View Full Version : Help! all thumbs with dpns and sox

11-05-2007, 11:52 AM
i'm probably a solid intermediate knitter (been knitting for 40 years), but never before made sox or used dpns. i tried this weekend and ended up throwing the needles back on the table and switching to another project - out of frustration.:roflhard: i can do very intricate cables and laces etc, but these needles really punched me in the gut.........i got knocked down by them. lol

dpns are the ONLY thing i've never tried - and i've never been intimidated by any pattern before. i've always just stuck it out and worked on conquering a new technique. and i've always enjoyed the challenge - but NOT this time.:rofl:

am i the only one who has this problem? i don't know how to hold the dpns - they are very awkward. and using sock yarn - which i've never used before either - i gave it a good 12-15 rows of practicing and got maybe 1/2" knitted. talk about not enough to see your results - lol.

anyway, the jist of my question is - has anyone else had problems with the dpns technique and feeling clumsy??? and if so, does it just take practice????patience?? OR :woot: should i learn that Magic Loop technique instead? i've read some threads where people either hate or love that technique as well.

please help - i really want to learn how to make sox - but...........advice, lessons, or something needed badly.......:p and btw - where can i get some in-person lessons anyway????

thx in advance - can't wait to hear what you all have to say.

11-05-2007, 11:58 AM
I have tried to knit with dpn's and like you just can't get it done. I love knitting on 2 cirs so I gave up on the douplbe points.

11-05-2007, 12:02 PM
Craft stores have knitting lessons... not sure what level they have or if the do double points or not...

it might helps if you do a hat first... or something else with bigger needles...

But yes double points were like that for me at first, but now I love knitting on them.

I'd say keep at it for a while and maybe try magic loop and see which you prefer...

11-05-2007, 12:30 PM
I would suggest trying larger needles and a thicker yarn. If you
have never knit with the really fine sock yarn that is difficult in
itself but throw in being new to dpn's and you've got a definite
set up for some frustration. I think it is awkward for everyone
at first, just don't give up! I first learned to do socks on dpn's,
then tried magic loop and the 2 circ's method and ended up
settling for 2 circ's as my preferred choice. I think it is good to
learn all the ways of doing something so that you can better
figure out what you prefer! It would definitely help if you have
someone who can demonstrate how to hold the needles as I
guess that is the most awkward part but just remember that you
only need to concentrate on the 2 needles you are knitting from
and the others just hang in space until they are needed.

Libbie :)

11-05-2007, 01:17 PM
My very first pair of sox were from a beginner pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple. It calls for worsted weight yarn, and size 6 dpn's. It helped me get the mechanics of working with dpn's down, and it was easier to learn with the worsted weight yarn......


11-05-2007, 01:20 PM
I have knitted socks both ways, and IMVHO two circs are much easier than dpns. Everyone has a favorite way though!

Now I do all my small circumference kntting with 2 circs and my lonely dpns are used for cables:teehee:

11-05-2007, 01:22 PM
Two words: Magic Loop!!!

11-05-2007, 01:22 PM
I do all my small-circumference knitting on 2 circulars. In my opinion, 2 circulars are simpler and more relaxing than Magic Loop, and a LOT easier than DPNs, but that's just me.

This book seems to be a bestseller everywhere and seems to get rave reviews, even from beginners who have never knit a sock before: Knitting Circles Around Socks: Knit Two at a Time on Circular Needles by Antje Gillingham. There are some reviews by beginners on Amazon.com.

Good luck!

11-05-2007, 02:30 PM
the dpns will get easier. You should practice with worsted weight yarn and switch to sock yarn after you get used to holding the dpns.

11-05-2007, 03:01 PM
It will get easier with practice. I had to switch to bamboo dpn's, the metal kept letting the stitches fall off.

11-05-2007, 03:12 PM
I know exactly how you feel..... I've been knitting for about 20 years, and can do just about anything knit wise.
So in my great wisdom a couple of weeks ago, I to decided to try DPN's, my mom knit with them all the time and made it look do easy.
I found it very clumsy as well, there are needles everywhere. But I perserviered and the result was a really cute pair of booties. The second one turned out better than the first. So i ripped out the first and have started it over again.
I want to be able to make mittens and socks to.
I did find that it got easier by the time I got to the end of the first bootie. Kind of got into a rythem with them.
I think I will look into taking a class for the socks though. My mom is not alive anymore so my great source of info is gone. One of those things that I always thought I had time to learne from her.
If you know anyone who knits with them, maybe try to get some pointers.
Don't let those little two ended sticks get the better of you!
Let me know how it goes

11-05-2007, 03:31 PM
I'm a real newbie to knitting and I just tried them just to finish off a hat. It was clumsy and I thought it wasn't going to be able to do it, then I thought "oh wait!..." I was knitting from DPN to DPN instead of keeping one working needle...one with no stitches on it...as the "right hand" needle. Then it was cake. Knit the few stitches on the "left" needle with the empty "right" needle. When the "left" one is empty, that becomes your working "right hand" needle". It got easier as I went...try a sample project with some other yarn and see how it goes. I also find that if I practice on yarn and NOT the actual project, I do better...good luck!

