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Old 07-30-2012, 11:00 AM   #1
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Double Pointed Needles
I have made several attempts to knit in the round -- socks, hats, doggy sweaters, and round blankets. I've used Magic Loop and tried two circular needles; in either case, I don't enjoy the knitting and quickly give it up.

I'm thinking now of experimenting with double pointed needles. If you use them, what do you like about them? How do I decide what kind and size to start with? Are they hard to learn? Any helpful tips or tricks for getting started?

I want to learn how to make socks, if that helps. I think I wouldn't mind using ML with larger diameter projects, where I do not have to split the stitches in half.

In circs, I'm happily using both Addi and KP Harmony sets. I'm thinking of getting some relatively inexpensive Clover DPNs from Michaels to try out but haven't been to the store to see what kinds or choices I have.

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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I find the Clovers are great--not too slippery. I think your best bet to learn easily with dpns is to start a hat on a short circular, and when you get down to too few stitches to fit, then switch to dpns.

You're really only knitting with the two needles--the others are holding stitches. The hardest part for me is getting started, but once you have a row or two done, it's easy.

I prefer dpns to using other methods because there's less fussing around--just knitting.
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Old 07-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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I would recommend trying at hat on dpns. At first they're a bit intimidating all of these pointy sticks. I was so afraid that my stitches would fall off when I first tried it. But once you get used to them, it's fairly simple. You just knit from needle to needle.
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:12 PM   #4
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I think the idea of starting with a hat is excellent advice. That way, you'll get used to the DPNs without having to start out on them, which as others have said, can be a bit tricky! The positive side of starting out with DPNs, though, is that it gets much easier even after the first round!

I have some Clover DPNs (bamboo) that I love. They are, as someone else pointed out, somewhat sticky which helps keep your stitches from sliding off the needles--especially on needles that aren't being immediately worked with.

Here are a couple of tips for you that I've found helpful:

1. For the most part, ignore the other needles--except for the ones you're working with, of course. The only exception to this is when I scoot the yarn close to the needle tips (but not so close that it slips off). This is especially true for the two needles closest to where I'm working, but often I do it for the "next" needle in line to be knitted, too. This keeps the bulk of the needles away from where I'm working.

2. When you move from one needle to the next, give a good tug on the first stitch on the new needle to prevent gaps.

3. Sometimes I will shift the stitches around (i.e., move more stitches to a needle). I do this to make sure that I don't have holes between needles, but if you do #2 above correctly, it's probably not necessary.

I would also recommend first buying the needles you can easily find. That way, you can see if DPNs are something you like. Then, once you determine whether you like them, you can look for and invest in DPNs for your preferred sock yarn. I will say this, though, sizes 6-10 will probably be a bit more manageable for learning purposes, so if Michaels has one of those sizes, you might start with one of them.

I find working with DPNs very satisfying. There's something about knitting all the stitches off one needle at a time that brings about a sense of accomplishment in me. Corny, I know, but there you have it!

Happy knitting and I hope DPNs turns out to be a technique you love!
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #5
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I second or third the bamboo needles. I found metal needles just too slippery although when my needle went shooting out of the sts it caused great hilarity in my family.
When do get to knitting something that starts on dpns, it may be easier to knit the first row flat and then go to the dpns in the round. Just getting past that first row at the beginning makes it all easier. Also, using 5 needles total takes some of the strain off the knitted tube as well: sts on 4 needles and the 5th to knit with.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:24 PM   #6
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I started knitting in the round by using DPN. They are easier on a heavier yarn like that before you do socks. I also use the Clover bamboo.

I mostly use magic loop now except on very tiny things like baby socks or the head on Woobies.
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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Thanks! These are just the kind of suggestions I wanted.

I promised my mother in law a second sweater for her dachshund, but haven't been able to face working in the round again -- I think I might try that for my first project. It is mostly a tube -- especially the first part, which is a ribbed collar -- and is kind of familiar since I've already done one.



My son's llama was not really a good dachshund substitute.



Overall, it wasn't a bad project -- but I have been dreading the idea of working in the round again!
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Another thing I thought of...what length cable were you using for the dog sweater? I find using a 40" cable for magic loop much easier. I am doing a sleeve now with modified magic loop and i don't like it as much.

Just a thought.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Wow, that is so cute! I'll bet your mum-in-law's dog looks adorable. A second sweater would be so worthwhile.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
Another thing I thought of...what length cable were you using for the dog sweater? I find using a 40" cable for magic loop much easier. I am doing a sleeve now with modified magic loop and i don't like it as much.

Just a thought.

It was a 40" cable attached to Harmony tips. It wasn't difficult, I just didn't enjoy it and I'm not sure why. I suspect that is the reason I haven't started the second sweater yet.
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