Updated at: 28-07-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Sometimes knitters have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea of using long circular needles to create a blanket.

Knitters who have only ever used straight needles may have trouble imagining the process of knitting a blanket with circular needles.

When knitting a large blanket, using circular needles is the same as using extremely long straight needles that are connected with a long wire cable.

When using circular needles, knitting in the round is the same as using straight needles; the only difference is that the two needles are joined by a long cord. My Looking Forward reversible knitting blanket pattern is featured here.

The first step is to cast on stitches in the usual method, using circular needles.

The next step is to begin knitting as you normally would using straight needles. When you’ve finished knitting a row, and you’re ready to start a new one, what do you do? As you would when using straight needles, simply rotate the knitting to make a U-turn.

Circular needles are used to work “flat,” or back and forth. When knitting a large project, like a blanket, this is a huge time saver.

The ability to spread out your knitting and see it as it develops is another perk of using circular needles.

Knitting a blanket with circular needles allows you to lay it out and get a better sense of its final size and shape. Knitting pattern for a Northern Trail blanket in worsted weight yarn.


Knitted items like beanies, socks, and sweaters are frequently created with circular needles. In such instances, a “tube” of knitting is made by joining the stitches in a circular. All of the rows are joined together… and there is no edge, because the knitting is worked continually in a spiral. The term “knitting in the round” describes this method.

How to Use Long Circular Knitting Needles to Knit a Blanket — Fifty Four Ten Studio

I’ve heard knitters say things like “knitting in the round” when referring to a blanket they’re making… However, this is not the case. Knitting in the round means working a circular pattern where the stitches form a continuous loop.

By using circular needles, knitting “flat” is a breeze. In this picture, I have only a few rows left to go until my Dance in the Breeze blanket is complete.


When I was working on the yellow blanket you see below, also known as my “Making Plans” blanket, I… More than 110 stitches were on my knitting needles. There was enough of room for all of the stitches on the circular needles.

Flat, back-and-forth knitting with circular needles. My knitting pattern for a sunny yellow blanket is called “Making Plans.”

This is not knitting in the round because the stitches are not joined in a complete circle.

With the help of circular needles, a knitter can… Back and forth ‘flat’ work Not in a 360° fashion.

You may need some time and practice before you feel comfortable knitting with circular needles. It can take a while for the first few rows to get going. However, when a few inches of knitting have been completed, it is easy to become used to having enough space for all of the stitches.


Needle length is not necessarily related to the width of the project. If you have a circular needle that is 36 inches in length, you may use it to knit either a winter scarf measuring 8 inches wide or a blanket measuring 45 inches wide.

I made the yellow blanket in the photo above using US size 8 Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina circular knitting needles and the pattern Making Plans.

A circular needle between 32 and 36 inches in length is versatile enough for a wide range of knitting and crocheting tasks.

Large afghans are best made using a circular needle at least 40 inches in length.

Several sets of Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina needles in 32″ and 40″ lengths have joined my knitting arsenal in recent years. Knitter’s Pride cables are exceptionally pliable and resist tangling.

Knitting Techniques Required for This Project

You’ll need to grasp the fundamentals of knitting before you begin.

  • Put in the Rotation
  • Stitch Knit
  • Tie-Dyeing in the Round

If you’re still in the learning process, a fast search on YouTube will turn up excellent videos that even a novice can follow along with.

Of course, if you’re working with an advanced knitting pattern, you’ll find a list of prerequisite skills there as well.

How to Knit a Blanket With Circular Knitting Needles - YouTube

Think about the individual who will be using the blanket the most while making decisions about the yarn weight and material, or any other component of the blanket.

How Many Stitches Do You Need to Knit a Blanket?

The width of your finished blanket will be equal to the number of stitches you cast on when you began. The majority of knitted blankets are worked flat. After casting off, a blanket’s edges are sometimes finished by picking up the edge stitches to create a border. Due of this, the finished blanket will be slightly larger.

How to Knit a Swatch

Knitted swatches are used to evaluate the gauge of a given yarn, needle size, and knitter’s hand. Create the sample using the same size needles and yarn you’ll use for the blanket.

Start with a cast-on that will yield a few inches of knitting and continue until the swatch is a square. Divide the width of the square by the number of stitches cast on to get the finished square’s height. Indicative of the number of stitches per inch. Multiply that by the desired width in inches to get the final product size. You’ll need to cast on this many more.

The number of stitches to cast on is often specified in the design. Alternatively, it may state that the number of cast-on stitches must be a multiple of a given figure. If you wish to make a blanket that is a multiple of a certain number, you should add stitches (not decrease them) to get there.

The Best Yarn for Blankets

For those just starting out with wool yarn, we recommend Andean wool. Mighty Stitch has more colors and a washable wool if you’re interested.

It’s great for beginners, or anyone searching for a cheap, long-lasting wool, to use for a blanket. Worsted weight, suitable for needle sizes 6–9. (more on that below). It’s thick enough to knit up rapidly, it comes in a rainbow of colors, and it’s quite comfy. I definitely suggest it if you’re having trouble deciding on a blanket yarn.


There are circular needle sets that come with a variety of cord lengths, giving you the utmost in cord length versatility.

Knitters can get a wide variety of circular needle sets that feature interchangeable needles. If you’re looking for alternatives, here are a few:

This interchangeable set of needles from Knitter’s Pride includes sizes US 4–11. (from WEBS Yarn)

Long-tipped Knitter’s Pride Karbonz size 2.5-10 interchangeable needles

Needles in US sizes 3-15, made from Lykke Grove wood, are 3.5″ in length. A set of these needles was one of the most recent purchases I made. They’re beautiful!)

US Sizes 3-10.5 Lykke Driftwood Needles

When shopping for a set of interchangeable needles, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • There is a wide selection of needle sizes available.
  • The distance between the needles’ points
  • Needle type selection preference (metal, wood, etc.)
  • To what extent are cords included?
  • elastic wires (some cords are stiff and can be annoying to work with)
  • Needle geometry (some contemporary needles have a “cube” form)
  • methodological approach
  • price

If you happen to live near a yarn store… You could ask whether they sell needle exchange kits. It is recommended to view sets in person.

How Long Should A Circular Knitting Needle Be For A Blanket?

For knitting a blanket, circular needles between 32 to 36 inches are a good length. When knitting a garment, you don’t have to worry about making sure the width of your stitches are even. The indicated width range is sufficient for a 50-inch broad blanket.

What type of circular needles should you use?

The ideal length for circular needles used in knitting a blanket is 32 to 36 inches. You can knit without worrying about whether or not the width of your piece is uniform. A 50-inch broad blanket would benefit sufficiently from the specified range.

Knitters of wool blankets may also discover that knitting on metal makes the wool move more rapidly and easily. Circular needles made of wood are warmer to the touch and may be preferable for those who suffer from arthritis. You can make knitting more enjoyable by remembering these details and tips.

How to Use Long Circular Knitting Needles to Knit a Blanket — Fifty Four Ten Studio

What are interchangeable circular knitting needles?

You could also look for circular needle sets that have interchangeable needles. These needles are called interchangeable because you can switch them out mid-knitting if your gauge isn’t working out. They may be altered in length mid-task and come with a variety of cord options.

Knitters can choose from a variety of interchangeable circular needles that range in diameter, tip size, and cord length. If you have to put your knitting down for whatever reason, whether it is to start a new project or because you ran out of yarn, you can simply lock it in place. If you’re working on a big project, the joining cable will assist spread the weight around and protect the needles from sliding around.

How Many Stitches Do I Cast On For A Blanket?

The number of stitches to cast on for a blanket is specified in the pattern you choose. The number of stitches required to complete a blanket depends on its size. Don’t be afraid to employ cast-on calculators if you’re having trouble figuring something out.


Knitting with circular needles can relieve some of the strain caused by carrying the bulk of the project. In this post, you learned the simplest method for knitting a blanket using circular needles. You will need to cast on stitches, check your gauge, and bind off as directed in the pattern.

Did this two-step tutorial prove useful to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and have fun knitting!