Few words cause a new knitter to panic more than “join to begin knitting in the round.” Join? JOIN? This direction inevitably leads to a litany of questions: How do I join? Did I join correctly? Can my project come un-joined? What’s the best way to join?
Let’s demystify things a bit! How you join your knitting often depends on your cast on. If you’re using the long-tail cast-on, you’ll find that your working yarn is on your right-hand needle. First, make sure your cast-on isn’t twisted. Double check it! Now, simply begin knitting, working the first few stitches a smidge tighter than you usually would. Voilà! Joined!
Other common cast-on methods including the knitted cast-on, cable cast-on, and reverse loop cast-on (also called single cast-on) will leave your working yarn on the left-hand needle. This is a little trickier, but I have four solutions for you:
- Knit the first row flat, without joining. Your yarn will end up on the right-hand needle, so you can now begin knitting in the round and find you’re joined! This first flat row will be imperceptible — don’t worry!
- Cast on one extra stitch. Pass the first cast-on stitch over to the left-hand needle and knit it together with the last cast-on stitch. Joined!
- Carefully “trade” the first and last stitches between your needles. This is NOT a good solution when working with a slippery yarn, but wool and wool blend yarns will do this easily. Begin knitting. Joined!
- With your working yarn held to the back, pass the first cast-on stitch over to your left-hand needle. Bring the working yarn to the front, between the needles. Pass this first stitch back over to the right-hand needle. Take your working yarn to the back again, between the needles. You’ve essentially “lassoed” this first stitch, and you’re joined! Begin knitting!