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How to Knit in the Round to Make 3D Shapes (Increase & Decrease Stitches)

knit in the round (knit ball)

In this guide, we will explore the basics of knitting in the round and cover simple methods for increasing and decreasing stitches. If you are a beginner, this overview will help you confidently start round-knitting projects, including adorable knitted toys.




How to Knit in the Round

Here, I am going to demonstrate knitting a ball.

Step 1: Circular cast on 12 sts. Divide them evenly on 3 needles.

How to knit in the round

*If you are unsure how to do it, refer to another post"How to Circular Cast On for Knitting".



Step 2: Knit one round until the last stitch is knit. (Just like when you knit a flat project.)


Step 3: Increase the number of stitches from 12 to 18. To do so, knit 2 stitches, and make (increase) 1 stitch. Repeat until the end.

*To increase one stitch, insert your left needle between two stitches from the back, and lift up the yarn to create a loop. Then, knit the loop knitwise, so the loop is twisted. Now, you have one increased stitch.




Step 4: Knit one round. (18 stitches)

How to knit in the round

Step 5: Increase the number of stitches from 18 to 24. Begin by knitting 3 stitches, then make 1 stitch by increasing. Continue this pattern until you reach the end.



Step 6: Knit two rounds.

How to knit in the round

Step 7: Begin the process of reducing stitches to achieve a spherical shape. Decrease the stitch count from 24 to 18 by knitting 2 stitches, then performing a knit 2 stitches together (k2tog) to decrease 1 stitch. Continue this pattern until the end.

*To decrease one stitch (k2tog), insert your right needle into two stitches at the same time, and knit them together clockwise.




Step 8: Knit one round.

Step 9: Decrease 18 stitches to 12 stitches. Knit 1 stitch, and knit 2 stitches together (decrease 1 stitch). Repeat until the end.

How to knit in the round

Step 10: Knit one round. Then, fill up the ball with stuffing.

How to knit in the round


Step 11: Make a gather bind-off to finish.

*Cut the yarn. Use a tapestry needle to pick up all stitches. Pull the yarn to close the hole. Repeat one more round to secure further. Then, weave in the loose end.




Knitting in the Round to Create Toys

Creating toys often requires a variety of shapes, such as oval, cylindrical, or irregular forms. Use various patterns with specific increases and decreases to achieve these shapes. By experimenting with different techniques, you can craft diverse and unique shapes in your knitting projects.



Get Ready to Knit Your Companion

Once you’re ready to start your project, check the free knitting pattern here!



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