Learn How to Knit with Double Pointed Needles

Learn How to Knit with Double Pointed Needles

Knitting with double-pointed needles, or DPNs, opens up a whole new world of possibilities for knitters. These slender, pointed needles are perfect for knitting in the round, allowing you to create seamless projects such as hats, socks, and sleeves. If you’re new to knitting with DPNs, don’t worry – it’s easier than you might think!

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of knitting with DPNs, from casting on to working your stitches and shaping your project. Along the way, we’ll share tips and techniques to help you become a confident DPN knitter.

Before diving into the knitting process, it’s important to choose the right yarn and needles for your project. A lightweight or fingering weight yarn is ideal for DPN knitting, as it creates a tight, even fabric. As for the needles, you’ll need a set of DPNs in the appropriate size for your chosen yarn.

To begin, you’ll cast on your stitches using one DPN. Make sure to leave a long tail for weaving in later. Once your stitches are cast on, divide them evenly onto three or four DPNs, depending on the pattern. This will allow you to evenly distribute the stitches for knitting in the round.

Pro tip: To prevent gaps between your needles, you can knit the first stitch of each needle tightly. This will help to create a smooth, seamless join.

Once your stitches are divided, you can start knitting! Hold one needle in your dominant hand and the other in your non-dominant hand. Begin by knitting the first stitch of the first needle, then continue onto the next needle, and so on. As you work, make sure to keep your tension even and your stitches snug.

As you become more comfortable with DPN knitting, you’ll discover a variety of patterns and projects to try. From intricate lace socks to cozy cabled hats, DPN knitting offers endless possibilities for creativity. So grab your needles, choose your favorite yarn, and dive into the world of DPN knitting!

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles for DPN

When it comes to knitting with double-pointed needles (DPN), choosing the right yarn and needles can make a big difference in the final outcome of your project. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection:

  • Yarn Weight: The weight of the yarn will determine the thickness and drape of your finished project. Choose a yarn weight that is appropriate for the pattern you are working on and the desired outcome.
  • Fiber Content: Different types of yarn have different characteristics. Some fibers, like wool, offer warmth and durability, while others, like cotton, provide breathability and softness. Consider the qualities you are looking for in your finished project and choose a yarn with a suitable fiber content.
  • Needle Material: DPNs come in a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Wood needles are lightweight and warm to the touch, while metal needles are durable and slide easily through stitches. Consider your personal preferences and the characteristics of your yarn when selecting the needle material.
  • Needle Size: The size of your DPNs will depend on the pattern and the gauge you want to achieve. Check the pattern instructions for the recommended needle size, and use a gauge swatch to ensure you are achieving the correct tension.

Remember that experimenting with different combinations of yarn and needle sizes can result in unique fabric textures and drape. Have fun exploring different options to find the perfect match for your DPN project!

Casting On Stitches with DPN

Casting on stitches with double-pointed needles (DPN) is a technique used in knitting to create a seamless tube. DPNs are typically used when knitting small, round projects such as socks, mittens, or sleeves. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cast on stitches with DPN.

  1. Gather your materials: You will need a set of double-pointed needles, a ball of yarn, and a pair of scissors.
  2. Create a slip knot: Start by making a slip knot at the end of your yarn. To do this, create a loop with the yarn and pass one end through the loop. Pull the ends gently to tighten the knot.
  3. Hold the needles: Take one DPN in your dominant hand and hold it like a pencil. Hold the other DPNs between your other fingers of both hands. This will allow you to slide stitches between the needles easily.
  4. Insert the needle: With the slip knot on your right-hand needle, insert the left-hand needle (empty needle) into the loop of the slip knot, bringing it up towards the tip of the right-hand needle. Hold both needles together in your left hand.
  5. Wrap the yarn: Take the yarn coming from the ball and wrap it around the right-hand needle, moving the yarn from the back to the front between the needles.
  6. Slide the new stitch: With the yarn wrapped around the right-hand needle, use the right-hand needle to pull the new stitch through the loop of the slip knot. Slide the new stitch onto the right-hand needle, keeping the slip knot on the left-hand needle.
  7. Repeat: Continue steps 4-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Make sure to distribute the stitches evenly onto the DPNs as needed.
  8. Join in the round: Once you have cast on all the stitches, arrange them evenly onto the DPNs. Make sure the stitches are not twisted. Join the first and last stitches together by knitting the first stitch with the working yarn from the other end of the needle.
  9. Knit your pattern: With the stitches cast on and joined in the round, you are ready to start knitting your pattern using the DPNs!

Casting on stitches with DPN may take some practice to get used to, but with time, you will become comfortable with this technique. Remember to take it slow and be patient with yourself. Happy knitting!

