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Topic: The awkwardness of knitting with DPNs, and that damn ladder.  (Read 3001 times)
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« on: December 28, 2008 12:11:08 PM »

I think is the second project I've attempted on DPNs...the first was the summer of my first year of knitting, and I found super teeny tiny (probably the smallest needle size) DPNs at Walmart and made a pair of literally fingerless "gloves" without a pattern. When I knit those, it was on four DPNs. Now I'm making legwarmers, the first cuff is knit1purl1 ribbing, but the rest is stockinette. I'm making the legwarmer on size 8 Boye DPNs, four of them, and it's just been a super awkward knitting experience. I haven't really had any problems at all with stitches falling off an inactive needle, but just the way I have to hold the needles and how the way the other needles get in the away makes it awkward and sluggish. Plus, with roughly 8-10 inches of the work done, I now notice that there's a longggg ladder. Not only is there a ladder, but it's crooked, too, and it makes my knit stitches look way crooked and sideways. I have a few questions...

1. What are the advantages of knitting with five DPNs as opposed to four? Can you only work bigger projects on five DPNs?

2. Is there anything I can do to prevent the ladder showing up in my next piece of knitting?

3. Is there any way I can make knitting on four DPNs less awkward?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008 03:07:31 PM »

They say 5 dpns reduces the laddering because your stitches are on 4 needles instead of 3 - less sts per needle, less of a stretch. You can cut down the laddering by rotating where the needles start; when you empty the left needle, knit a couple more stitches onto the right needle before you trade it for the empty needle. Use longer circs and magic loop - there can be some slight laddering with this method too, but you can still rotate the end sts as above. And unless it's really bad, washing the item when you're done helps even out the stitches a lot and the ladders aren't as noticeable.

« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008 05:22:23 PM »

ahhhh I have the same problem.. I just finished a sweater with both sleeves knit on size 8 DPNs and that part was horrible.  They were extremely awkward and I got horrible ladders on the first sleeve, on the second sleeve I figured out that switching which stitch was the starting stitch would help that problem.  I feel your pain!!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009 09:55:27 AM »

When I first started with DPN I could always see in the finished object where my needle "joins" were--aka, the "ladder."  As others have said--I had good luck shifting the knitting from one DPN to another (knitting the next stitch onto the previous DPN, periodically), to prevent always having the breaks between needles in the exact same place.  However, anytime there was a pattern to the knitting--I got myself confused doing this. As it turns out--I need the stitches to stay on the needle where they started to keep the pattern count in order. 

So, I now just use the "tighten the first stitch" on every needle method, and do okay with that.  Per Debbie Stoller's advice on how to tighten the first stitch on every row...I do this:  On the first stitch of every needle, I insert the right needle, then pause and draw the working yarn tight, tighter than normal to compensate for the break between needles.  Then I finish the stitch normally, and knit on as per usual.  This seems to tighten the join enough.  Do this with the first stitch every time you start a new needle.

I also can't work with four DPN, I have to use five--for the reason others cited--it pulls too much when the stitches are only divided between 3 needles.

Good luck!
Pirate Mama
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009 07:52:10 AM »

Follow "wistlepigs"' advice and you will see rapid improvement!  I love double points and am currently knitting a pair of arm socks that I converted the pattern just to avoid having a seam! (If while you're learning you find your thread slipping off the double points try using corks at the ends to be little stoppers!)
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