Switching from straight needles to dpns

I’m stumped as I knit a Christmas stocking: Pattern starts on straight needles; for the heel, it switches to dpns, putting the middle stitches on a holder and knitting the outer stitches on one dpn. Pls. help. Thanks.

Welcome to the forum!
What is the name of your pattern?
You should be able to knit onto the dpn from the straights.

Thank you. The pattern is from freevintageknitting.com, Christmas stocking #9001C. When I place the outer stitches on the dpn, the hanging yarn is at one of the inner edges, and I do not understand in what direction to knit or how the two sections of 18 stitches come together.

Since the yarn is at one of the inner edges, you’re in position to either knit or purl across the 36 heel sts (18 + 18). That’ll join the two sections together. It doesn’t matter whether that first row is a knit or purl since you’ll be working in stockinette stitch for 3 inches. Do whichever continues the stockinette pattern.
After the 3 inches the next instructions apply to the last purl row of this section.

Thank you for your help. Actually, I misstated; the hanging yarn is on the outside edge. At any rate, as I understand it, the two18-stitch sections will meet at the back of the stocking. Thanks again!

Knit across till the yarn is in position to work an entire row across the 18 + 18 sts. The extra partial row won’t show once you’ve completed 3 inches.
Yes, these two sections will meet at the back of the stocking. Enjoy working the rest of the stocking!