DPN help

this may seem like a really stupid question .But here goes . When you start knitting on DPN how do you keep track of which needle you just knitted . I have been watching all kinds of videos and get really confused .they have yarn on 3 needles but i can never figure which needle to knit next . I thought of numbering the needles 1,2,3, and 4 but i don’t know if it would work . Going to need to practice myself. Thanks for any suggestions

When knitting on dpns the stitches are connected in a line, just as if they were all on one needle. When you knit the last st on one needle, move on to the next st in line and the needle it is on is the one you knit next.

This is something that may be much easier in practice. Start either with something like 24sts, 8 on each needle or knit back and forth for a row or two before knitting onto dpns. Another easy way to get started is to knit a beanie on a small circular needle and then knit onto dpns for the decreases at the crown.
Numbering doesn’t work because the working needle (the 4th needle) keeps being incorporated into the project as you knit around.

I use the tail from the cast on as a guide or put a safety pin on the stitches of the first needle.

When you finish a needle the working yarn will be hanging from the last stitch on the needle and will be on your right. The next needle will be the one that has the next stitch and will be at the right end of a needle.

I do like Jan says and use the tail to show me where the round starts. I also put a stitch marker after the first stitch of new round. I suppose you could put a different colored stitch marker after the first stitch of each needle in some kind of easily remembered order like the American flag red (first needle), white (second needle), blue (third needle) then use that order to keep you organized. Keep moving the stitch markers to keep them on the row you are on. I’ve never done it but it should work. :wink:

Everyone has given you good advice. The best advice I ever got here was so simple, and I don’t remember who told me, but it went something like this.

Once you get the needles loaded up and all the yarn untwisted LOL, lay the needles down flat on a table, and study it. Give it a good hard look, and it will click.

Worked for me, and I was ready to poke my eyes out with DPNs at the time, haven’t put them down much after mastering them.

They are such a pain to learn, because they will not stay out of your way until you get about 4 to 5 rows in, and they made me nervous at first. Don’t give up, just keep going.

Thanks everyone . I started a sample several times and i believe i have it . The proof will be when I knit a hat and need to change ti the DPN’s another question for the experts . Do i need to buy many sets of these needles . I have 1 set size 4.5mm patterns seem to call for different sizes

Yes, patterns will call for different sizes just as they call for different size straight or circular needles. The different sizes are used to adjust the gauge (stitches/inch) so that you can knit to a given size.
You can buy each size as you need it. You don’t have to invest in a whole set at once. You may even like to play around with different composition needles: plastic, bamboo, metal.

Thanks now for a simple pattern

Often a pattern will tell you to divide your CO stitches evenly among four (or three needles). Sometimes this is important in a pattern (for example, some sock patterns have you work specific needles and leave the rest unknitted), but most of the time it’s not necessary to have the same number of stitches on each needle. The important thing is that you have the stitches divided in such a way that they don’t inadvertently slide off a DPN.

If you do, however, come across a pattern that tells you to work needle 1 and 2, etc., remember that it’s the STITCHES on those needles that are important and not the needles themselves. And of course, needle 1 is always the needle with the stitches after your round marker.

Good luck in your endeavors with DPNs!

Using dpns for the top of a hat is one of best introductions to dpns and the easiest. Just knit about 1/3 of the stitches onto each needle, exact numbers don’t matter. I like to put a decrease right at the end of a needle, but you don’t have to. The hardest part about dpns is getting started and the hard part is avoided in this use. Also knitting a very few stitches on dpns is harder than more. A sock’s worth or a fingerless mitt isn’t that bad, if you try to begin with only 3 stitches it is trickier. I like to cast on all the stitches to one needle and then divide them up.