Tuesday, April 24, 2007

DPN 101

you'll never be afraid to use DPN's again... I hope.

Disclaimer: This is how I do DPNs. It has always worked perfectly for me. I push in the work because I feel that it collapses the needles better for faster knitting. Some people call this "knitting inside out," but really you knit the same exact way.

Things you should know beforehand:
1. "Working yarn"- is just another name for the yarn connected to the right needle, that's in use.
2. "Round"- is the term knitters use for knitting from the beginning stitch on the first needle until the last stitch from the third needle. Place markers usually seperates the beginning from the end, marking that you completed a whole round. In other words, It would be the "straight needle" equivalent to "row," but you have 3 needles.
3. Pull tightly on the yarn while working the first two stitches from each new needle. This makes sure that you don't have some serious "running ladders" in your knitted fabric. If you don't pull tightly, those "ladders" will show!
4. Knitting every row creates "stockinette stitch"- yup, it's magic! So, if you want some garter stitch, you have to "purl." Weird, huh?
5. The "Right Side" will be inside the circle, not on the outside---in this tutorial. That's the way I have always done it. :) I have found that it's easier to hold the needles this way. If you would like the RS on the outside, it's your preference. Do what's most comfortable to you.

~*~DPN Steps~*~

Step One: (If possible) ---cast all stitches onto 1 dpn.---

Step Two: Then, place the necessary amount on one needle, by sliding the stitches purlwise onto a spare needle. This should usually be about 1/3 of the total stitches from the original Cast-on needle.

Step Three: Then, go and slide the other portion purlwise onto another spare needle. Again, this should be roughly 1/3 of the original Cast-on stitches.

Step Four: Needle placement
So, this is what your needles should look like at this point. The "non working" yarn needle is on the left, while the "working yarn" needle should be on the right. You still have one extra dpn, right?? Just checking. :) You'll need that to knit!

First, line up your needles in a triangular fashion so that:
1. the stitches are not twisted
2. the "working" yarn needle should be on the right side.

Note that:
1.. The non-working yarn will be in the middle of those two non-joined ends, but once you inititally join the round, the hanging yarn makes for a good "place marker" to spot the beginning of every round.
2.. Look at "figure 2" (bottom of post) For needle placement.

ok, so now you are ready to really start!
**Side Note about the very 1st stitch: some people knit into the first stitch, only on the first round with the "working yarn" and the "non working" yarn strands, to minimize a gap. (see "Step Six" for picture of gap.) Because you "double knitted" there will be two stitches, instead of one, so make sure you knit into both stitches (K2tog) on the second round, or you will end up with one extra stitch in the long run!

View of knitting the first few stitches of first dpn & also knittting the first stitch of second dpn

Step Five: (in pink) What you do over, and over, and over....
Take that extra dpn, and knit (like you normally would knit) into the 1st stitch from the left hand needle by using the "working yarn" from the right hand needle. By doing this, you "joined the round."

**For now on, just: Knit to the end of the row of each dpn, take that empty needle, and start knitting in the same manner onto the next dpn on the left! And then, the last dpn**

yeah, It's just that simple.

You're still pulling tightly on every new needle, right? Just checking...
Oh no!! Why do I have a gap?!?
Once you have completed your first round, you will notice a gap that seperates the last needle from the first. This is normal. Just pull the yarn tightly while knitting the first couple of stitches (as you should while knitting the first couple of stitches on every needle) and it will look normal after knitting several rounds. Trust me.
***Just don't pull too incredibaly tight that you can't knit into the stitch on the next round.

~*~Additional notes~*~
Figure: 1
Keep working step 5 until you are done. Bind off using the extra needle like you would on "Straight needles." once you get to the end of each dpn, just set it aside!

Figure: 2
Here's the position of the needles, and a view of what your sock would look like if you knit it the "usual" way...not "inside out," like I do it. Notice that all of the material is out on the outside (in the way of your hands, lol.) Also notice that once side is on top of a needle, and the other end is under?
*** P.S- the sock has the RS on the outside because I pulled it through the middle to try it on.

Enjoy! You can knit socks, thick scarves, collars to sweaters, mittens and such with DPNs, when circular needles are too large for how many stitches you have.


Anonymous said...

May I suggest that you edit this to specify that 'RS on the inside' applies to this tute, but most people do it the other way, it's considered the 'usual' way, and most other tutorials will be talking about knitting that way, and that's what photos on other tutes will be showing?
P.S. Thanks for the pattern links! Sarah

Angie said...

Thank you so much for this info. I have been afraid of DPN's but always wanted to try using them. Your information helped me to get over my fear! *heads to LYS to pick up some DPN's*

jen said...

i've always knitted "inside out" on dpn's. it seems that most knitter poopoo this approach, though the end results look the same to me whether right side out or inside out. is there a difference? is inside out dpn knitting wrong? to me it feels easier to handle. thanks!

Knitting Up A Storm said...

I feel exactly the same way! For me, it feels more natural...some how! The needles seem to collapse a little bit better while you knit or hold them. It just feels easier.