Knitting in the Round with DPN

Knitting in the round with double-pointed needles (DPN) is a technique that allows you to create seamless tubular projects, such as hats, socks, and sleeves. DPNs are typically used when the circumference of your project is too small to fit comfortably on a circular needle.

Materials needed:

  • Double-pointed needles (DPN)
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch markers (optional)

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Cast on the required number of stitches onto one DPN. Divide the stitches evenly onto three or four DPNs, depending on the pattern instructions.
  2. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your right hand. Arrange the other needles so that they are parallel to each other. The stitches should be distributed evenly between the needles.
  3. With your working yarn, knit the first stitch from the left-hand needle of the first DPN. This will join the stitches into a circle. Make sure not to twist the stitches.
  4. Continue knitting each stitch in the round, working in a clockwise direction. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round, if desired.
  5. When you reach the end of a needle, simply switch to the next needle. This will ensure an even distribution of stitches and prevent any gaps from forming.
  6. Repeat this process, working in the round, until your project reaches the desired length.
  7. To finish your project, you can either bind off the stitches as usual or use a technique such as the Kitchener stitch to create an invisible seam. Secure any loose ends with a tapestry needle.


  • Use stitch markers to mark specific sections of your work, such as the beginning of the round or pattern repeats.
  • Take care not to pull your stitches too tight when switching between needles, as this can create ladders or tension issues.
  • If you find it difficult to knit with multiple DPNs, you can use a technique called the “Magic Loop” method, which involves using a long circular needle instead.

With practice, knitting in the round with DPNs can become a seamless and enjoyable technique for creating a wide variety of projects. Happy knitting!

Transitioning Between DPN Needles

Transitioning between double-pointed needles (DPNs) can be a bit tricky, but with a few simple steps, you’ll be able to smoothly move from one needle to the next and continue your knitting project seamlessly.

Step 1: When you reach the end of a needle, take the empty needle in your right hand and the needle with stitches in your left hand.

Step 2: Insert the empty needle into the first stitch on the left needle, moving from left to right, as if you were knitting.

Step 3: Wrap the working yarn around the new needle’s tip, just as you would for a regular knit stitch.

Step 4: Pull the new needle through the stitch, transferring it from the old needle to the new one. The old needle will now be empty.

Step 5: Repeat this process for each stitch on the left needle until all the stitches have been transferred to the new needle. The old needle will now be empty, and the new needle will have all the stitches.

Step 6: Hold the new needle with the stitches in your left hand and the next empty needle in your right hand.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 2-5 to transfer the stitches from the new needle to the empty needle. Now, the old new needle will be empty, and the next new needle will have all the stitches.

Note: It’s important to maintain tension in your knitting as you transition between needles to ensure an even and consistent appearance.


  • Use markers or different colored yarn to mark the beginning of each needle. This will help you keep track of your progress and avoid confusion.
  • If you’re finding it difficult to transfer stitches with the new needle, you can also use a crochet hook to help pull the stitches through.

Following these steps will help you smoothly transition between DPN needles while knitting. With practice, you’ll become more comfortable and efficient in this technique.

Shaping and Decreasing with DPN

When working with double-pointed needles (DPNs), it is important to know how to shape and decrease your knitting. Shaping and decreasing techniques are commonly used to create different shapes and contours in your knitting project.

1. Decreasing Stitches:

One common way to decrease stitches is by knitting two stitches together (k2tog). To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the right-hand needle into the next two stitches as if to knit.
  2. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle.
  3. Pull the right-hand needle through both stitches, creating one stitch on the right-hand needle.
  4. Slip the original stitches off the left-hand needle.

2. Shaping Stitches:

To shape your knitting project, you can use different techniques such as increases and decreases. Here are a few common shaping techniques you can use with DPNs:

  • Increase: One common increase method is the make one (M1) method. To make one stitch, follow these steps:
    1. Insert the left-hand needle from front to back under the bar between the stitches.
    2. Lift the bar onto the left-hand needle.
    3. Knit into the lifted bar as if it were a regular stitch.
  • Decrease: In addition to the k2tog decrease, you can also use the slip slip knit (ssk) decrease. To ssk, follow these steps:
    1. Slip the next two stitches knitwise onto the right-hand needle.
    2. Insert the left-hand needle into the front of these two slipped stitches.
    3. Knit these two stitches together through the back loops.

3. Following a Decrease Pattern:

When working with a pattern that includes decreases, it is important to follow the pattern instructions carefully. The pattern will specify which decrease method to use and when to perform the decrease. This will ensure that your finished project achieves the desired shape and fit.

