Join in the round is the first step to circular knitting, after casting on, which is done flat. Working in the round allows all the stitches to be worked from the right side, which is simpler than working flat. However, join in the round is an easy technique which can get tricky when working with stitches crowded on a circular needle or, even trickier, working with double-pointed needles.
Join in the Round
Line up all the stitches cast onto circular needle or double-point needles so that the cast on is along the bottom of the needle(s) and no twists exist along the length of the needle(s). Align the needles so the yarn from the ball is coming from the right needle and begin working a round.
To join in the round without a gap, pull the first and last stitches close together before working the first stitch, and work on the tips of the needles to make a smaller stitch that will absorb any extra yarn. Once the first one or two stitches have been worked, continue on as instructed and as you would normally work. You have successfully worked the join in the round!
Join Without Twisting
To join without twisting is one of the key components of joining in the round. Line up all stitches on circular or double-pointed needles so that the cast on is along the bottom of the needle(s) and no twists exist. Align the needles so the yarn from the ball is coming from the right needle and begin to join in the round.
If the stitches are twisted on this first round of knitting, the piece will be unwearable. If a twist is noticed after joining there is no fix other than ripping back. When stitches are crowded on the needles (which often makes working the rounds easier, so isn’t a bad thing), it can be difficult to tell if the stitches are twisted. Likewise, when working with double-pointed needles it can be difficult to tell if the needles got twisted in the juggling of the needles at the cast on.