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!
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How to Knit in the Round on Double Pointed Needles (DPNs)
- Once you’ve got all of your stitches cast on, (for more information about how to cast on stitches to DPNs check out our tutorial here), distribute your knitting onto 3 DPNs. You can also distribute your stitches over 4 needles and work with your fifth needle, but for this tutorial I’ll be working with my stitches on 3 needles and knitting with the fourth.
- Pick up your fourth needle
- 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 and second stitches 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 ever 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 your 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.
Your stitches are on 3 needles, and you’ve got your 4th (empty) needle in your right hand. With needle 1 in your left hand and needle 4 in your right hand, work all the stitches on needle 1. 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.
Each time you work all of the stitches on one needle, you will have an empty needle in your left hand. Move that empty needle to your right hand and begin working with your empty needle and the next set of stitches.
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, if you do, there’s a small chance all your stitches will end up on only 2 needles. If this happens don’t worry, just slip 1/2 of those stitches onto another DPN and keep going. 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!
More great Tin Can Knits patterns worked in the round
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