Knitting in the round with double pointed needles is a technique that allows you to create seamless, circular projects such as hats, socks, and mittens. While it may seem daunting to beginners, it is actually a fun and versatile method once you get the hang of it. In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through the steps of knitting in the round with double pointed needles.
To begin, you will need a set of double pointed needles, also known as DPNs. These needles have points on both ends and come in sets of four or five. They are typically used for smaller projects that require a smaller circumference, such as socks or sleeves. You will also need yarn and a pattern for your project.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basic knitting stitches and techniques. This will make it easier to follow along with the instructions and understand the terms used in knitting patterns. Once you feel comfortable with the basics, you are ready to give knitting in the round a try!
One of the first things you’ll need to do is cast on your stitches. Unlike knitting with straight needles, where you cast on all your stitches at once, when knitting in the round with DPNs, you will divide your stitches evenly among your needles. This helps to create a more seamless and even look.
The Basics of Double Pointed Needles
Double pointed needles are a useful tool for knitting in the round and creating seamless projects such as hats, socks, and sleeves. They are typically shorter than regular straight needles and have points at both ends, allowing the knitter to work in a continuous circle.
Here are some basic things to know about double pointed needles:
- Materials: Double pointed needles can be made from various materials like wood, bamboo, metal, or plastic. The choice of material depends on personal preference and the type of yarn being used.
- Sizes: Double pointed needles come in different sizes, just like regular knitting needles. It is important to use the correct size to achieve the desired gauge and fit for your project.
- Number of Needles: Double pointed needles are usually sold in sets of four or five. You will typically use three or four needles to work the stitches, while the remaining needle is used as a working needle.
- Stitches: When using double pointed needles, the stitches are distributed onto two or more needles, with one needle acting as the working needle. The other needles hold the stitches in place, preventing them from falling off.
- Working in the Round: To knit in the round with double pointed needles, simply join the round and continue knitting in a circular motion. As one needle becomes empty, the next needle in line becomes the working needle.
- Switching Needles: To switch from one needle to another, simply transfer the stitches from one needle to the next. The working yarn will always be in the same position as you continue knitting.
- Tension: It’s important to maintain an even tension when working with double pointed needles to ensure consistent stitch size and appearance.
Double pointed needles can take some practice to get used to, but once you master them, they become a valuable tool for seamless knitting. They allow you to work in the round without the need for seams and can be used for a wide range of projects.
Selecting the Right Yarn and Needles
Choosing the right yarn and needles is an important step when knitting in the round with double-pointed needles. Here are some factors to consider:
- Yarn Weight: The yarn weight you choose will depend on the project and the desired outcome. Thicker yarns, such as bulky or chunky weights, are typically easier to work with when knitting in the round with double-pointed needles.
- Fiber Content: Consider the fiber content of the yarn, as it can influence the drape, warmth, and durability of your knitted item. Some common yarn fibers include wool, acrylic, alpaca, and cotton.
- Needle Size: The needle size is determined by the pattern, which will specify the recommended needle size for the desired gauge. Different needle sizes can create different stitch sizes and fabric thicknesses.
- Needle Length: Double-pointed needles come in different lengths, typically ranging from 5 to 8 inches. The length you choose will depend on the circumference of your project. Longer needles are generally easier to work with for larger projects.
- Material: Double-pointed needles can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic. Each material has its own advantages and characteristics. For example, wooden needles are lightweight and have a warm feel, while metal needles are durable and have a smooth surface for quick knitting.
- Number of Needles: The number of double-pointed needles you need will depend on the pattern and the circumference of your project. Most patterns will recommend using four or five needles, but you may need more or fewer depending on the size and complexity of your project.
When choosing the yarn and needles for your project, it’s important to consider the pattern instructions and your personal preferences. Experimenting with different combinations of yarn and needles can help you achieve the desired texture, stitch definition, and overall look of your knitted item.
Starting a Project in the Round
When starting a knitting project in the round with double pointed needles, it’s important to first gather all the necessary supplies. You will need:
- Double pointed needles (DPNs) in the appropriate size for your yarn
- Yarn in your desired color and weight
- Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
- Stitch markers
Once you have your supplies ready, you can begin casting on the required number of stitches for your project. You can use the long-tail cast on or any other cast on method of your choice.
After casting on, you will distribute the stitches evenly across three or four DPNs, depending on the pattern and the number of stitches. To do this, transfer the stitches from your first needle to the second needle, and then from the second needle to the third needle, if using a fourth needle, transfer the stitches again. Make sure to divide the stitches evenly so that there is an equal number on each needle.
Once your stitches are evenly distributed, you can join the round by knitting the first stitch of your first needle using the working yarn from the last cast-on stitch. This will form a continuous loop of stitches.
It’s recommended to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round to help you keep track of your progress and prevent any confusion. You can use a different colored stitch marker or simply tie a small piece of contrasting yarn to mark the beginning.
Now that you have joined the round and placed a stitch marker, you can continue knitting in the round following your pattern instructions. Remember to always knit with the right side facing you, as you won’t be turning your work.
As you work, periodically check your stitches to make sure they are not twisted on the needles. Twisted stitches can result in a distorted or misshapen project, so it’s important to catch them early and fix them before continuing.
When you have completed your project, you can finish it off by binding off your stitches. There are several bind off methods to choose from, such as the basic bind off or the stretchy bind off, depending on your preferences and the type of project you’re working on.
Once you’ve bound off all your stitches, weave in any loose ends using a tapestry needle to secure them and prevent unraveling.
