DPNs again

Okay. So I managed to knit a few rounds on the dpns. I understand the fingering and finangling I must do with the needles, but I think my stitches are getting twisted because when I took them off the needle, a few are in the middle of the circle instead of on the outer edge, and the only way to get them on the outer edge is to twist that section of the ring.

I’m getting there, but here’s where my trouble lies: I can get the needles in the right order and the stitches facing in properly for the first round, but after that, I’m doing something wrong. What are the common issues that might be causing confusion on the second round? I’m also having a really difficult time telling if stitches are twisted in the second round because everything’s so jammed up together. I also seem to lose track of which needle comes next. Should I resort to painting the needles different colors so I can keep them straight? (Knit with Blue on Green, Knit with Green on Yellow, Knit with Yellow on Red, Knit with Red on Orange, Knit with Orange on Blue). This is partly a joke, but really should I?

Once you cast on, lay your needles down and turn all cast on edge toward the middle. Make sure the whole edge is facing the middle. Pick up your needles and make sure all stitiches are facing the middle and start knitting. Once that first row is done you should be okay. It sounds like you are twisting stitches on your first row. Make sure all your stitches are facing the middle.

Hope this helps.

Hmmm. Well, it came out better this time, but I still think something is off. Possibly it’s just the first connecting stitch isn’t tight enough.

I’m going to try to make it to a knit group tonight, if I can. I think someone there may be able to point out what I’m not quite getting.

That is a good idea, hands on is the easiest way to share some of this tricky stuff. Good luck and get back to the forum is you still need help.

I’m a little confused… what do you mean by twisted? You said something about stitches being in the center…do you mean the inside of the tube?

It’s very common to accidentally knit on the inside of the tube or go the wrong direction after laying it down. Here’s a few hints about those two things -

  1. Make sure that you are holding the work so the needle side of the work is close to your body and the loop of knitting (the tube) is away from you. You are working on the outside.

  2. If you set it down and can’t remember which way you are going remember the yarn must be coming from the right needle so when you start knitting the stitches between the two needles are joined.

The main thing is to just keep going. It takes practice to get even tension. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos already so here’s another site that has still photos that show you how you should be holding your work, too. The first one with circular needles actually shows the best photo of where you should be working.

When I pulled the stitches off the needle, most of the little loops were on the outer edges of the tube, but a couple of loops were on the inside of the tube, but it wasn’t many – like one or two.

But I am happy to report with the help of my LYS owner I have defeated DPNs and I am now knitting my gauge swatch for my son’s hat. :woohoo:

I’m sure I’ll have more questions about that later, but so far so good. I’ve casted on 28 stitches (four extra on each side from what the pattern called for) and went two rounds (k then p for garter) and so far all looks good. I have 40 more rounds to go!

I may redo the gauge swatch once I’m a bit more confident. Against all odds, I’m a loose knitter when I don’t know what I’m doing and a slightly tighter knitter when I do, so I’d want the swatch to be more reflective of my normal knitting than my I’m-still-figuring-this-out-knitting.

The loops should be at the top edge of the tube…so still confused. It doesn’t matter though since you figured it out. :thumbsup:

Right. Most of them were. But some were on the bottom side. How on earth that happened? You got me.

But I’m straightened out now.

They must have got twisted somehow when you first knit them.

My help offering might be your thing - or not.

DPN are really easy - once you get them.

if you want to finish something before you get it all… work 3 or 4 rows before joining, then sew that tiny seam afterwards. With that many rows it is easier to see and you can get used to the rest of knitting on DPN - and have a finished project at some point.

if you want to start the real thing, do it like this:

you cast on, you turn all your stitches towards the middle - then join.
do not put your work down until you made 3 or 4 rounds! this way there is less likelyness to twist things.

hold your work with the right side out (since you work the right side). hold it like the top rim infront of you and imagine this would be a cup you drink from. The working edge will always be on the point you drink from the cup. Then you always know where to knit to: your stitches are on the left needle before you work them and on the right, after you work them. (just like in “normal” knitting).

if you have trouble to remember the right side of your work: mark it. It may be hard for beginning knitters and for the knitters that can not read their knitting easily. And for all knitters, when they work a piece with 2 equal sides…

I have come up with multiple ways of marking the right side. One way is to tie in a piece of string that only shows on one side of the piece or a string that you tie to a noticable bow on the right side.
if your knitting is made with a little larger stitches: how about cuff-links… well: take 2 different buttons. Remember which one you want on right side - write it down if necessary. Then button them into the piece after you have made a few rows… it is real easy then to see where the right side is.

what helps me is to keep my needles “ordered” right for working them.

the needle I work with (right hand) is infront of everything, of course.
and the left needle I work off of I place BEHIND the next needle in the round.

