Cast on 4 Stitches! Help!

I have a pattern for a hat that begins from the top down - with 4 cast on stitches. The last time I tried using double pointed needles to begin a project it was a disaster. I tried knitting a pair of gauntlets with 12 CO stitches and the yarn is still sitting in the closet since I had such a difficult time establishing my rounds. Now I’m considering starting a project with 4 stitches! What’s wrong with me? I’d really like to get the hang of this, though. And I don’t have a problem with double pointed needles as long as I’m ending, not starting, something. I think it’s because the rows are already knit and therefore the project guides the needles, not the other way around. Does anyone have a tip or two about casting on and beginning a project with unruly double points?

Nothing’s wrong with you, you just need to learn a couple tricks. What I do is cast on the sts but divide them on only 2 dpns, 2 sts per needle. Take a 3rd needle to join and work the first round. After a few rounds of increasing, you can add a 4th (and then 5th) needle, and rearrange the sts. Another thing is to just cast on and work those 4 sts flat, then join after the first increase. Use the tail yarn to close up the hole.

I like the suggestion of working flat and closing up the hole. LOL However, I’m going to try the previous suggestion first because I really should learn this. So I’m using a third (empty) needle with which to knit the first two stitches onto? And then the needle that’s holding the original first two stitches becomes the empty needle for knitting the third and fourth stitches? And so on? If that’s the case, it sounds fairly easy. I think before I was trying to manipulate the stitches by actually knitting with the dpn’s which were already full of stitches. I should have used a fourth to knit with.

Depending on whether it’s partly the confusion of which needle is doing what while there are very few stitches, we discovered the other night that marking each needle with dots or a stripe for each number (1 dot for needle #1, 2 dots for needle #2, etc.) can also help with starting on dpns, for some people.

I remember being very confused about dpns until the light finally went on that you knit with an empty needle… :slight_smile:

So I’m using a third (empty) needle with which to knit the first two stitches onto? And then the needle that’s holding the original first two stitches becomes the empty needle for knitting the third and fourth stitches? And so on?

Yep, that’s it; you might want to look at the video for using dpns on the Advanced Techniques page. The pattern probably has you CO 4 sts, then place each st on a separate needle and a 5th to knit with. That’s [B]really[/B] insane! They flop around like crazy. Using only 3 to start with controls it somewhat.

Ok Thanks! (Both to Suzeeq and Globaltraveler) I can’t wait to get home to try this out!!