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OK, I'm really gonna do it this time. I have tried on and off over the years to knit on dpns, but have always given up. This afternoon, I tried again. I got the basic concept, but I have several questions:
1. Do you join the third needle through the first cast on stitch?
2. How do you keep the stitches fron getting totally twisted? I actually got to the 2nd row, but everything was so twisted up that I had to rip it all out.
3. Does it just take a lot of practice, or does working on 4 needles ALWAYS feel like wresting an octopus? This is one of the most awkward things I have ever done!!!
Thanks for everyone's input. My next project is to master circular needles. I learned how to knit 25 years ago, but just the most basics and have never really progressed. I've decided I need to get out of my comfort zone. Time to shake myself up!!!!
 

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books, it does get easier. I cast on, on a straight needle and knit 2-3 rows before I join in the round and divide the stitches. When project is finished I just sew up the few rows before the joined stitches. Hope that helps you out some. Kat
 

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KatStabe said:
books, it does get easier. I cast on, on a straight needle and knit 2-3 rows before I join in the round and divide the stitches. When project is finished I just sew up the few rows before the joined stitches. Hope that helps you out some. Kat
This is best tip you will get. Work a few rows flat before joining. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to join after the stitches are established.
 

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KatStabe said:
books, it does get easier. I cast on, on a straight needle and knit 2-3 rows before I join in the round and divide the stitches. When project is finished I just sew up the few rows before the joined stitches. Hope that helps you out some. Kat
Yep. This is the line of least resistence and that is a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate the advice, really, but, it seems like cheating. I guess I really wanted to learn the old school way. However I will try to not be so stubborn and try your way. Still feel like I'm wresting an octopus, though.
 

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books said:
I appreciate the advice, really, but, it seems like cheating. I guess I really wanted to learn the old school way. However I will try to not be so stubborn and try your way. Still feel like I'm wresting an octopus, though.
:) Once you win the wrestling match with the octopus you can give starting completely on the DPN's. One step at a time . . . Baby steps, baby steps . . . ;)
 

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I too hate dpns. I am currently knitting a baby sweater withe the sleeves on dpns. I have gotten them twisted, gone the wrong direction so that there are not the same # of rows knitted. i cannot figure out how I did that. It is only 26 stitches for 6" and it is taking forever! I've been on the computer all night avoid this sweet little sweater. I feel your pain.
 

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books said:
I appreciate the advice, really, but, it seems like cheating. I guess I really wanted to learn the old school way. However I will try to not be so stubborn and try your way. Still feel like I'm wresting an octopus, though.
Try the Magic Loop with one long circular needle, you get the same results and (I have found) its so much easier.
To get a good join, add 1 extra stitch, and then cast it off or k2 together when you join up.
 

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It does get easier- I feel like I'm juggling a porcupine. Once you have a few rounds it is easier- but the early rounds are always fiddly until you get it established.
There is no such thing as cheating- whatever gets it done looking good is the important thing. And once you have the hang of using DPNs then you can always try doing it without a few straight rows before you head into rounds if you really want to. But if you can start with a couple of rows flat. (it does depend what you are doing, one of my current projects started with 4 stitches as the centre of a flat piece of knitting and that I had to do in the round from the start- it was frogged a number of times before I finally got it done. Would have used magic loop- but all my suitable circulars were in use (I find especially when I am using a few stitches that magic loop is easier).

Circular needles are very easy if the diameter of what you are knitting is small enough to fit around the needles- it really only needs mastering if you are trying to learn magic loop. Maybe starting with project on circulars and then moving to DPNs would help. In fact if you have a smallish circular why not do a hat- learn the principles of circular knitting in an easy way and then when your diameter gets too small during the crown shaping move then to DPNs- and you are then learning to juggle with your sttiches already established. Then when you move to starting a project on DPNs you at least are used to working with them.
 

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It does get easer. However I use a set of 5 DPN's it's easier. I tried 4 and threw it across the room! I find if I lay the needles down and get the cast on edge facing inwards so I usually manage to get it straight when joining it up. But it can be frustrating when you begin - so just keep knitting and that "light bulb" moment will happen.
 

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It will get a lot easier. Try the advice on knitting a few rows first. Then put the knitting on a table and make sure it is not twisted before you join. When you put it on the table and position the needles in a circle it will help to understand what is going on when you knit it the round.

Using dpns is a good technique to know. I try to use circulars whenever the item is small enough. But may projects like hats or socks still require the use of dpns to finish them.

So keep trying.
 

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I have found knitting the continental style on dpn's works better for me than throwing the yarn. I have better control on the tension and can give the yarn a yank when I do the first stitch on the next dpn, if I do that I don't get a ladder and the work is very evenly done. I tried the magic loop again and what a battle that was, got out my trusty dpn's and had the cuff done in no time. Anything worthwhile doing takes time and practice.

Carol J.
 

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SpangleB said:
It does get easer. However I use a set of 5 DPN's it's easier. I tried 4 and threw it across the room! I find if I lay the needles down and get the cast on edge facing inwards so I usually manage to get it straight when joining it up. But it can be frustrating when you begin - so just keep knitting and that "light bulb" moment will happen.
This is exactly the advice I was going to give - it made all the difference to me when I was getting started. Good luck - you'll soon be a pro :)
 

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Trust me knitting with DP needles does get easier. I have been knitting socks now for over a year and it is much easier now than it was, for most anything I decide to knit with DP needles. The first 2-3 rows is sometimes very frustrating but after that it is easy. And I knit with 5 also, seems to be more room in the middle!! Happy knitting
 

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Just a thought: some cast on methods just naturally tend to twist more than others. I find the basic backwards loop or e-style cast on is very "twisty". Also the lesser known Chinese Waitress cast on tends to twist. I have less trouble with the double-strand types, like Long Tail and Old Norwegian (aka German Twisted).

What cast-on are you using?
 
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