How do I

I am making a knit elephant and am confused on part of the pattern. I am working on dpns and at one point in the patten I have to switch to knitting in the flat, the instructions are below.

Rnd 37: Needle 1: K1, ssk, k6, k2tog, k1; Needles 2 and 3: [k1, k2tog] 6 times-22 stitches

rnd 38: Knit

at this point, turn and work back and forth on needles 3 and 2 only as follows:
Row 1: purl
Row 2: knit
Row 3: purl
Row 4: knit
return to knitting in the rnd on all three needles and beg with rnd 39. There will be a small gap on the sides of the truck which will hold the tusks.

rnd 39: knit

I am pretty lost here, where does needle 1 go when i start knitting flat? Does it just stay there to create the gap?

Thanks in advance for all yout help.

I assume you have the work divided on three needles and are knitting with the 4th. When you work back and forth for the 4 rows of flat knitting over the stitches on needles 3 and 2 just leave needle 1 holding the stitches that are on it, as though they were on a stitch holder.

When you finished round 38 you would have been ready to start working off of needle 1 at the beginning of the next round, but instead you turn there and purl back across the needle you just left (needle 3), then on across needle 2. That makes row 1, then turn again and knit across needles 2 and 3 (row 2). Repeat those two rows again for rows 3 and 4.

Now you will be at beginning of needle 1 (it will have been waiting there for you holding its stitches) like you were at the end of round 38. Instead of turning this time, just knit on around like you were doing before you had the interlude of flat knitting. That will be your round 39 as given.

Oh ok, I get it now. Just one more question. Do I still use the 4th needle to knit when I am in the flat?

Thanks so much for you help, you are awesome!!!

Thanks. Sure use the empty needle each time.