Tips to Knit Smoothly with Double Pointed Needles
Knitting with double-pointed needles is like magic. You have a seamless tube growing from a needle arrangement of three or four needles. Knitters have been using them for centuries to knit things in the round and to date, it is preferred for socks, tips of mittens, baby hats, I-cords and more. In our previous blog, we’ve discussed how to knit with double pointed needles and in this blog, we’ll discuss some of the expert tips from knitters to smoothly work with DPNs.
Whether you are knitting with DPNs for the first time or for the 100th time there is always the chance for mistakes. After all you have 5 needles and 10 tips to manage. So, let’s avoid the errors and knit like a pro with the following tips.
1. Divide stitches evenly, but use one needle tip to cast on stitches
Knitting with double points means knitting with multiple needle tips but that does not mean you cast stitches on each needle. It is recommended to cast on stitches on one needle tip and then divide them evenly. Do not slip the last cast on stitches on the needles, but slip the last cast stitches on one needle while transferring the first cast on stitches including the slip knot on the other needle.
Say you have to cast 40 stitches. Use one needle and any cast on method to make the loops. The slip knot is often considered the first cast on stitch. Now if your pattern asks to use three DPNs then simply slip 13 stitches on one needle and 13 on the other leaving you with 14 stitches on the needle tip. If your pattern asks to use 4 DPNs, every needle will have 10 stitches. After dividing the stitches join the round.
2. Invisible join by slipping a stitch
There are many ways to join the stitches when you knit with double pointed needles. An invisible join is a knitters’ favorite. To make an invisible join do not knit the last stitch of the round but slip the stitch on the needle tip. This can also be done when knitting in the round with circular needles. If you plan to join slipped stitch, make sure to cast an extra stitch. While you slip one stitch on the needle, slip the stitch from another needle back on the needle making an invisible and neat join. While there are also many other methods this trick will help avoid ladders which are a common problem when knitting with double-points.
3. Avoid laddering by tightening the second stitch of the round
Ladders are stitches that are stretched or far apart where two needles join. They are the gap visible between two knitting needles and one of the most common problems knitters face when working with double pointed knitting needles. They also look like an aftermath effect of a dropped stitch. To avoid ladders when knitting in the round, the most recommended tip is to tighten up the second stitch. A tight first stitch of the round is not recommended as it makes working too difficult. It is better to tighten either the second stitch on every DPN or the last stitch of the round.
4. Move the stitches on the needle arrangement
Managing the multiple needles is overwhelming which often the cause of uneven knitting tension is. To knit like a pro with DPNs, the most important trick is to move the stitches on the needles after every round. Make sure the working needle (the knitting needle you knit with) is on top and not under the needles.
5. Always knit a Gauge Swatch
A trick to knit like a pro with DPNs and other knitting needles is always knitting a gauge swatch. For your round project make sure to knit your swatch in the round too. You can find more information on the yarn and your knitting tension with the swatch.
6. Add Stitch Markers the Right Way
Stitch markers assist with knitting and when knitting in the round, the tail of the yarn used to cast-on stitches will always help you identify your first needle and the start of the round. Many experienced knitters avoid using stitch markers but that is because they are well-versed. Stitch markers on DPNs are added not on the last or first stitch as the marker is likely to fall off the needle tip. The trick is to add markers on the second last stitch or between two stitches so that the marker can do its job perfectly and remind you of the start of the round. If it's for marking the change of pattern, it’s recommended to use a locking stitch marker. If you are a beginner, refer to our guide on how to use stitch markers.
7. Protect your needle tips and stitches
The biggest fear knitters have when knitting with double points is that the stitches will fall off the needle tip. If you plan on taking your knitting outdoors, keeping them in your craft bag or taking a break for the day make sure to use the needle protectors. As DPNs don’t have stoppers on either end it’s easy for stitches to fall off the needle. You can use needle protectors or end caps from your interchangeable circular knitting needle sets or grab a couple of rubber bands and tie them onto the ends of DPNs to act as an instant stopper.
8. Add Knitting Needles to your needle arrangement
When working with DPNs always keep the stitches as your priority. If you are following a pattern and they ask you to use three needles and you find it uncomfortable, use the fourth needle or in fact, add more if it's needed.
9. Practice and Give it Time
Knitting with DPNs can feel overwhelming for beginners. It is tough to manage multiple needles at a time but the trick is that you always knit with two needles while the rest hang on the knitted fabric. With practice and time, it gets easy to work with these pointy needles. With points on either end, they often feel like wrestling with a porcupine. But, as you explore the tricks you can see double points work out smoothly and create a seamless tube.
10. Invest in the Right Set of Double Pointed Knitting Needles
Good-quality knits start with good-quality ingredients. So, always invest in the right set of double-pointed knitting needles. Knitting needles are a matter of personal preference and there is no wrong option. Explore the needle lengths and sizes to get the right fit.
Even for knitting accessories aka knitting essentials such as scissors, stitch markers, row counters, needle sets, etc., make sure to invest in quality. They will last a lifetime and reflect their finesse in the work.
If you follow these knitting tricks, very soon you’ll be reaching out for your double-pointed knitting needles from the Mindful Collection for any seamless knitting projects. Double-pointed knitting needle sets are your best bet as one kit contains multiple sizes that allow you to tackle multiple projects. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy your knitting. Once you enjoy your knitting needles and yarn, you’ll express your creativity easily and smoothly.
stainless steel knitting needles