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Old 02-08-2010, 01:19 AM   #1
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double pointed needle help
hi. I have a pattern that calls for size 9 double pointed needles or size needed for gauge. I Have a set of size 8 and 9 however size 8 has 4 needles and 9 has 5. It seems as though the 8 is good as far as gauge but don't know if the outcome will be the same using 4 needles instead of 5. The pattern just says to distribute 32 cast on stitches on 4 needles and work in the round. Does that mean to use 4 needles throughout the project or use a 5th needle to work with?? can someone please help.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
Jan in CA
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You can use either 4 or 5. It's pretty much personal preference. If you use 4 instead it may not affect the pattern at all, but if it says to do something particular on each needle you can put a marker separating where the 32 stitches are to keep track. I prefer 4 needles total myself. Working with 5 is just too awkward for me.

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:32 AM   #3
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You will distribute the stitches along the four needles and knit with the fifth. Or, in most cases, distribute the stitches among three needles and knit with the fourth. It's weird, most DPNs come in sets of four, however, sometimes you will find them in fives. I've stopped trying to figure out why and just deal with what I have. I am thinking that with the larger needles that they give you five because you will most likely be using a bulkier yarn and need the extra space so your stitches are not constantly falling off the end of a needle.

Your biggest challenge, since this is new for you, will be making sure your stitches dont get twisted the wrong way when you distribute them and start your joining round. Good luck and don't worry if you don't get it right the first time. Keep practicing and you will be doing it like a pro in no time.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:31 PM   #4
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I prefer dpn sets of 5. It gives me a spare in case I misplace one.

Even though patterns say to divide the stitches evenly between the needles, when working ribbing, I get less laddering if I end one needle on a purl stitch. And start the next needle on a knit stitch.
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:02 PM   #5
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It sounds from the way your pattern states what to do that they are suggesting you use 4 needles to put the stitches on and a 5th to knit with. I'm like Jan, I prefer to work with 3 holding needles and a 4th to knit with. But....if a pattern says to use 4 holding needles I do it their way because that way I won't get myself confused if they say to do something with the stitches on a certain needle or start moving things around. Like Jan says it is probably possible to do any pattern that calls for 5 needles on 4, I'm just chicken. I need to try it and see what happens so I won't be such a weenie.

I think the dpns come in sets of 4 or 5 because some patterns/people/cultures do it one way and some another. It seems to me they should always come in sets of 5 so you can do it either way, but I guess the folks that make sets of 4 don't believe in that much "diversity".
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