Double pointed needles (DPNs) have a special place among the knitting tools. Usually, a set of five needles, DPNs allow knitting from both ends and are the most convenient option to knit in the round. Knitters love their double-pointed needles and there are sufficient reasons to do so. They have been handy tools to knit in the round, even the smallest circumference projects, such as socks, hats, baby booties, and the fingers of a glove.
To knit with double pointed needles is a challenge if you are just starting, but with time and practice, who knows it might become your favorite option to knit in the round. So, let’s proceed with how to use DPNs. Remember one rule, you will only knit with two needles at a time, while others will hang on your project.
Casting on DPNs might require three or four needles, depending upon the circumference you would need, while the fourth or fifth needle is kept free for knitting. If you are following a pattern, they will mention the needles needed.
Use the long tail cast on method for best results. Don't cast on too tightly as you have to move the stitches around.
Hold the needle with stitches on it in your left hand and the second needle in your right hand. Pull half of the stitches from the first needle to the second and then the third and fourth (if needed).
For example, if you cast on 32 stitches, and you need to work with 3, then needles 1 & 2 can carry 11 stitches and needle 3 will have 10 stitches on it. In the case of working with four needles, each will have 8 stitches.
There is no hard rule to have the exact number of stitches on each needle.
Add a stitch marker between the last 2 stitches on your last needle to mark the end of the row. This step is not necessary but benefits the knitter to mark the change of row.
Joining the Round
After you cast on the stitches, you have to join the round. Hold the knitting needle with the working yarn in your right hand. Usually, you knit with the working yarn in your left hand, but here you will want to hold it in your right for this.
Take your fourth needle (if you’re knitting on 3 needles) or your fifth needle (if you’re knitting on 4), and hold it in your right hand. Insert the tip into the first stitch on your left needle.
Make sure that you insert the needle through the front of your work and out the back, just like knitting and not purling.
Maintain a tight square or triangle shape by knitting tightly in the corners. You can also move the original needles around and pull on the yarn to keep the shape intact.
If you started with 4 needles, you’ll now have 5 needles in a hexagon shape and if you have 3 needles, you’ll have 4 needles in a square shape.
Knitting and Finishing Your Piece
Once you have joined the round, knit across the first needle just like you would on a regular pair of needles.
Continue in this manner until you are back to where you started. As you finish knitting each side of your square or triangle, you will be left with an empty needle. Use the empty needle to knit the stitches off of the next needle.
Slide the stitch marker onto your needle and finish the last stitch. While knitting on double-pointed needles, you don’t turn your project.
Start a second row without turning, then keep knitting. You don't have to turn or reverse your stitches.
You may feel quite uncomfortable managing those needles, but after a couple of rows, you will feel confident seeing your project take form.
Some patterns will require you to cast off the stitches (i.e. arm warmers) while others will instruct you to slide the stitches off onto a short piece of yarn, then gather them tightly.
Lantern Moon’s handcrafted premium double-pointed knitting needles
As knitters, you know that the right tools can elevate your ability and result in a beautiful outcome. DPNs are a specialty tool as these are the options to go when knitting in the round, especially the smallest circumferences. The fun of working on the needles gets all the more special when you have knitting tools crafted from premium wood that offers a smooth glide to your stitches.
The Lantern Moon double pointed knitting needles are crafted from premium Ebony wood. It has a very smooth, tight grain and is extremely resilient, providing the knitter with a smooth surface and a pleasurable knitting experience. The liquid silk finish feels warm and easy on the hand and ensures a smooth, no-snag stitch glide. The transition from one double point needle to the next is smoothly made thanks to the even surface of the needles and the perfectly shaped tips that work well with every type of yarn.
These beautiful ebony wood double pointed needles are available in the US sizes 1.5 (2.5 mm) -11 (8 mm). The 6” DPNs are perfect socks or the top of a hat. The 8” DPNs are used for larger knit-in-the-round projects such as sleeves or the neck of a sweater. The expertly shaped tips have a smooth glide and easy transition from one needle to the next that makes knitting with them pleasurable.
Lantern Moon treats the passionate knitter with its exclusive range of knitting needles and accessories. If you want to know more about another way to try circular knitting, check our previous blog on circular knitting needles.