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Knitting on Double Pointed Needles

August 17, 2013

Knitting in the round on double pointed needles seems daunting at first, but it’s really not too tough. The trickiest part is figuring out the best way to hold your work and your needles (and everyone is different). A little practice is all you need to wrestle the porcupine!

::: How to Knit in the Round on Double Pointed Needles (dpns) :::

1. Distribute your knitting onto 3 needles (or 4, if you prefer, and you have a total of 5 dpns)

2. Pick up your fourth needle

3. Starting at the first stitch of the round, knit with needle 4 in your right hand and needle 1 in your left hand.
(note: make sure you pull the first stitch on a needle a little extra tight, if you are too loose you will get ‘ladders’, loose points in the knit fabric between needles)

Even though you are using 4 needles, you are really only working with 2 at a time. If you put your knitting down or just plain forget where you are at, remember that your yarn will always come from the right.


Work all the stitches on needle 1, keeping in pattern (follow pattern directions to see how you should be working these stitches). Now you will have one empty needle (formerly needle 1) and your 4th needle will be full.


Next you will be knitting with needle 1 (recently emptied) and needle 2.


Take your empty needle and begin working with your empty needle and needle 2. Starting to see a pattern? You are always using the empty needle to knit the next needle in the series. The trick is never to put your needle down. You are always working with 4 needles, but only using 2 at a time.

Round and round you go, always using the empty needle to knit the next.

This tutorial is part of The Simple Collection – our 100% free learn-to-knit series.  Check out the 8 fabulous free patterns sized from baby to big, and get started making modern seamless knits for the entire family!  Like our work?  Get our email updates and we will let you know about new patterns, tutorials, and events.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 18, 2013 9:06 am

    Beautifully illustrated. I am trying to change over to wood only. It is so pleasant to work with and your stitches don’t usually fall off unless they are very loose. The metal aggravates my arthritis too :P

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