5 DPNs vs. 4 DPNs

Almost all of the sets of DPNs I’ve seen (and bought) lately are sets of 4, but now all the sock patterns I keep running across are using sets of 5. I understand that using 5 can decrease the chances of “ladders” where the needle joins are, but really, I’ve not had the problem w/ my sets of 4.

I was just wondering if there are any helpful hints for translating a 5-needle pattern to a 4-needle pattern.

I’m usually doing the opposite! :roflhard: I convert 4 needle patterns to 5! All I would do is put the stitches for needle 2 and 3 on one needle. Those are usually the stitches that form the top of the foot when you are doing the heel {can’t remember right now what the proper name is}. If you get confused with the pattern at the point where you are turning the heel, find a pattern for a 4 needle sock, and use that to help yourself understand better where you are moving stitches to. Mainly what my patterns tell me to do is to transfer the stitches from needle 2 on to 2 needles, and then knit the stitches from needle 1 on to the end of needle 3. Turn your heel, and then move your stitches around to get them back the way they were originally. Clear as mud?

If you’re still having problems, just holler.

Check out this chart (it’s a PDF file). Find your starting stitch number and divide according to the chart. :slight_smile:

EVERY sock knitter should have this chart printed and in a page protector.

LOL, I do the same thing Nicole does :wink: I also knit in tandem and have bought 3 sets of some of my dpns bc they come in packs of 5!..besides, one can NEVER have too many needles :thumbsup:

Usually when using 4 needles you have half of the stitches on one needle for the heel and the other half equally divided over the front stitches. I am assuming that a 5 needle pattern calls for the stitches to be evenly spaced??? If so, I would just put the heel stitches all on one needle (as usual) rather than spread them out over two.

Wow, you guys, thanks!! I printed out Silver’s chart, and what the rest of you are saying makes sense. Since I have knit most of one sock (and then frogged it), I understand about the heel and all of that.

As for frogging the one I almost had done … I used The Sock Calculator, and I can’t recommend the pattern generated from that. It was enormous. I have since switched to the pattern from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, and it seems much more reasonably sized. (The sock calculator told me to cast on 60 stitches, while the book is coming out to only 44.)

Now, I found out that my MIL wants a pair of black mittens for Christmas, and I SO want to knit them for her. I haven’t made mittens yet, so I’m a little nervous to make my first mittens as a Christmas gift. Perhaps I could buy a pair as backup. :oops:

oh Julie! I’m sure you can do the mitten perfectly. You can always gather some of the IL people for help in person if you need it!

Make no mistake, that’s not my chart. I just linked to it because it’s such an invaluable tool. I certainly wouldn’t want to take credit away from Linda Peck, as she’s the true sock genius. :slight_smile:

Gotcha, Silver. :thumbsup: I’m sure she appreciates the credit given! It’s a great chart!! And I’m LOVIN’ this Handy Book of Patterns, btw. I’ve got it on my Christmas list.

That’s a great chart, Silver–thanks!

I use this one, too, to help with different sock heels. (Thanks to Aidan for sending me there!). My favorite is the round/French heel. I love the way it looks and feels on my feet.