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Topic: double-pointed vs. circulars?  (Read 1959 times)
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« on: February 28, 2004 01:21:38 PM »

hey everybody, i have a question for all the veteran knitters! i haven't tried knitting in the round yet, but i want to get to it soon. i know that working with dpns is supposed to be a bit more complicated than using circulars, but it seems like the dpns are more versatile. what i mean is, you can just buy a set for a particular size and have it covered, instead of buying several sets of circulars in the same size to get each length.

can anyone weigh in on their preferences? are there other advantages to circulars over dpns? thanks for any info/advice you can offer!

where are we going, and why am i in this handbasket?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2004 02:03:23 PM »

DPNs are invaluable for knitting in the round.  Yeah, circs are great, but if you were making something like a hat you would need to switch to DPNs at some point.  There are also the two circular needle or the magic loop methods, but I prefer DPNs.  DPNs aren't hard at all, the only difficult part is getting used to them.  

Personally, I mostly use my circs to knit flat because then the cord holds the weight of the project, not the needle.  If you don't want to spend tons of money on different size circs, you should get a set of interchangeable.  Denise makes a great set, it's about $45, which is a steal considering how much I've spent on circs so far.
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2004 02:13:32 PM »

My suggestion for getting dpn's is to get the 9" long ones.  When I first got into knitting, I could only find the 5" ones, and ended up trying to make a hat on four 5" needles, it was hell....  Now i have learned my lesson, and only use the shorter ones for mittens and little things.  As for circular needles, i would also reccomend getting the interchangeable needles, but instead of buying a full set, Boye makes interchangable needles that go for about $3 for each set of tips, and then you buy one cord to go between them, which is also about $3.  The only problem is that they are hard to find, the only place i know that sells them is Hobby Lobby.  well, there's my two cents, happy knitting!  Ohh ohh, and also, i have a post in the completed projects section on how to make your own needles, even your own dpn's, for pennies a set.

« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2004 02:22:26 PM »

 I prefer circular needles for most of my knitting. I do use dps on hats when the decreasing makes it appropriate and I use them all the time for socks.

 I think you should try both and see what you like best. I like the circulars because I don't have to worry about dropping a stitch or creating a gutter in the stiches between the dp needles.

 When using dps when moving from one needle to the next be sure to tug on the yarn so that the stitches have the same tension. If not you get a gutter where the stitches are loose and you can see where the changes in the needles were.  I'm pretty sure knitty.com did an article on this phenomenon not too long ago. I would check that out.

 As for dps preventing the purchase of lots of different sizes, I'm not sure that dps will help you do that, it depends on what kind of projects you are working on.  I probably have 2 lengths of circulars for each needle size. I use 8, 9, and 10s most often. My mom found me a kit at an estate sale where you get all the sizes of needles and can change out the cable lengths. Now I have all sizes and lengths.

 Good luck with it.
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2004 02:02:40 PM »

If you go with interchangeable circulars, you can get an awesome deal on ebay.

I bought a brand new set for just over $20, with free shipping. I so LOVE buy it now auctions.

I'm a total ebay-aholic, so if I find something that I don't beat ya to  Wink , I can post it here for anyone that can use it.

Guys I've made an awesome new discovery! Blue and yellow mixed together makes an entirely different color... I'm gonna call it, BLELLOW!!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2004 03:15:43 PM »

If you go with interchangeable circulars, you can get an awesome deal on ebay.

Wow, i didnt even know these things existed.. its brilliant!!! ::heads off to ebay::  but does the yarn ever get snagged? seems like the little connector things wouldn't create as tight a seal as they do on normal circulars...

"Art is why I get up in the morning.  My definition ends there.  It doesn't seem fair that I'm living for something I can't even define." ~ A.Difranco
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2004 07:11:00 PM »

I've had no problem as of yet...but I've yet to thoroughly test them out...I'm still such a newbie to it...

Guys I've made an awesome new discovery! Blue and yellow mixed together makes an entirely different color... I'm gonna call it, BLELLOW!!!!
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2004 08:58:19 PM »

i have a denise set of interchangeables and i looovvve them.  have never had a snagging problem with the connectors.  In fact, the first time i went to a Stitch'n'Bitch meeting, a woman who had been knitting since she was 7 (and she was working on a sweater for a grandkid, so she'd been knitting a while) took one look at my Denise needles, asked to hold them for a second, and then said she was going straight home to order a set.  

i don't think dpn's are inherently more complicated than circular needle knitting, but personally i can't afford to buy any more needles right now.  And even though i tug hard i still get ladders/gutters when using dpns.  

so what i do when there are too few stitches for the circular is move half the stitches to another denise cable.  then i move the needle heads to whichever cable i'm knitting on, and knit flat with that needle.  it's hard to explain, but i think it is the same as 2 circular knitting which lots of web pages explain, only you switch the heads.  it's a little weird but it gets the job done til i can buy some dpn's.  

oh, one other comment on the dpn vs. circular debate...socks and gloves are probably best on dpn's, hats could go either way,  but to knit the body of an adult sweater in the round, you'd probably want a circular.
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2004 12:28:26 PM »

 :DI recently made myself a really cute beanie.  I had to use both a circular needle and dpn's.  I definetly prefer circular needles to dpn's but it was necessary for me to use them.  I think it just takes a little while to get used to them.  My friend is completely scared of them, but I think it just takes time.  Good luck to all.
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2004 02:36:14 PM »

I knit everything on circulars, even when I'm knitting flat.  I use dpns for socks and when I'm knitting something that won't fit on a 16" circular.  

Since I only use dpns to do fairly narrow tubes, I actually prefer the shorter ones.  The ends don't get in the way, minimizing the "porcupine" or "cactus" effect.

I don't recommend metal dpns.  They're heavy and slippery and tend to fall out of your knitting.  I think they are the origin of the dpn frustration.  Use bamboo or birch (although birch dpns smaller than 3mm tend to break).  When transporting your project, use corks or elastics to secure the ends of the needles.
When you can, buy needles in sets of 5.  It is nice to have the option to divide your stitches onto 4 needles.
Remember that if your decreases end up in awkward places, like at the end of a needle, you can redistribute the stitches so that you have a fresh supply of stitches at that decrease point (after the decrease for k2 tog, before it for ssk).
This is pretty advanced, but dpns can also be useful for knitting up borders (like the button band of a cardigan, for example) at a smaller gauge, while you knit the main part of the garment on the larger needle.
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