How to keep loose tension on dpns—without dropping stitches!

I puzzled over this for a little while: obviously, with dpns there is theoretically potential for stitches to fall off the ends of the needles if you aren’t careful. This is often considered one of the “cons” of dpns.

But I really like using dpns (at least for medium to small projects, certainly)! I find them very versatile and i also enjoy the historical connection and the classic pedigree of dpn technique (what has worked for centuries still works just as well).

And I also refuse to knit more tightly just to keep stitches on the needles. This doesn’t make any sense to me: knitting tightly slows me down considerably and strains my hands and wrists. I also like stainless needles for the same reason. Friction is the enemy of speed and efficiency, so i insist on knitting with light tension. And if i need to change my gauge i can always use a smaller needle set.

The solution I have adopted when working hats in the round on dpns is to use scrap yarn to gather and tie up the body of the work while i knit. this prevents the stitches from spreading out and thus slipping off the needles while i knit as the size and weight of the work grows (it also makes it easier to feed up stitches because they aren’t as spread out all down the needle).

This little trick has really helped me out! Dropping stitches is no longer a constant concern. While I’m sure i alone didn’t invent this, since I’ve never seen it described anywhere yet, I thought I ought to share it (and my story, for context).

Invention or unvention - what a great idea. Ponytail holders or rubber bands would work too. Now, do you have a solution for the chair ate the needle I dropped? That’s the problem I have with dpn that keeps me using magic loop. I spend too much time retrieving dropped needles. I have the same issue with crochet hooks but decided if I’m going to crochet I just have to deal with it.

How long are your needles? How many do you use? I work with five – one’s always empty.

Say I have 5 sts on each needled. First I work work 1-5 from that needle, then one from the next needle. Always one or two from the next needle and that way the change is not always in the same spot. It works for me.

Or you could try circs (circulars), one short or two of different lengths. Length is not really important but it helps to know this is the long one and that’s the short needle.

In other words, do what works for you.