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Old 01-22-2013, 03:47 PM   #1
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How did you learn to use dpn's?
Part of my knitting "things to learn" list is making a pair of socks. I don't know how to begin using dpn's and was curious how others learned.

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:50 PM   #2
GrumpyGramma
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For me, desperation. Seriously the only way to learn is to do it. There are suggestions for making it easier that others can offer, I defer to them. My main experience with dpns was ribbing for the top of toe-up socks on U.S. size 000 but I just transferred the stitches from circs to dpn.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by knitcrockcork View Post
Part of my knitting "things to learn" list is making a pair of socks. I don't know how to begin using dpn's and was curious how others learned.

I didn't. I learned Magic Loop to start with and never looked back. So that's my recommendation to anyone who asks about small-diameter knitting. BUT, I can understand wanting to learn something for its own sake. Try out both methods, figure out which works best for you and do that. But GG's right about just picking 'em up and doing it. There's a collection of videos here under "Advanced Techniques" that demo at least 3 different methods for small-diameter work.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by knitcrockcork View Post
Part of my knitting "things to learn" list is making a pair of socks. I don't know how to begin using dpn's and was curious how others learned.

I just picked up some sock dpns and started with them. They are awkward at first. Actually, they are awkward all the time, but doable. Like anything, it just takes some getting used to. Watch the videos and see what works for you. I started with dpn before learning magic loop or 2 circs. So, at this point I've only make socks, the few I've done, with the dpns. My next pair will be on circular needles.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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It helped that I already knew how to knit in the round on fixed circulars. After that, I learned how to knit socks using the 4 DPN method (three needles holding stitches and one working needle), because it seemed less overwhelming and I used Silver's Sock Class. and sport weight yarn. I got it right on the first try.

If DPNs aren't really your thing, you could learn Magic Loop, which uses only one pair of long (32" or longer) circular needles. Once I learned ML, I never used DPNs again.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:45 PM   #6
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I actually really like using DPNs. I've used ML (or some variation thereof), but I go back to my DPNs time and time again. DPNs are awkward on the first round to be sure, but once you get past that, things get much easier.

At first DPNs scared me--how do I hold all four or five needles at once. Then I realized that you don't hold any more needles with this method than you do in normal (flat knitting). In fact, you can ignore all the other needles most of the time cause you're just working with two of them. The only time I pay attention to the other needles is to make sure my stitches aren't sneaking (i.e., slipping) off. I use bamboo DPNs a lot, so this doesn't happen that often.

Yeah, I'd say watch a few videos with yarn and DPNs in hand. The best way to learn is to jump in and do it. If you get stuck or are having a specific problem, come here and ask; you're sure to get some help.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MrsJacks View Post
If DPNs aren't really your thing, you could learn Magic Loop, which uses only one pair of long (32" or longer) circular needles. Once I learned ML, I never used DPNs again.
I've done ML on needles as short as 24", but I'd recommend at least 29" for most things. The size of the work is the deciding factor for me. If the maximum diameter you're going for is small enough, you could theoretically do it on needles even shorter than that. I'd suggest using at least a 32" needle, but if what you have is only 29" long, there's (probably) no need to run out and get a longer one. And you probably have a short circular in the same size ( say a 16" one?) so if ML doesn't do it for you you could always go to the 2 circular technique if you had to. That's sort of a hybrid between DPNs and ML anyway, and (if you just WANT to learn DPNs) might be a good way to get used to joining using multiple needles -- without the hazard of 6 or 8 points sticking out at random intervals.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Antares View Post
In fact, you can ignore all the other needles most of the time...
Until you hear that telltale sound of one hitting the floor.

I know people who feel the same way about using DPNs that I do about ML. That's what they learned, and it works so why reinvent the wheel? Which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. And perhaps one day when there's no more plastic to be had because all the petrochemicals on Earth have been depleted we'll be forced to use DPNs because there won't be anything to make circulars out of. But until then...
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mojo11 View Post
Until you hear that telltale sound of one hitting the floor.

I know people who feel the same way about using DPNs that I do about ML. That's what they learned, and it works so why reinvent the wheel? Which is a perfectly legitimate thing to do. And perhaps one day when there's no more plastic to be had because all the petrochemicals on Earth have been depleted we'll be forced to use DPNs because there won't be anything to make circulars out of. But until then...
That should happen just about the same time we've learned all there is to know about knitting and can invent no other ways to tangle our yarn. Maybe before midnight, tonight
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #10
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I learned when I was working the top of a hat. I started on a 16" circular and had to switch for the decreases. Now I rarely use them preferring magic loop for seamless projects. I prefer 32" for socks and 40" for hats because I don't like modified ml.

If you want to use DPN here's a link to an excellent sock class with great pictures for each step. I used this for my first socks.
http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Start.htm
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