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Old 01-01-2008, 08:41 PM   #1
steven907
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Question about DPNs
Okay, I've just started practicing with my new dpns. I really like the look of knitting with 5 but since I'm just beginning should I really just use 4? Also, aside from keeping the stitches untwisted is there a particular way to keep the other needles out of your way or is it just whatever is comfortable and easiest for each individual knitter? Any response would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:26 PM   #2
suzeeq
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I think it's just something you get develop and get comfortable with after you have some experience. You can practice with just 4 now, but many people like using 5 because it can cause less strain on the sts that are at the ends of the needles.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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Honestly, I don't think that five are any more difficult than four, so go ahead and use five if that's what interests you. (And I agree with suzeeq about the reduced strain on the stitches with five. This also helped me with my laddering problem.)

As far as placement, I think it's just a matter of playing around and figuring out what works for you. I look at the way other people hold DPNs and wonder how in the world they can stand holding their needles that way. They probably look at my knitting and wonder the same thing.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:23 AM   #4
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I almost always use 5 needles...it makes 'rounding the corners' ie. moving from one needle to the next, a bit easier. I WILL however use three if for some reason the pattern divides up better in multiples of three. But really, whatever works for you.

Same with holding them. You'll find something that works for you when you've been doing it for a while. And it gets easier when you have more fabric on the needles. No matter how many needles you use or how you hold 'em, for the first few rows they'll flop around. After they have some rows on 'em they start to behave a bit better.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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Also a tip for stopping the laddering problem (I know you didn't ask about that but just wanted to share.) you can "move" your knitting as you knit. So when you are finished knitting from one needle knit one or more stitches from the next needle onto to one you just knitted on and then start the new needle.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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I like to use five too, but will switch to four if the pattern (lots of socks for instance) works better that way.

As for holding them, I like to hold mine a certain way and I find it easier and more comfortable so I will try to describe it. It's very simple, really, so hopefully it will be of some help to you. I looked at a picture in Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Workshop" btw, and copied what she did .

As I knit around, I hold the right and left *working* needles on TOP of the back needles (resting needles)-this makes it easier for me to knit as the needles aren't getting "caught" on the resting needles, so I am not distracted by them. Does that make sense? Good luck! It seems awkward at first but you will get the hang of it very quickly and it will be second nature. You'll be impressing your friends in no time!
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:33 PM   #7
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Thank you Jaxhil! That does make sense and seems like it would make it less awkward keeping the other two out of the way! Thanks for the tip!
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