Small Diameter Knitting (and wool hairs)

So, I have just started on my first pair of Gloves (the 'Dashing' gloves without the cables). I am using a set of 5 double pointed needles, #7 and some Lamb's Pride worsted. I cast onto 4 needles and use the 5th for the actual knitting. I am finding that the needles are getting in my way as I try to knit. Are there any tricks to knitting with double pointed needles? I read a lot about doing the same thing with 2 circs. Would you recommend that over double pointed? Will I have to use double pointed needles for some work eventually anyway, like perhaps the fingers on gloves?

Next, I just finished that Irish Hiking Scarf as you can see in my blog. The problem is I wore it today over my nice black cardigan sweater. It left TONS of these little hairs that came off the scarf. How can I get rid of them or tame them down a little bit? When I blocked the scarf I just used plain old water, would buying some of that 'wool washing soap' help?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog The problem you have is called mohair, solution is merino. Lamb's Pride has some mohair on it and it sheds like crazy. Wear it with light colors is my suggestion.

Double points I avoid them as much as possible lol!

QueerJoe's picture

Regarding your double-pointed needle issue, many knitters initially find them kind of fiddly...especially when you're knitting smaller tubes like the fingers on gloves.

The easiest way I've found of avoiding tripping over your own needles is to always make sure the left point of all four needles is over the right-side point of the next needle. You will eventually get very used to avoiding the non-used needles as you knit around.

I guess I'm just trying to say that if you're consistent in how you practice your circular/double-pointed knitting, it will get easier and more comfortable.

Stan Stansbury's picture

I think no matter you use, there's some kind of tool inconvenience involved. It's either dealing with the right ends of needles or fussing with the cord(s) of circulars. Pick whichever annoys you least. I personally use 1 long circular for the bodies of tubes like gloves and socks.
And yes, if you're making gloves with fingers you will eventually have to use dpns. There are things called glove needles which are short and occasionally curved dns intended for use on glove fingers. IMHO, they are useful but annoying because you usually have to pay more to get a lot less needle.

MMario's picture

Didn't someone mention an I-cord technique for fingers? Still DPNS but almost a flat knit.

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

Bill's picture

Meg Swanson has I-cord finger gloves in one of her books....

Thomasknits's picture

I personally love DPNs, but I think I'm in the minority there. Are you a tight knitter or a loose knitter? I think that sometimes DPNs are better for tight knitters, because they don't have to worry about stitches falling off so much, but loose knitters sometimes like circulars better because it's easier for them to maneuver the stitches over the place where the needles widen. Just a guess though's really just a matter of personal preference.


rc_in_sd's picture

i love working on dpns, too, but that's the technique i learned first. I haven't tried working on two circulars yet. The biggest thing i learned with dpns is to pull the first couple of stitches on each needle pretty tight to avoid getting a ladder-like gap running up the work. i work the first stitch as normal, insert my needle into the second stitch and before wrapping it with the working yarn, i pull the working yarn which snugs the first stitch down really tight.

Good luck, and have fun!

Thomasknits's picture

Which reminds me... along the subject of ladders, it helps if you insert the new needle behind the previous needle each time you start a new row. Then there is less distance to stretch the first stitch on the needle.


mrossnyc's picture

I agree with QueerJoe that you'll get used to handling dpn's with time. Using them was tricky at first, but once I got used to them, they didn't give me a problem. When I'm knitting with dpn's I hold the left needle and working needle, just like flat knitting and let the other needles just hang there. After a few rounds, my hands just kind of figure out how to get the other needles out of the way. That probably sounds odd, but that's what happens. Oh, I also use bamboo dpn's so I don't have to worry about the needles slipping out.