More swag for my bag

Today, I made a trip to JoAnn. I bought two balls of merino wool yarn (my first-ever foray into wool; I want to make a winter hat for my mom), a skein of cotton/acrylic (for another hat, this one for me) and double-pointed needles (to try to make my hat).

I'm a little concerned about the double-pointed needles. I've never used them before. Any tips the books don't have? 


charmingbilly's picture

Sally Melville has a pretty good primer in her first book, The Knit Stitch.  tho' i think the best way is to just play with them a bit and keep in mind most patterns the needles are numbered counter-clockwise. hope this helps.


Good luck!  Maybe you'll be giving me a lesson before too long. :)

Easier than deflowering a vir . . . . . uh,  . . .well, never mind.  It's easy.  All you need to remember is that you have all your stitches spread out on 3 or 4 needles.  All you're doing is going from needle to needle to needle . . . not unlike the bee going from flower to flower to flower.  When you finish knitting off the stitches on one needle, you take that empty needle and proceed to knit off the next needle's stitches.  No purling.   No turning.  No swearing.

 Here's a tip for pattern conversion:  ANY pattern can be converted to a circular pattern by simply converting those wrong-side rows into knit rows:  i.e.: 

Row 1 and all other odd rows (WS):  Purl  (you'll knit these rows.)

Row 2:  Pattern row (follow directions.)

Row 4: Pattern row (Follow directions.) Etc.

It's a nice thing to know and makes all the sense in the world if you think about it.  What are you doing when you purl a row on a flat fabric?  Well, you're reverse knitting so that the flat knitted side is maintained on the right side of the fabric when you are in between the pattern rows.

("Why doesn't he just shut up??????Undecided)

Ah, well: look how I go on.  That's pro'lly more info than you wanted.  One last thing: you'll place a marker at the beginning of your join to let you know that you're at the end of one round and ready to start the next.  WHEN YOU JOIN the two ends at the beginning of your project:  For the first time out using DPN's, PLEASE just go ahead and knit 2 or 3 rows straight knitting WITHOUT joining the ends.  Then, as Lars the Magnificent has suggested, lay the work down, make sure the first few rows are on the bottom of the needles and then join.  It will be impossible for you to twist the stitches.  When the project is done, come back and darn up those first 2 or 3 rows with a tapestry needle.

Later, when you're a buffed, tanned & seething Stitcher with DPN's, you can forego this and just join on your first round.


~Mike in Tampa

आदि लक्ष्मी 

~Der Gefährliche Schal-Stricker

Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

First Time = A Mistake

2nd Time = A Mistake

3rd Time = A Pattern!


Tallguy's picture

It all depends on what you learned on and what you are most comfortable using.  My favourite Diva (EZ) would insist on using circular needles for your FIRST project.  And I would agree with her wholeheartedly!  Second best is using dp needles.

There is nothing hard about them!  Why is everyone so afraid of them?  They are needles, for heaven's sake, and you only knit by working ONE STITCH AT A TIME!  Who really cares how many needles you have in your work, or whether they have one or more points?

Okay, you may find it easier to cast on on a long needle, and then transfer them to the dp's.  I like to use 5 needles -- four with stitches, one empty.  I also agree with Lars who said to lay them out in a line on a flat surface, and make sure they are not twisted.  Then bring both ends down and join them nearest you.  THIS IS IMPORTANT!

That first stitch when you join can be a problem, but I handle it by knitting about 3 stitches on the same needle that had the last one. At this point, there is no need to mark the beginning of the round (you'll do that later).  Then with the empty needle, knit the next stitches until you reach the end of the needle.  That needle is now empty, so use it to knit the next needle!  Isn't that simple?!  And so on, and so on.

How many stitches on each needle?  Who really cares?  If it bothers you, then re-arrange them so there is an even amount on each.  If you really want to, put a stitch marker just above the cast-on tail.  Slip it when you come to it, and knit right on to the next.

One problem that many knitters have is the "ladder" -- where the needles meet, there tends to be a wider space between stitches.  Okay, so make sure you snug up the yarn when doing the SECOND stitch, and that should do it.  If you want, you could knit two more stitches off the next needle with the last one.  That way, any ladder that might form is shifted over by 2 stitches, and no one will ever notice it!  You've marked the beginning of the round, so who cares on what needle it is on?!!

And you just keep on knitting round and round and round until ---  well, when you've had enough, then you stop and do something else!  After a time, you might want to introduce some pattern stitches, or do Fairisle, or change colours, or change the shape, or so many other things!  You are on your way!

VillageKnittiot's picture

Not sure if it was mentioned, but I found learning to use DPNs worked best when working with bamboo or wood DPNs rather than those slippery little metal suckers.  I also tend to use the str8 wooden cable needles when doing cables.   Got Wood?

There are a few very good video tutorials on Thats how I taught myslef to work with dpn's. Tkes a few rows to get used to them but after that it all becomes very straight forward.

Let us know how you get on


Warren's picture

This is going to sound so elementary that I'm at risk for being dubbed the "Duh Man".  I had the hardest time using DPN's until I finally figured out that I should simply hold the two needles I'm working with as if I'm only working with two needles and ignore the idle ones other than to position them so I could easily work with the working needles.  In other words, I was making it too hard.  Once you've done the join and have ensured you haven't twisted the stitches, it really is easy.  I agree with Darren, the first few rows may feel awkward, but after that, you'll be sailing along!

MMario's picture

another point, though many people just don't think about it. -- do a swatch (pereferably with the weight yarn you are going to use for the project - though not necessarily the same yarn) with the dpn's **KNITTING FLAT** to get used to the feel of the needles.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation