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How to use 9" circular needles for any pattern!

You know I love my 9″ circular needles. I think they’re the easiest way to knit socks and sleeves.

But, because they’re fairly new, there aren’t a lot of patterns written specifically for the 9 inch needle. I’m often asked how to translate your favorite sock pattern into one that can be used on a 9″ circular.

Here’s how to do it! And good news, it’s easy!

How to translate any pattern to using 9" circular needles

In this blog post, I’m going to show you a simple little example of a piece of knitting with 10 stitches. The green string is our yarn!
yarn on 9 inch circular needle

Step 1: Place your End of Round marker

If you’re familiar with knitting on circular needles, then you are probably already doing this step. The end of round marker is an interestingly-colored marker (different from all the rest!) that tells you when you’ve hit the end of your round.

end of round stitch marker on a 9" needle

Place stitch markers where the double points would be

Now, here’s the real trick. You want to place stitch markers on your work to note where would have been between the double point needles (shown in the image as orange).
how to use stitch markers on a 9" circular

Using our little example, let’s say the pattern told you to cast 3 sts onto one double point, 3 sts onto another and 4 sts onto a third needle. You would place markers to section off 3, 3 and then 4 sts.

This trick works whether you’re instructed to use 3 or 4 double point needles.

If the pattern called for 2 needles (such as when you knit socks on 2 circular needles), then you can do the same trick, just using fewer markers!

That’s it! Now you can knit, and easily follow the instructions as they refer to double point needles. If you want a bit more help, you might want to find stitch markers that contain numbers (to remind you which ‘needle’ would have been which.

knitting on double point needles with freshstitches

You can now use 9″ circular needles on socks and sleeves… now that you know how to ‘translate’ the pattern! Happy knitting!


  1. Susan SAYS...

    Thanks. Learned something new! And helpful.

  2. Thank you for this tutorial. I always have trouble with circulars. I’m more like dpn girl but sometimes circulars are better. Very helpful for beginner knitter.

  3. Helen SAYS...

    Hi, wondering if I can caston for socks on dpn then switch to small 9″ circulars? if I caston on dpn would I join in the round?

    please and thank you

    • Yup! You can totally do that! And yes, you would join on dpns!
      Although, to be honest, I’m not really sure what the advantage is to doing this, it might be easiest to just cast onto the 9″ unless you’re doing toe-up!

      • Eileen SAYS...

        Sometimes it’s easier to cast on to a straight needle and transfer the stitches to the 9-inch circular to join them in the round.

        • Anonymous SAYS...

          I do this! Much easier.

  4. EGHull SAYS...

    Easy to understand with perfect illustration. No U-tube demonstration with speed knitter teacher trying to make it simple. I purchased new Addi flexiflip needles and will use them for socks.
    Thanks for your help.

  5. Yvie SAYS...

    This is very clear and helpful, thank you

  6. Pam Goggin SAYS...

    Thank you very much, I’m going to try and knit my first pair of socks on circular needles. I’m trying to knit socks for the first time. I’m coming up to the heel part very soon.

  7. Elizabeth SAYS...

    I learned how to knit socks them I was wondering if you could use them to knit mitts on them?