Flat knitting versus circular knitting

Circular knitting (also called "knitting in the round") is a form of knitting that can be used to create a seamless tube. Knitting is worked in rounds (the equivalent of rows in flat knitting) in a helix. Originally, circular knitting was done using a set of four or five double-pointed knitting needles. Later, circular needles were invented. A circular needle resembles two short knitting needles connected by a cable between them. Flat knitting, on the other hand, is used, in its most basic form, to make flat, rectangular pieces of cloth. It is done with two straight knitting needles and is worked in rows, horizontal lines of stitches. A circular knitting needle can also be used to create flat-knitted pieces that are too large for ordinary straight knitting needles, such as afghans and blankets. Circular knitting is employed to create pieces that are circular or tube-shaped, such as hats, socks, mittens, and sleeves. Flat knitting is usually used to knit flat pieces like scarves, blankets, afghans, and the backs and fronts of sweaters. There is also such a thing as finger knitting. Instead of needles, fingers are used to produce a tube of knitted fabric. Felting Felting is the hand-knitters' term for fulling, a technique for joining knitted or woven wool fibers (only animal yarn fibers can be felted. Acrylic or any fiber that can be machine washed cannot be felted). The finished product is put in a hot wash and the yarn fibers become agitated until it starts to shrink. While the knitted project is in the washing machine, it is important to check the progress. Depending on the size of the project, some may felt faster than others. The end result typically has reduced dimens ons. Bags, mittens, socks and hats are just a few ideas of items that could be felted. [edit]Needle felting Needle felting is a technique used to add decoration to a knitted or felted piece, where raw roving is applied using a very sharp barbed felting needle by repeatedly piercing the roving and background together. Once washed in hot water, the appliqued decoration is fused with the background. Felted knitting can be cut with scissors without concern about fraying. This is also a good method to use when attempting to give structure to what can be frail knitted fabrics. Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woollen fibres. While some types of felt are very soft, some are tough enough to form construction materials. Felt can be of any colour, and made into any shape or size. Many cultures have legends as to the origins of feltmaking. Sumerian legend claims that the secret of feltmaking was discovered by Urnamman of Lagash. The story of Saint Clement and Saint Christopher relates that while fleeing from persecution, the men packed their sandals with wool to prevent blisters. At the end of their journey, the movement and sweat had turned the wool into felt socks. Feltmaking is still practised by nomadic peoples (Altaic people) in Central Asia and northern parts of East Asia (Mongols), where rugs, tents and clothing are regularly made. Some of these are traditional items, such as the classic yurt (Gers), while others are designed for the tourist market, such as decorated slippers. In the Western world, felt is widely used as a medium for expression in textile art as well as design, where it has significance as an ecological textile.