By mastering the techniques of shaping and decreasing with DPNs, you can create beautiful knitted projects with unique shapes and contours. Experiment with different decrease methods and patterns to expand your knitting skills and create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Finishing Off and Binding Off with DPN

Finishing off and binding off with double-pointed needles (DPN) is the final step in a knitting project. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to finish off and bind off with DPN:

  1. First, make sure you have completed all the necessary stitches on your DPN. You should have no more stitches left to knit.
  2. Begin by cutting the working yarn, leaving a tail that is about 6 inches long.
  3. Take a darning needle and thread the tail of the yarn through the eye of the needle.
  4. Insert the darning needle through the first stitch on the first needle.
  5. Pull the yarn through the stitch and remove the stitch from the DPN.
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each stitch on the DPN until all the stitches have been removed from the needle.
  7. Once all the stitches have been removed, pull the yarn tightly to secure the stitches and close the gap.
  8. Finally, weave in the end of the yarn securely into the knitted fabric using the darning needle. Trim any excess yarn.

Binding off with DPN is similar to finishing off, but rather than removing the stitches from the needle, you will transfer them to another needle or onto waste yarn.

  1. Start by knitting the first two stitches together onto one DPN.
  2. Knit the next stitch on the DPN.
  3. Insert the left-hand needle into the first stitch on the right-hand needle.
  4. Slip the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until all the stitches have been bound off.
  6. Once all the stitches have been bound off, cut the working yarn, leaving a tail that is about 6 inches long.
  7. Thread the tail of the yarn through the last stitch and pull tightly to secure.
  8. Weave in the end of the yarn securely into the knitted fabric using a darning needle, and trim any excess yarn.

Following these steps will ensure that you finish off and bind off your double-pointed needle knitting projects neatly and securely.

Tips and Troubleshooting for Knitting with DPN

Knitting with double-pointed needles (DPN) can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re new to this technique. Here are some tips and troubleshooting tips to help you master DPN knitting:

  • Start with fewer stitches: When using DPNs, it can be easier to start with fewer stitches than the pattern calls for. This will give you more room to work and maneuver the needles.
  • Use stitch markers: Place stitch markers between each needle to help you keep track of your stitches and prevent any accidental increases or decreases.
  • Use a stitch holder: If you’re working on a project that requires holding stitches, consider using a stitch holder instead of transferring them onto scrap yarn. This will help keep your stitches secure and prevent them from unraveling.
  • Knit with the right tension: It’s important to maintain an even tension when knitting with DPNs to avoid loose or tight stitches. Take your time and adjust your tension as needed.
  • Keep your needles organized: To prevent your needles from getting tangled, consider using a needle organizer or a rubber band to keep them together.
  • Use a smaller needle for the first few rounds: When starting a project with DPNs, it can be helpful to use a smaller needle for the first few rounds. This will make it easier to control your stitches and prevent any gaps or ladders.
  • Avoid long floats: When working with DPNs, be mindful of long floats (strands of yarn) between needles. Long floats can cause your stitches to become loose and uneven. To avoid this, try to keep your floats short by catching the yarn with a neighboring stitch every few stitches.
  • Fixing dropped stitches: If you drop a stitch while working with DPNs, don’t panic. Use a crochet hook or a spare DPN to pick up the dropped stitch and place it back onto the needle. If the stitch has unraveled, gently pull on the yarn to undo the stitches and then re-knit them.

Remember, practice makes perfect when it comes to knitting with DPNs. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of it. With time and experience, you’ll become more comfortable and confident in your DPN knitting skills.


What is DPN in knitting?

DPN stands for double-pointed needles. They are used in knitting to create small circumference projects such as socks, mittens, and hats.

How do I choose the right size of DPN?

Choosing the right size of DPN depends on the pattern you are working on and the type of yarn you are using. The pattern will typically recommend a specific size, and you can also refer to the yarn label to see the recommended needle size.

Can I use DPN for larger projects?

While DPNs are commonly used for smaller circumference projects, they can also be used for larger projects. However, it may be more challenging to manage a large number of stitches on DPNs, so it is often easier to use circular needles or other methods for larger projects.

Are DPNs beginner-friendly?

DPNs can be a bit trickier for beginners since they require more needle manipulation and can be more difficult to handle than other types of needles. However, with some practice and patience, beginners can definitely learn to use DPNs effectively.

How many DPNs do I need for a project?

The number of DPNs you need for a project depends on the pattern you are working on. Most small circumference projects require either four or five DPNs, but some may require more or fewer depending on the specific design.

What knitting techniques can I use with DPNs?

DPNs can be used for a variety of knitting techniques, including casting on, knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing, and binding off. They are versatile tools that allow you to create a wide range of stitches and patterns.


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