Can I use a different length circular needle than called for?

by Patsy
(Destin, Florida, US)

I am new to knitting. If a pattern calls for a U.S. size 8 (5mm) 16" circular needle, can I use a size US size 8 (5mm) 29" circular needle?

Do I have to make any major adjustments?

Will use of the longer circle cause any problems I should be aware of?

Thanks for your help!

YOUR ANSWER


It depends on how the needle is used when knitting your pattern. If you are knitting a flat piece (knitting one row and then physically turning the work and knitting the next row in the opposite direction) then changing the length of the needle will make no difference at all.

However, if you are "knitting in the round" (knitting in a circle without turning the work) then it will make a difference. Increasing the length of the needle will make it more difficult to stretch the knitting around the needle.

Hope this helps.

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