View Full Version : DPNs

03-18-2006, 03:22 AM
I picked up some DPNs and circular needles the other day... I cant quite get the hang of the circular ones, but WOW DPNs are great!

I made a teeny hat for the compasionate KAL without a pattern, just started knitting. I'm thinking it makes more sense to me because it seems kinda like loom knitting. I dont know... but I'm in love!

Of course it was just using the knit stitch, but hey... its a start!

03-18-2006, 09:10 AM
I'm impressed that you learned dpns before circs. Good job! Most circular knitting IS just knit since you get st st that way--goes fast, too. ;)

03-18-2006, 05:17 PM
What I've found dpns are great for is color knitting. (Not so much scandanavian color patterns, but continous ones like shetland and fair isle, or Meg Swansen's incredibly complex ones from her "Knitting" book.) I'm so bad at following a chart when I'm looking at the wrong side of the work.

Glad to hear there's another dpn devotee out there... I have a LOT of trouble with circular needles, unless I'm making something that is always a tube, like a skirt. In fact I'd always rather use the extra-long shetland-style dpns than a circular needle.

Does anybody understand the process of using 2 circular needles (and 2 knitters) working on the same sweater? I understand it's possible, and it seems like it would be ideal for a fast-production time (unexpected birthday party), but it seems like the knitters would have to be very, very similar in speed and tension.

03-18-2006, 05:30 PM
I've seen pictures of Elizabeth Zimmerman and her daughter Meg Swansen doing this, but I have no clue if this is regular practice anywhere. You probably could take care of any tension discrepancies with serious blocking. You could also get into a big fight if one knitter were much slower than the other. :rolfing:

I think circs are much faster than dpns for circular knitting. I think most true Fair Isle patterns are knitted in the round just to make the charts so much easier to read and when you can look at the front the whole time, you don't need the chart once the first sequence is done.

03-18-2006, 06:31 PM
and when you can look at the front the whole time, you don't need the chart once the first sequence is done.

Says the great one to one that looses count after ohhh....say THREE. rofl...

I SOOO wanna be you when I grow up!! lol....
BUT, charts scare me, cuz it seems too much paying attention like cross stitch which I had to give up cuz, well, I can't count!!!

is this true? or am I GREATLY mistaken? I'd REALLY like to be mistaken...really truly.

03-18-2006, 06:44 PM
A Fair Isle chart is so repetetive that they're not difficult. You mark off everything above the row you're working on. Usually, the entire row will be, for example, 2 blue, 3 white--all the way across.

Or 4 blue, 3 white, 1 blue, 3 white, 4 blue--a balanced repeat pattern.

As you make a design, you watch it develop. If you have a design that's shaped like an X, you're going to start with the bottom part of the X. On the next row the colors will move in as the bottom of the X moves in. After a while, you can see what's supposed to happen so you don't make a mistake.

Also, with a chart, you can see what was on the row before, so if you've got a blue that's supposed to go above a blue on the chart, and it's going above a white, you know you made a mistake. The only time I really screw up is on the first row. Once I know that's right, usually after a few tries :rollseyes: , each row is used as a reference point for the next row.

Complicated intarsia requires more attention to the chart, but I usually will look and say, "ok, three red--1,2,3. Next, 5 blue, 1,2,3,4,6 and just read each part at a time. If I lose my place, the knitting is on the needle to show me where I'm at.

03-20-2006, 05:46 PM
Oh heck yeah-- I'm really really terrible at intarsia. And, incidentally, at non-repetitive patterns like the ones Meg Swansen favors. (I'm thinking of the Pheonix cardigan in her "Knitting" book.)

Also, I'll let you in on a secret (gasp). I cheat all the time, as in I'll find I've got four stitches when I should have five, and I'll just increase a stitch. This is really bad and you shouldn't do it, but there you are-- I'm certainly not a great one! I gave up entirely on making a decent scarf. Truly. The easiest project, the one people do to start knitting-- I can't do.

The way I look at it is something I heard about the old-style Amish quilters: they'd purposely put a flaw in every quilt, because the only one who's perfect is God. So I tell myself that's what I'm doing when I inevitably make a flaw...

Besides, the weird-looking projects always can be explained by 1) claiming they're a postmodern statement or 2) using them to encourage a beginner. I.e., "you think THAT's bad? I once knit a whole sweater for myself before I realized I couldn't get it over my head!" (true story.)