How to Knit in the Round— In Two Easy Steps

Knitting in the round is fast, fun and easy to do. It allows you to make seamless garments, too!

Here is the finished cowl scarf that I knit in the round. I love that it’s seamless.

While most seasoned knitters already know how to knit in the round, I thought it worthwhile to dedicate a post to this wonderful technique— especially because knitting in the round is the BEST way to make a seamless cowl for the upcoming Fall season.

Let Me First Touch Upon Circular Knitting Needles…

The name of these needles is mis-leading because guess what? Despite their name, circular knitting needles are great for straight back-and-forth knitting!  In fact, circular knitting needles have become my go-to needles for most of my current projects.  They are fantastic for making wide shawls,  blankets, seamless sweater sleeves and seamless cowls!

Just one warning about circular needles….buy the best quality set that you can afford. I learned this the hard way when the cord un-lodged from the needle in the middle of a project, causing me to drop half my stitches (of course, I had purchased these needles for a whopping 3$). Lesson learned, off I went to purchase the expensive 20$ pair—I have not looked back since. If you are looking for advice using double-pointed needles, then click here.

How to Knit in the Round: Step 1

Let’s make a simple cowl scarf on our new circular knitting needles, shall we?  First cast on your stitches. I like my cowls extra-wide and extra-tall because then I can wear them many different ways (up over my head as a hood, or scrunched around my neck, or down over my shoulders as a mini-shawl/capelet)  so for this project I cast on 110 stitches, but that may be too much for you. Try casting on 70- 80 stitches and see how it wraps around your neck. From there you can add more if you like ( it will also depend on the thickness/weight of the yarn you have chosen).

I like to make my cowls extra wide, then I can wear them many different ways.

 How To Knit in the Round: Step 2

Once you have your desired width cast-on, lay your needles flat on the floor. Now you need arrange your stitches, making sure they are all facing the same way and NOT twisted around the cord. Essentially, all your cast-on stitches should be “staring at each other” or “facing each other” as they go around the circular needle cord (see image below).

knitting in round

After casting on , make sure your stitches are all “facing” each other and are not twisted.

Once you are satisfied that nothing is twisted, then slip your stitch marker onto the right-hand needle (this just marks the beginning of your round). Now, with the working yarn on the right-hand needle— begin knitting as you normally would, taking stitches from the left needle onto the right needle.

knit with stitch marker

Be sure to add a stitch marker before beginning your knit rows; it will help you know where the rounds begin and end.

Yes, it is that simple! Just keep knitting around and around, slipping the stitch marker to the right needle every time you start a new round.  There are many other ways to knit in the round, but this is by far the easiest. Essentially, you keep knitting until you reach the desired height of your cowl ( try it on a few times as you go, being careful not to drop any stitches). You will notice that the bottom edge curls in a bit (this is typical when doing Stockinette stitch and is unavoidable). But for this pattern the curling bottom and top edges (once cast off) become part of the cowl design.

Once you reach the end of your last round, cast off as  you normally would (knitting two stitches and then slipping the first stitch off the right needle),  and weave in your ends—then wait for the cool Fall weather to arrive so that you can wear your new creation!

Do you have any questions? Do you prefer another method of knitting in the round? Please feel free to share here.


About freelancewritingshelleylittle

Shelley Little has been a full-time freelance writer for 8 years. You can read her current work as a contributing writer at or at her knit and crochet blog

Posted on August 3, 2014, in Ideas and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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