30, 2016 @ 6:49 am
Casting on the extra stitch and then knitting them together is brilliant. This will make my cast on edges look so much neater. Thank you for the idea!
Knitting Up a Storm – in The Round | Quarter Life Crisis
April 26, 2016 @ 1:28 pm
[…] knitting really enjoyable – though got tripped up a little by the extra added stitch through connecting the sides. It’s very cute though – definitely a fan, especially as it’s been snowing in […]
January 25, 2016 @ 10:15 pm
How many stitches should I cast on for an adult
January 25, 2016 @ 10:49 pm
Hi Swarna – for an adult what? You might want to check out our Simple Collection for detailed free patterns!
February 7, 2016 @ 1:10 am
Adult hat…its for my son who is 29 ..and can I have a slochy beanie knitted in this barley pattern?
February 8, 2016 @ 8:51 pm
I think you might want to check out the Barley pattern for the pattern and sizing info
January 4, 2016 @ 6:45 pm
Hi- I am trying to cast on for the 1-2 year size flax sweater and am struggling with the stupidest thing! I have knit in the round quite a few times before but either with dpns or magic loop. The pattern says to use a 16″ circular, so I thought I’d try that way… I have all the stitches on but they don’t really reach all the way around to start knitting. I also tried dividing them and pulling the working needle out a bit but it’s not really working either. What am I doing wrong?! I’d love to be able to figure this out, but might have to go back to magic loop. Thanks!
January 4, 2016 @ 7:49 pm
Hi Katie- not to worry, you might want to try casting on a little looser if it doesn’t reach all the way around. Usually the first round is a little tight, then things loosen up. If you are having trouble with a loose cast on, try using a larger needle, then switching to the 16″
January 30, 2019 @ 9:36 am
I’m having this same issue with using some addi turbo interchangeable needles even with using a larger needle (8 instead of 6) to cast on. Any recommendations?
February 1, 2019 @ 1:27 pm
Hi Gina – hmm, larger needles usually does the trick. Maybe try using a long tail cast on?
January 30, 2019 @ 9:37 am
I am having the same issue using my addi turbo interchangeable circular needles, even when I use the larger needle to cast on. Any advice?
November 18, 2015 @ 9:28 am
So I would just like to confirm that you’re knitting from the bottom up for this barley hat is that correct? Yes I’m a beginner. :)
November 18, 2015 @ 10:00 am
Hi Ava – yep
November 3, 2015 @ 1:10 pm
Greetings. I hope this finds you both well and happy ad larks. I am a very curious person so when you gave the hint of casting on 1 more stitch in casting on in the round, I can’t figure why. Yes, I’m learning. Also wld you have anything about using circular needles but not joining since it’s flat work, as for a blanket or afghan. Thanks, God Bless, Suzette.
November 5, 2015 @ 9:34 am
Hi Suzette – you are adding the extra stitch so you can work the k2tog at the beginning of the round. If you just start working in the round you will get a tiny split where your join is. Working with circulars without joining is exactly like working with straight needles. At the end of the row you just turn your work.
October 1, 2015 @ 12:53 pm
The interesting instruction for size large …cast on 36 stitches evenly over 90 stitches that I already have on the needle… It took a little time to figure that out :) ! but I figured it out by finding the lowest common denominator …and then the answer was more obvious :) 6/15…
October 2, 2015 @ 8:41 pm
Hi Anne – you aren’t casting on 36 you are increasing. If you take your 90 sts and divide them by 36 you get 2.5, so you are increasing every 2 sts, then every 3 sts until you have increased 36 times.
Let’s Knit a Sweater | Tin Can Knits
September 7, 2014 @ 9:37 pm
[…] this tutorial for details on casting on in the round. BOR is your beginning of round marker. This tells you where your round […]
September 1, 2014 @ 11:39 am
Yours are THE best videos. Watching them a couple of time, I can now cast on, knit and purl! I can finally join a church project to make lap quilts for American veterans. Thank you for posting these. They are absolutely fabulous.
February 23, 2014 @ 11:48 pm
puis avoir le modèle de bonnet expliqué en français
February 27, 2014 @ 6:39 am
I’m sorry! I don’t speak french, so I can’t really help!
October 26, 2013 @ 10:10 am