A not-so-newbie afraid of DPNs. Can I really make socks?!?

DPNs terrify me. Cables, no problem. Short rows I got. Socks … ummmm, they sell those in department stores, right?!?

So can I really make socks? I’ve been knitting for about 6 months and I haven’t tried anything with DPNs because I break out in hives just thinking about it. But I keep putting this gorgeous sock yarn into my shopping basket at every online yarn store I visit. And I want to knit socks for a benefit program I am involved in on another forum – a lot of mamas who had fallen on hard financial times this year asked for socks for their children, and it just broke my heart!

HELP! Convince me that DPNs are not scary and that I can make a sock.

I haven’t done any yet, but I know you can also do them on 2 circular needles or one long circular which is called magic loop method. Here’s the technique page.

You have all the skills needed, just need to get over your dpn fear! You may want to use my trick for getting them started. I cast on all the stitches {plus 1} on to a straight needle. I then knit off the first row {in pattern} on to my dpns, dividing them as I go {your pattern usually tells you how many per needle}. When I get to the last stitch on my straight, I slip it on to my first dpn. I knit that last stitch, and the first stitch together, and that joins it into a loop. The tiny gap left from the join, I sew that up using the yarn tail from my cast on.

I find that using the straight needle on the first row makes it easier to handle all the dpns in the process of joining it. Plus the one row already knitted makes it easier to tell if my cast on is twisted or not.

Do not fear the dpns! Despite their prickly look, they are your friends!

Seriously, they are not difficult to knit with at all. One stitch at a time, one needle at a time, just like any other knitting project. And socks are SOOOO much fun to knit!! :heart:

You don’t need those scary little DPNs to make socks! Knit them on two circs instead! It’s sooooo not scary! :wink:

JULIE! :fingerwag:

Be nice to dpns! And don’t scare new sock-knitters!


I’m sorry, did I sound scary? I was telling her not to be scared… :angelgrin:

Socks aren’t scary at all [size=1]…on two circs[/size]

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Nice try!

One thing to remember about knitting on dpn’s is that you are still only dealing with 2 needles at a time. YOu might be holding 4 (or 5) needles but you are still only knitting with 2 at a time. The others are just holding stitches. And kid socks knit up so quickly and can be so fun!

I too was afraid of dpn’s for a long time, so I know how you feel! It was awkward when I started, but it was awkward to learn to knit as well.

I found it best to completely ignore any needle I was not working on at the moment.

You only knit with two needles at a time, just like regular knitting… you don’t have to hold onto any of the other needles. So just pretend all those other needles are not there at all!

I found it very helpful to pull Really Hard at the end of each needle, because otherwise I leave a gap between the needles.

You may even find this a bit easier than straight needles, since they are nice and short, and you don’t bang them on the sides of your chair!

You can TOTALLY do it.

I was scared too, but bit the bullet and my socks came out just fine. In fact, they came out good enough to be my mom’s christmas present!

Once I understood the general concept, the hardest part for me was figuring out the most comfortable way to hold the needles. While completely ignoring non-working needles is definitely a great tip, I needed more guidance.

After experimentation and watching the video really closely, I figured out that what works best for me is to have my left needle (the one holding the stitches next in line to be knitted) in front of my non-working needle, and my right, working needle behind my non-working needle. (I was working with 4 DPNS, not 5)

This might not make any sense, but I guess my point is to experiment with what feels most comfortable! It might take a while to get used to, so experiment with an iPod cozy or something small before you make your socks.

OH! And also beware of “ladders” between needle connections! To avoid these, I knit the first stitch between joins as tightly as possible, then insert my working needle into the second stitch and wrap the yarn around it, then PULL the yarn snugly BEFORE sliding the stitch off the needle.

Hope this helps! Socks are fun!!

I had to play around with how to hold the needles, too. I keep my left needle above the needles next to it; the right needle moves around it more easily, and the needle to the left of the left one (if that makes sense!) doesn’t trap the needle I’m knitting off of.

For avoiding ladders, pulling the stitches tighter did not work for me. What I do is knit all the stitches on one dpn AND the first couple of stitches off of the next one. Do this all the way around each round As long as you use some kind of stitch markers, you won’t get confused about which stitches are supposed to be on which needles and can easily reorient them when it comes time to do the heel flap and the toe decreases.

I am also a relatively new knitter and found that conquering DPNs is very worthwhile. Aside from socks (I’ve since switched to circulars for these - much easier!), I really like to use DPNs to knit sleeves on sweaters because I HATE HATE HATE to seam.

Maybe try a practice a sock with leftover yarn before using anything nice. I just made a short tube the first time using DPNs as practice. My daughter (12) came across it and wears it as a wrist band!

Good Luck!

How cool! Does she want a mate for it, or is she happy with just the one? :wink:

She never asked for another wristband…I think just one is the fashion statement she wanted. A lot of her friends thought it was cool and asked her about it. Just more proof that understanding the pre-teen/teen mentality defies any adult logic (or mine at least)!

Since all the middle-schoolers seem obsessed with ultra-expensive Coach purses, Ugg boots, Juicy Couture clothing, etc. perhaps there is a market here for knitted wristbands :thinking: Quick and cheap to make, charge a crazy price and they’re sure to love it!

She recently learned to knit (no purling yet) but has yet to complete the eyelash scarf she started in October.

Wow. Dressing middle schoolers is even more expensive now than in my day!

And you could begin quite the cottage industry knitting those single wristbands. And yeah, the more you charge for them, the more kids will think they’re cool. :rollseyes:

I think I’d still be knitting an eyelash scarf I’d started it in October. Sheesh–that stuff drives me crazy.

Don’t be afraid Dahrain…it’s fun once you get the hang of it. Especially with 5 Size 2 DP. You could try on circular’s but I"ve never done that. The socks are wonderful and well worth the time. I know they sell them at the store but these are adorable. Have FUN~

Don’t forget Silver’s sock tutorial. There’s also a good “class sock” in Sensational Knitted Socks. That’s my latest book buy and I love it!

Silver is here:


I really like the idea of casting onto a straight needle first, never heard that one! :thumbsup:

I started the “class sock” last night from that book. I loved it. I have never done socks before and I couldn’t put it down. I had to stop myself at midnight to go to bed because I had to get up at 5am for work. I can’t wait to get back to working on it tonight! :XX: :XX:

Don’t be afraid of the dpn. They are just a little awkward at first until you get used to them.

Not if you don’t buy it. I just said “no” and we found something else acceptable. :wink: :roflhard: