Hey look, here’s a new semi-regular series, Hot Tip, wherein I pass along nuggets of brilliance I’ve picked up from various knitting geniuses (or stunningly insightful observations of my own.) Here is a handy trick I learned from Josh Bennett once upon a time, or the ladies in the room who beat him to the punch—
When we knit back and forth, we use both needles, alternating between them as we work each row, right? But when knitting in the round, we only* knit with the right-hand needle. The left needle is really just holding stitches for us, so there’s no reason it needs to be the same size as the working needle. One major benefit of knitting with interchangeable needles is that you can attach a smaller needle tip to the left end of the cable, which makes it a little easier to keep your stitches sliding up onto that needle, especially if you’re a tight knitter. It also means those needles’ partners are free for other projects you might be knitting at the same time.
*Unless you’re working short rows, or for any other reason turning the work at some point, in which case you would be alternating which needle you’re knitting with.