13 Fabulous Free Patterns That Will Help You Perfect Circular Knitting

Free patterns to help you knit in the round using 1 or 2 circular needles

“I’ve had trouble in the past with DPN’s and Magic Loop while trying to knit baby hats.”

“The problem I have in knitting is with making socks and trying to use the 3 or 4 needles in the round.”

“I have several sets of DPNs but seem to lack the coordination for casting on.”

Let’s make no bones about it: knitting with DPNs (double-pointed needles) can feel like you’re wrestling an eel. Maybe even an electric eel.

They can be slippery and weird, especially right after you cast on and join. They can feel poke-y with all those points sticking out everywhere. And heaven forbid you lose one. Yikes!

While I know that many folks like to use DPNs, I don’t. And every time I write about using them, I get emails from at least one knitter who says “why use DPNs?? Circular all the way, baby!”

(That’s a paraphrase, obviously. But that’s the general sentiment.)

So I wrote an entire series about circular knitting sans DPNs.

In Part 1, you’ll get an introduction to the humble knitting utensil known as the circular needle.

In part 2, you’ll find benefits of knitting in the round with 2 circular needles, as well as fabulous tutorials.

And in part 3, you’ll hear about my fondness for the Magic Loop method, and why I love it. Magic Loop-ing consists of using one very long circular needle and creating a “loop” on which to knit your stitches. (Swoon.)

You’ll also get some terrific tutorials on this delightful method of circular knitting.

If you’ve read those posts, you may be eager for free patterns. And even if you haven’t… who doesn’t like free patterns, amirite?

So here’s a fabulous collection of patterns written specifically for either 2 circular needles or Magic Loop.

Free Patterns Using Two Circular Needles

Toe-Up Baby Socks
Photo: Tempe Croke

For some reason, not many patterns are written specifically for two circular needles. But trying any of these patterns written specifically for using two circular needles should help you use this technique for any sock pattern.

Toe-up Baby Sock on Two Circular Needles: This pattern is a perfect starting point for using two circular needles. The techniques you learn here will translate well to knitting adult socks. And you’ll get the near-instant gratification of finishing adorable baby socks!

One Toe-up Sock on Two Circular Needles: I have long encouraged new sock knitters to check out the outstanding sock knitting classes at the Kristin Belle (formerly Come to Silver) website. This pattern features Kristin’s usual incredibly easy-to-understand writing, photos, and even a video or two.

Mock Cable Socks on Two Circular Needles: Ready to try something a little spicier? Check out this fun pattern.

Op Art: First, a mea culpa from me. I’ve been saying constantly that only small-diameter items can be knit using two circular needles. This pattern proves that is not true! The only caveat with this baby blanket pattern (yes, a blanket!) is that your two circular needles need to be much longer than you would normally use for sock knitting. But it sure produces a beautiful result.

My Favorite Circular Needles

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These are my very favorite circular knitting needles, especially for Magic Loop or 2-circular-needle knitting!

  1. I love all of KnitPicks’ circular needles! The joins are smooth, and the cables have very little memory.
  2. Chiaogoo are my absolute favorite brand of circular needles! I love the red cables–the least memory of any circular needle I’ve ever used–and the tips are nice and pointy.
  3. Knitters Pride Dreamz circular needles are a very close second. I especially love the warmth of the birch wood, and the colors are gorgeous.
  4. I also love Knitters Pride Ginger circular needles. They’re nearly identical to Dreamz except they have a warm, rich ginger color rather than an array of colors. If you prefer natural colors, these are the needles for you!

Free Patterns Using Magic Loop

No idea why, but patterns specifically utilizing Magic Loop are far more plentiful. So enjoy this fantastic assortment of patterns!

Toe-up Magic Loop Wee Tiny Sock Pattern: Just like the baby sock pattern featured earlier, this pattern is terrific for learning the ropes of Magic Loop. And, really, what is cuter than a wee tiny sock?

Magic Loop Warm and Chunky Baby Booties: This is another great learning-Magic-Loop pattern. And it produces adorable baby booties!

Magic Loop Mitts: Here’s an uber-simple fingerless mitts pattern for Magic Looping.

MiniMe Fingerless Mitts
Photo: Barbara Benson

Two-at-Once, Toe-up, Magic Loop Socks Pattern: Pretty self-explanatory! This pattern makes a basic pair of socks.

MiniMe Fingerless Mitts: These miniature mitts were inspired by the Magic Loop Mitts linked to above, and they are perfect for keeping tiny hands warm.

Magic Loop Ski Hat: Here is a multiple-function pattern. It’s a hat pattern; it’s a tutorial on Magic Loop, and it’s a gauge swatch. All that in one pattern? Yes!

Cabled Soap Sack: You can really have some fun with Magic Loop through this pattern – and you can practice cables, too!

Learn Magic Loop Hat: Cut your teeth on Magic Loop hat knitting with this super-simple ribbed hat pattern.

Basic Magic Loop Hat: If you’d prefer a roll-brim hat, try this easy pattern.

Okay, fellow knitters. If you came here feeling a little nervous about knitting in the round, I hope that nervousness is long gone. Or, at least, you’re feeling emboldened to give it a try with one or more circular needles!

Learn Circular Knitting with Free Patterns
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