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Topic: Knitting Socks on dpns...halp?  (Read 548 times)
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FloofyNinja
« on: October 26, 2008 08:01:22 PM »

 So, I'm knitting socks for the first time, and the pattern I'm using says to use five dpns, but I only have four....can I still do the pattern with just four, do you think? Does it depend?
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soozeq
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008 08:36:39 PM »

Yes you can use 4. Check the pattern to see if it says anything about how to divide up the sts and if you're to inc or something at the beginning or end of a needle. If so, then you can use markers (a different type than for the beginning of the round) to represent where the ends of the needles would be.
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FloofyNinja
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008 06:20:27 PM »

Okay thanks :> I was worried my sock would end up messed up because I used the wrong amount!
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KnittinHoney
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008 06:57:12 AM »

Okay thanks :> I was worried my sock would end up messed up because I used the wrong amount!

I think people impart a lot more mystery to double point needles than there really is.  People see me knitting a sock at my kids' softball or soccer games and they all comment on "gosh I can't believe you're knitting with FIVE (or FOUR) needles."

Umm, I'm NOT!  I'm knitting with TWO needles.  The others are just used to hold the other stitches.  You could knit a huge circle with an infinite number of double point needles.  Not sure you'd WANT to - but you could.
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Ambimom
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008 12:16:44 PM »

I'm knitting with TWO needles.  The others are just used to hold the other stitches. 

Fantastic explanation.  Whenever anyone watches me knit socks, they invariably say, "how can you work on so many needles at the same time?" Now I know what to say!
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FloofyNinja
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008 08:40:03 PM »

Okay thanks :> I was worried my sock would end up messed up because I used the wrong amount!

I think people impart a lot more mystery to double point needles than there really is. 

 Well I was just wondering if the amount of needles used had any significance to the sizing, and thought it'd be good to be on the safe side and ask since no books or websites clarified it for me <3
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008 07:32:58 AM »

I'm making a pair for my MIL's brother - he's diabetic and badly swelled, and needs something warm... 19" calf size. I'm making the biggest socks I've ever made, on 4 needles.

LOL my pattern calls for 2 cables, too Cheesy
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KnittinHoney
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008 10:29:49 AM »

Okay thanks :> I was worried my sock would end up messed up because I used the wrong amount!

I think people impart a lot more mystery to double point needles than there really is. 

 Well I was just wondering if the amount of needles used had any significance to the sizing, and thought it'd be good to be on the safe side and ask since no books or websites clarified it for me <3

The size of the sock would be affected by the yarn size, needle size, or number of stitches cast on!
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leika
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2008 12:36:27 PM »

A lot of times having five needles makes a difference because the pattern will say "knit to end of needle 1" etc.  What I do when I'm using a different multiple, I put stitch markers where the ends of the needles in the number the pattern specifies says.  To illustrate:

Say I am knitting an 80-stitch sock pattern that is written for five needles, but I only have four.
The pattern will tell me: "Knit to the end of needle one, (do something), knit to the end of needle 2, (do something)," etc.  This can get confusing, because with five needles I will have 20 stitches per needle.  But since I'm using 4 needles, I'll only have the stitches on three at once, so it will be (probably) something like 27/27/26.
What I will do is this: starting at the beginning of the round, I will count 20 stitches, place a different-colored stitch marker (you can either do a marker with a "1" charm or something, or do a red-orange-yellow-green for the first four colors of the rainbow, whatever).  Then I will count twenty more - place another, different colored marker.  Then twenty more, different marker; twenty more, and I'm at the end of the round (end of needle 4).  That way, when it says "Knit to the end of needle 1," I know to just knit to that first marker.

I don't think that makes any sense at all.  If more clarification is needed... I probably can't help, lol.  I will probably just overanalyze more.
The bottom line is, you're going to have a different number of stitches per needle if you use a different number of needles than specified is going to change the number of stitches you have on each needle.  How you work around this is your choice (counting would be fine, using this method, or even writing notes in your pattern would work - "end of needle 1 is 20 stitches after beginning of round" etc.).  Just remember that if you're doing this and the pattern specifies that you do something at the beginning or end of a specific needle, it's going to be at a different place and you must compensate.
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Ambimom
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008 05:31:50 PM »

I recommend this sock pattern.
http://www.knittingonthenet.com/patterns/socksthreesizes.htm

It's the least complicated and easiest for a beginner to follow.  You'll begin to understand how sock patterns work, including the one stumping you.

I've knit hundreds of socks in my lifetime; slavishly following sometimes overly complicated instructions.  Then it dawned on me that all socks are basically tubes with the same 5 parts whether they're knit on 3,4 or 5 needles. [Decorative patterns, aside.]
1. ribbing
2. ankle or calf (depending on the finished length)
3. heel and turn
4. foot
5. toe

The only quasi critical part in knitting socks is the heel and it's turn. It is  working one more stitch per end, turning,  working another stitch, turning, until the desired number of stitches were left.

Try this and the other patterns will begin to make sense.





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