And that’s it! You have successfully started and completed a project in the round using double pointed needles. Happy knitting!
Knit Stitch with Double Pointed Needles
When knitting in the round with double pointed needles, the knit stitch is the basic stitch you’ll be using to create your project. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to knit the stitch:
- Start by holding the needle with the stitches in your right hand and one of the empty needles in your left hand.
- Insert the tip of the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle, from left to right, as if to knit.
- With the yarn held behind the needles, wrap the yarn from right to left around the right needle.
- Bring the right needle through the stitch, sliding it off the left needle, while keeping the yarn tensioned.
- You have now completed one knit stitch.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the right needle until there are no more stitches left on the right needle.
- Once all the stitches have been knit, transfer the worked stitches onto the right needle and repeat the process for the next set of stitches.
Remember to keep your tension even and steady throughout your knitting. With practice, you’ll become more comfortable and confident with knitting in the round using double pointed needles!
Purl Stitch with Double Pointed Needles
The purl stitch is one of the basic knitting stitches and is used to create a textured pattern on your knitted fabric. In this section, we will guide you on how to purl stitch using double pointed needles.
To purl stitch with double pointed needles, follow these steps:
- Hold the double pointed needles with the working needle in your right hand and the left needle in your left hand.
- Insert the right needle into the front loop of the first stitch on the left needle from right to left.
- Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, crossing it over the front of the right needle.
- With your right hand, pull the right needle and the wrapped yarn through the stitch on the left needle, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Slip the original stitch off the left needle, transferring it to the right needle.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the left needle until all stitches have been purled.
- Once you have purled all the stitches, you can continue knitting in the round or follow your pattern instructions.
Remember to keep your tension consistent and not too tight or too loose. Practice the purl stitch on a swatch before starting your actual project to get comfortable with the technique. With enough practice, you will soon be able to create beautiful texture and patterns with the purl stitch using double pointed needles.
Increasing and Decreasing in the Round
When knitting in the round with double-pointed needles, it’s important to know how to increase and decrease stitches to shape your project. Here are some common techniques for increasing and decreasing:
There are a few different ways to increase stitches while knitting in the round:
- Knit Front and Back (KFB): Knit into the front of the stitch, but do not slide it off the left needle. Instead, bring the right needle back into the back of the same stitch and knit it again. Then slide the stitch off the left needle. This creates two stitches from one.
- Make One (M1): Insert the right needle into the horizontal strand between the current stitch and the next stitch, from front to back. Knit this strand, twisting it to avoid creating a hole. This also creates two stitches from one.
- Yarn Over (YO): Bring the yarn to the front as if to purl, then knit the next stitch. The yarn over creates an eyelet and increases the stitch count by one.
Here are a few common ways to decrease stitches while knitting in the round:
- Knit Two Together (K2tog): Insert the right needle into the next two stitches on the left needle as if to knit, and knit them together as one stitch. This decreases the stitch count by one.
- Slip Slip Knit (SSK): Slip the next two stitches, one at a time, from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit. Insert the left needle into the front loops of these two slipped stitches, and knit them together. This also decreases the stitch count by one.
- Central Double Decrease: Slip the next stitch as if to knit, knit the following two stitches together, then pass the slipped stitch over the knit-together stitches. This decreases the stitch count by two.
Remember to read your pattern carefully to determine which increase or decrease method to use, as they can have different effects on the fabric. It’s also a good idea to practice these techniques on a small swatch before using them in your actual project.
Finishing and Binding Off
Once you have finished knitting in the round with double pointed needles, it’s time to finish off your project and bind off. This process ensures that your stitches are secure and won’t unravel.
To bind off, you’ll need a darning needle and a pair of scissors.
Here are the steps to bind off:
- Knit the first two stitches as usual.
- Insert the left needle into the first stitch on the right needle and pull it over the second stitch and off the needle. You now have one stitch on your right needle.
- Knit the next stitch.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have one stitch remaining.
Once you have one stitch remaining, cut your yarn, leaving a tail that is about 6 inches long. Thread the tail through the darning needle.
Insert the darning needle through the last stitch on your right needle from left to right. Pull the yarn through and remove the stitch from the needle.
Pull the yarn tight to secure the stitch, leaving a small loop. Insert the darning needle through the loop and pull tight to create a knot.
Trim any excess yarn with your scissors, being careful not to cut the stitch.
Your project is now bound off and ready to be enjoyed!
What are double pointed needles used for?
Double pointed needles are used for knitting in the round, especially for small projects like socks, gloves, and hats.
How many double pointed needles do I need to knit in the round?
You typically use four or five double pointed needles when knitting in the round, depending on the project and your personal preference.
Can I use double pointed needles for flat knitting?
Yes, you can use double pointed needles for flat knitting, but it’s more commonly used for knitting in the round.
What is the advantage of knitting in the round with double pointed needles?
Knitting in the round with double pointed needles allows you to create seamless projects and avoid the need for seaming. It also produces a more even tension and is great for knitting small items.
Do I need to use a specific type of yarn with double pointed needles?
No, you can use any type of yarn with double pointed needles. Just make sure the yarn is appropriate for the project you’re knitting.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when knitting in the round with double pointed needles?
Some common mistakes to avoid include twisting your stitches when joining in the round, dropping or losing your double pointed needles, and accidentally creating ladders or gaps between needles.
Are double pointed needles difficult to use for a beginner?
Double pointed needles can be a bit challenging for beginners, but with practice and patience, you can quickly get the hang of it. Starting with a small project like a hat or a pair of socks can help you build your skills.