4 needle to 3 needles

I’m looking at the Peppermint Snow Socks pattern. Actually, I decided that since I was up for a challenge, I’d start them. I’ve done many socks on 3 dpns. I’m not liking using 4. Is there a way to convert the pattern to use 3? Also, why are some socks on 4 vs. 3 needles? Is there an advantage to using 4 instead of 3? Just curious.

Sure, you can use 3 needles and place markers where the ends of the 4 needles would be. That way, if the pattern refers to the 4 needles, you’ll know which stitches are to be used. This applies especially to the heel pattern.

I like to use 4 needles because it feels like there is less tension at the joins than with 3 needles but it’s really a matter of personal preference.

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You can almost always substitute 3 for a pattern that calls for 4. Usually if the pattern recommends 4, it’s either because the designer happens to like 4 better, or because the number of stitch repeats is perfectly divisible by 4.