Something I imagine that could help to not twist:
after casting on, pull pieces of waste yarn around the cast on edge about twice on every needle

trail them off of the piece,
now pull on them so the cast on edge is oriented to the middle everywhere and there are no twists.
join the round.
then tie them all together.

imagine a basket: your cast on is the top edge. Now you close the bottom of the basket with these strings.

if you WOULD twist now: you would REALLY see it.

to orient your knitting right: pull on those strings / the knot. and everything is all right!

I made this quick drawing to explain (click to enlarge):

Just do no fear what you do there…

Okay. So I’ve got my gauge swatch all knitted up in a lovely round tube.

So…how do I measure it?

It’s supposed to be:

20 sts and 42 rnds to 4”/10cm over garter st using size 7 (4.5 mm) needle.

But I don’t know how I measure it as compared to a flat swatch.

Ah, that is one of the problems with circular swatches. You actually want to measure it just like you do a flat swatch, but you sometimes have a hard time laying your ruler over 4", so do it over 2" if you can and double it. Or even count the stitches in 1" if you have to and multiply by 4.

If I’m measuring correctly, then I have about 9 and change to 2".

That’s pretty darn close, no? Do I need to change needle sizes?

It’s 100% wool so I imagine it’ll stretch during blocking and maybe during washing. I’ll wash the gauge swatch before commencing the pattern to be sure. Once I’m sure I’m measuring the gauge correctly…

Are you saying you have 9 sts over 2 inches? And you are supposed to have 20st=4inches? So that would be 10 sts in 2 inches. So you are off by 2 stitches over the 4 inches. What are you planning to make? This can add up to being quite a bit over the course of an adult sweater. Since it is wool, you might block it before you measure it and try again. If you are still this much off I’d try another needle. Smaller. Those partial stitches count in knitting. :pout:

I have about 9.5 stitches over two inches.

9.5 stitches * 2 = 19 (since I counted the stitches over half of four inches, I multiply by two to get the total number of stitches over 4")

I am supposed to have 20 over 4". So I am less than 20 stitches by one stitch or so.

I am making a child’s size hat for my toddler son, who has a very large round head.

well, with 1 out of 20 stitches I would not bother much. Just keep it in mind, and do not go smaller anywhere - or alter the pattern a bit to get a little more stitches (do not know your pattern… so I can not tell how hard that would be) - at least for the bottom edge.

how did you finally get the knitting in the round done right? what way did you use?

If you are still this much off I’d try another needle. Smaller. Those partial stitches count in knitting.

she needs to make her knitting a bit bigger, not smaller, doesn’t she?

she needs to make her knitting a bit bigger, not smaller, doesn’t she?

No, with 19 sts over 4" but needs 20 sts, so they’re too big and needs to go down a size.

I met with the owner of my LYS at the knitting group last week and she helped me out. I was doing most of it correctly, but I wasn’t getting my stitches lined up correctly on all the needles. She showed me a couple of tricks.

I casted on 20 stitches on one needle. Then I knit 5 stitches on to each needle, thus completing the first round. Then I purled (the swatch needed to be in garter) the first stitch on the first needle and placed it on the last needle, leaving the first needle with four stitches and the last with six. (The owner said she found this helped to make those first stitches tighter to prevent gapping in the seams). Then I went around. After starting it several times and redoing it for practice, I got the hang of it and it seems quite a bit easier now. I used size 7 dpns.

The hat is a child’s sized hat, but my son is only a toddler, so I think the pattern is likely to be too big already. He has a big head for his age, true, but it’s not the same size as say, a four or five year olds.

In light of that, should I still change the needle size to 6, or would it be okay to follow the pattern’s recommendation?

(I’m also not adept enough at knowing when and how to change patterns, so until I get a little better at that, I currently always follow a pattern to the letter.)

I have trouble with this, “Do I need a bigger or smaller needle from what I’m using”, thing. Here is how I try to think of it. 20st=4". If I’m getting 18st=4" then I need to squeeze 2 more into the same distance. To do that I need them to be smaller. Smaller needle. Sometimes I think of a park bench. If I have a park bench with 18 people sitting on it and I need to seat 20 people on the same bench they need smaller butts. :lol:

I guess this might be to hyperactive.

Loopdeloop, I would just go with how you have it, given the information about it being a hat and in a bigger size than the head it is intended for. It will probably be fine.

I think it’ll turn out fine too. A toddler’s head is about the same as a child’s anyway. You could make it a little longer and rolling up the cuff will tighten it some and he’ll be able to wear it longer.

BTW, it’s better to use more than 20 sts for your gauge swatch, do about 30, then measure over 2".