Have you shied away from circular knitting because DPNs look intimidating? Take a look at this collection of terrific tutorials
Once upon a time, I found circular knitting (also called knitting in the round) intimidating. Unnecessary. I enjoyed flat knitting and found my straight needles perfectly adequate.
I even remember saying to a fellow knitting friend about double-pointed needles (DPNs): “I don’t think I’ll ever use them.” And I was fairly insistent that I couldn’t imagine a time when I would ever want to knit in the round.
Flash forward several years, to today, and I most certainly do use DPNs! I still use circular needles a lot more often (I Magic-Loop almost all of my circular knitting), but DPNs are very valuable to me, particularly for knitting fingers for gloves or fingerless gloves and I-cords, and as cable needles.
I had forgotten, once I became familiar with DPNs, that I had ever found them intimidating. But one day, I received an email from an 11-year-old named Sadie that reminded me:
“I still can’t do double-pointed needles, except for finishing the top of a hat.”
Of course, DPNs can be seem even harder for young fingers, as they are still growing in dexterity. But even us much older folks can struggle at first!
If you feel intimidated by DPNs, let me first assure you that they are trickiest to handle when you first begin a project with them. After a few rows (or “rounds” as they are normally called in circular knitting), they are much easier to manage!
So here I’ve rounded up for you a collection of handy tutorials to help you learn to get the hang of DPNs.
Need more DPN help? Get more tips (from yours truly!) on DPNs in this post!
Written & Illustrated Tutorials
Knitpicks: In my opinion, this is the clearest, photo-wise, of the illustrated tutorials. It’s a great basic beginner’s guide.
Purl Soho: This is another fine illustrated step-by-step guide, and the photos are very close-up, so they’re easy to follow. The tutorial is followed by several helpful tips, and best of all, there are over 100 comments at the end!
You may find that one of your DPN dilemmas have a solution in the comments, so don’t skip those.
For Dummies: I really like this tutorial because in addition to photos and step-by-step instructions, it also includes little tips to help you stay on track.
Drowning In Yarn’s Tips & Tricks to Make DPNs a Breeze!: Video tutorials are so helpful when you’re learning any new skill. One thing I particularly appreciate is that this gentleman actually uses sock-sized needles to demonstrate his tips. For anyone who finds tiny DPNs intimidating, this video is reassuring that you can use those wee points!
(His tips are especially helpful for the beginning of a DPNs project, when the process can be the most intimidating.)
Vickie Howell’s The Knit Show–How to Knit with Double Pointed Needles: For a full tutorial, beginning with casting on and ending with a few rounds worked, this video is superior.
(Unfortunately, the wrist warmer pattern linked in the video description is no longer on the Internet. A similar pattern exists here, but it’s knitted flat rather than in the round.)
Very Pink Knits’ Getting Started with DPNs: I can’t get enough of Very Pink Knits’ outstanding videos, and this one is fantastic. Vickie’s begins with casting on; Very Pink Knits’ begins post-casting on but also with her working yarn and needles rather messy!
Sounds inconsequential, but she demonstrates how you can pause from your knitting (even with all those DPNs poking out everywhere) and return to it and get it straightened back out again.
I hope you find these tutorials helpful. Feel free to try more than one and give circular knitting a try with whichever one you find easiest. I think you’ll love the world that opens up to you when you try knitting in the round with DPNs!