11-05-2007, 03:47 PM
I was taught to knit mittens when I was a child on DPN's and worsted weight yarn. It was hard at first but with practice became a pleasure. I did not knit for some years but when I picked up the DPN's to do socks it all came back. Don't give up but do use larger needles and thicker yarn.:knitting:

11-05-2007, 03:55 PM
Mittens or fingerless mitts/handwarmers would be a good project to practice dpns on!

Denise in Michigan
11-05-2007, 04:21 PM
In order to get the hang of DPNs, work a hat from the bottom up in the round on 16" circulars. When the decreases make the hat too small for your circ, switch to DPNs. It will feel awkward at first, but don't be hard on yourself; you're teaching yourself a new skill. Truly, the most difficult part of DPNs is joining and working the first few rounds. Give yourself a chance to practice working with them on the hat, and the socks will be much easier! I promise!:thumbsup:

11-05-2007, 04:30 PM
I found it very awkward the first few times. I knew in theory what to do, it was just difficult til I got some practice. Now I love DPNs. I always think about learning 2 circs or ML, but I haven't yet since DPNs are getting the job done.

11-05-2007, 11:15 PM
I'm with the persevering crowd. I taught myself to knit and was stymied for a while with dpns but needed to get dh socks made and practice does help. I just breezed through a pair last week and was surprised how little time it took. The first pair was close to a month of frustration, but I love it now.

11-06-2007, 02:16 AM
WOW! Thx so much for all the replies. What i am hearing mostly is to just keep practicing. I guess i already knew that - lol.

it's good to know i'm not alone in this situation. i guess i'll watch the video again and see where i'm going wrong with how i'm holding the neeldles to start with. For some reason my stockinette stitch has the knit stitch on the inside and the garter stitch on the outside - isn't that exactly backwards????? or am i right - so confused.

Then i think i'll watch the video for magic loop and 2 circs as well. and then i'll try all three. it's just so frustrating to not have anywhere to go to be shown in person. i live in the country with the nearest town 20 miles away. way too much driving to go for lessons. But i do LOVE my knitting time (when i'm not working that is).

I really wanted to make a few pairs of socks and maybe try a pair of mittens for xmas presents - but i may not be able to master this in time for this year. At least i have 7 of the 9 pairs of clogs done - phew. :cheering: and 1 of the 4 scarves. YEAH.

It's so much fun and i really want to take it up another level with some objects that looked like they could be a quick knit since they are so small - right??? i just never thought i'd get knocked down a notch like that.

thanks for everything and i will let you know how it goes. maybe if i can figure out someday how to post a picture, i put my fo's up here and with any luck - one of them will be a SOCK.....lol

11-06-2007, 02:27 AM
It's very common when the tube is short for your work to turn inside out, so the knit stitches are on the inside. Flip it through and knit with your needle tips closer to you, rather than pointing away. And the reverse of the knit side is the purl side, garter st has ridges, not solid bumps. ;)

11-06-2007, 09:07 AM
I don't know how many times my first stock flipped and flipped and flipped.

Until I got to the heel flap. Then all of the sudden, because I had to turn it around right side to knit the flap properly... I've not had an issue since.

If you lived close enough I'd start you off a pair so that you could get the rhythm. Sometimes it is easier to get going on a pair already started!

Oh... and I poked my eye about 3 times on my first sock... so... all thumbs here... but I've made over 10 pairs now so... it does become more natural!

11-06-2007, 09:27 AM
Yes it does get easier. Also play around with needles to fnd the ones you are most comfortable with for the yarn you are using. I use bamboo for a lot of things, and I also find that shorter needles work best for things like socks and mittens.

11-08-2007, 07:19 PM
Good luck with it. Let us know how it goes. I'm in the same boat that you are. Having the same problems.

11-09-2007, 08:55 AM
Yup I also learned on the knitting pure and simple patterns. :heart::heart: Just love those patterns. They are truly pure and simple. Trust me it does take time and plenty of practice to get the hang of the needles. :oo: Once you are there it is wow this is easy to do. I love making socks and my husband loves getting them. cloud9 So keep on trying I know you will win the battle.:roflhard:

Lisa R.
11-09-2007, 09:05 AM
For some reason my stockinette stitch has the knit stitch on the inside and the garter stitch on the outside - isn't that exactly backwards????? or am i right - so confused.

I think someone answered, but I had this problem. Your project should be hanging down from the needles and you should envision the needles as a cup and be knitting from the side you'd be drinking from. I kept knitting from the farther side, and it all came out backwards as you describe.

Also, since others are recommending bigger yarn, etc., I have to second (third, fourth....) that. My first dpn project was a little coffee cozy that only took a couple of hours to knit. It really helped me get the hang of them without messing with figuring out a sock at the same time.

And I second what someone said about remembering to keep the working needle free. I kept knitting from one to the other and forgetting about the working needle---terribly frustrating!!

Frankly, I love doing small circumference things on two circulars now, but I think every knitter should at least do something on dpns---it's part of the craft. I made my 10yo learn before letting her go to two circs., too. :)