What is the Difference Between Flat and Circular Knit?

What is flat and what is circular knitting? Which one is better? Which knitting needles are best for which type of knitting? What should I put attention on? For which projects is flat and for which circular knit suitable? Yes, there are a lot of questions regarding flat and circular knits.

Flat and Circular Knit

There are many big differences between flat and circular knit. The necessary tools alone, i.e. the knitting needles, differ and also the technique because flat knitting is knitted in rows and circular knitting in rounds, which makes a big difference. It is therefore also important to know which type of knitting is best suited for which project. In this blog we would like to list some important questions and differences between flat and circular knitting for you.

Flat Knitting

For beginners, the terms flat and circular knitting are perhaps not even known. Flat knitting, as the name suggests, is a flat knitted project. Single pointed knitting needles are mainly used here. The piece has a front and a back and these are knitted back and forth alternately in rows.

Flat knitting is particularly popular with beginners to get started with knitting.

Circular knitting

Circular knitting involves crocheting in rounds to create a circular tube. Ideal for projects such as sweaters, loops or hats. Circular knitting also requires circular knitting needles, either fixed circular knitting needles or interchangeable knitting needles. But you can also crochet in rounds with double pointed knitting needles, these are perfect for smaller projects such as baby hats or classic socks.

Stitch markers are an indispensable accessory for circular knitting, because you crochet continuously in rounds, you often have to mark important points such as the beginning of the round. Our circular knitting needle sets always contain all the accessories you need for your circular knitting projects.

An advantage of circular knitting compared to flat knitting is that you don't have a seam for loops or hats and so you can avoid the annoying sewing together. And one advantage of the fixed or interchangeable circular knitting needles is that they are suitable for both flat and round projects. In principle, circular knitting needles are just short straight needles that are connected to each other with a cable and are so flexible and allow you to crochet in rounds.

For small projects such as socks and arm warmers, the circular knitting needles are usually too large in size and it becomes difficult to knit small pieces with them. Here the Double Pointed knitting needles are the more suitable choice. Double Pointed knitting needles come in sets of five needles and have pointed ends on both sides. The total number of stitches is divided into 4 needles and the fifth is knitted to create the rounds.

Should I knit flat or circular instead? What is the better choice for me?

We recommend that you try out both techniques at least once to get a feeling and to be able to decide better which type of knitting is suitable for you or for your project. Try out our fixed and interchangeable knitting needles to get a feel for which one is more comfortable for you. Some projects are only knitted in flat and some only in circular, so it won't be that difficult for you to choose.

"Imagination is everything. It’s the preview of life’s coming attractions." -    Albert Einstein

What type of knitting do you choose or do you prefer? No matter which one you like to choose, at Knitterspride you will find the best knitting needles that promise you an incomparable knitting experience.

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Benefits of Knitting with Sharp Needle Tips

Knitters love their knitting needles and prefer them sharp and smooth. The pointy tips of the needles create magic with yarn transforming it into garments, accessories and various projects. A sharp tip knitting needle is a basic requirement of smooth knitting. A simile to explain the point is, as a chef would not enjoy working with a blunt knife, similarly a knitter will not prefer a blunt knitting needle. With not so sharp needle tips you may be able to knit and complete the task at hand but you will certainly not enjoy it and spend more time getting the job done. 

Sharp tips are best found in metals, especially stainless steel knitting needles as it is very hard to match the point profile in wood, bamboo or any other material. The points make a huge difference in your knitting comfort. It becomes easier for you to insert the tip of your needle in your stitches without splitting your yarn, to pick up stitches, to insert in the back loop or to make any type of increase. With these pointy tips, you would find yourself knitting faster and much smoother.

interchangeable circular needles

Here are the 5 reasons why sharp-tip knitting needles work the best. If you are a tight knitter or one who hurts easily, you may not work with them but even then you cannot deny the fact that the sharp tips work very well.

  1. Ideal for Lace Knitting Techniques

Sharp tips are ideal for lace knitting patterns. The knitting needle has to go through two or more stitches at one time to create those artful holes. To work with techniques with accuracy while not damaging the delicate yarn, sharp tip needles work the best. There is also the need for yarn over (yo) once or multiple times as you will compensate by knitting two or more stitches together.

  1. Perfect Small Stitches

Knitting small stitches require the same exactness as lace patterns. Small stitches mean small needle sizes and lightweight yarns. Many knitting needles in small sizes focus on being durable so that the points are rounded so that they don’t chip off or break when you manipulate it in tight yarn plies. Sharp tipped needles of stainless steel are perfect for the task of small gauge. Even if you have the smallest needles, you can be assured that the surface is smooth, rust-resistant and durable.

  1. Managing Fuzzy yarns

Knitters love yarn and they come in many forms and looks. Fine yarns, like lace weight or fingering, are for intricate knitting patterns. Fuzzy fibers such as mohair, angora, cashmere, alpaca and llama wool look beautiful and are warm. Working with different kinds of yarn does not mean different kinds of needles. It can be easily knitted with needles that have precision tips. If you are working with two yarn types of different textures, with sharp tips you can differentiate easily and make the stitches. Even if two yarns have tangled or tend to stick together, then too with these points you can easily knit.

  1. Best for Big Decreases

Decreases are a part of knitting patterns where you want the project to take shape such as socks, hats, and sweaters. There are various methods of decrease but most of them work smoothly with sharp needle tips. When you will be merging two or more stitches in one and that too very neatly the precise points work the best.  This is also helpful for knitting increases. You can easily knit one stitch twice to add more stitches to shape up your projects.

  1. Multi-Color Yarns or Colorwork Patterns

Like lace patterns and small gauge, knitting colorwork patterns becomes easy and smooth with sharp tips. When you work with precision points, it helps you view and insert stitches neatly and comfortably. You can also easily inspect the yarns when you are working closely with two colors or a multi-shaded yarn. 

With this, you have reasons to work smoothly with sharp tip knitting needles. Many of us knitters prefer a set of needles or brands over others for the natural ease of working with it. The Mindful Collection is a unique range of stainless knitting needles with sharp tips. Making the needles special is an inspirational word imprinted on the body, such as create, dream, breathe, etc. that keeps the knitter focused on the meditative aspects of knitting. You can choose individual sizes or purchase knitting needle sets in options of double-pointed, fixed circular as well as interchangeable circulars that contain the most popular sizes plus accessories. Circular knitting needles combine the comfort of sharp tips with smooth cords making the ideal tools for all kinds of projects. The eco-friendly material is known for smooth crafting. Needle sets are often the best and most economical way to buy interchangeable circular needles since they include a variety of sizes but also additional helpful accessories that, if bought separately, would cost more.