Knitting with double pointed needles? Here are five tips to make things easier, neater and safer for your knitting. Alright, let’s go!
Tip 1: Tug at the Transfer
When you’re moving from one needle to another, you want to make sure that you tug on your working yarn. So let’s see what that means I’m going to move on to my next needle over here to do a transfer. Here’s my working yarn I’m going to go around my naked needle, and knit into that first stitch.
So here’s my first stitch, and I just want to give a bit of a tug to make sure the tension is nice and snug between these two needles. After I’ve done that I can continue knitting as normal across this needle. That’s important because when you’re transferring from needle to needle you want to keep that tension even. You don’t want to leave a loose gap between each needle. Here’s what happens when you don’t tug at the transfer.
At each transfer point, there’s this very loose jog that happens. It sort of runs down our whole work Let’s take a look at the next join over here. Here’s our join, and you can see that there’s this loose strand of yarn that happens. Here’s our next join and again, there’s a very loose strand of yarn.
The rest of our work is very even, but where the join is there’s this sort of looseness that happens. So you can avoid this by tugging at your transfer.
Tip 2: Protect your stitches
If you plan on bringing your knitting with you, like say you want to pop it in your bag so you can knit during your commute, you’ll want to introduce stitch protectors to your needles. Because your double pointed needles don’t have a stopper on each end, it’s really easy for your knitting to just fall off – like this Ah! Disaster! So to prevent this from happening, you can put a temporary stopper onto your needle.
You’re just going to take a rubber band and wrap it around the tip of your needle. So I’m going in an inch down from the tip, and I’m wrapping this guy around my needle. Here we go. Okay, so it’s pretty secure. It’s kind of tacky, and look, when I try and push my stitches off my needle, it’s not going to happen.
Not happening, right? Because I have this rubber band stopper preventing my stitches from falling off Pretty cool, right? You’re going to need two rubber bands per needle because we still have this side to contend with. So here’s my other rubber band This one’s a huge one I don’t even know where I got that one from.
This is a monster rubber band, and I’m going to wrap it around a couple times and here we go Makeshift stoppers. Now I can wrap more rubber bands around each needle and then I don’t have to worry about my stitches falling off my needle. So there you go. Remember to protect your stitches with fancy protectors or with plain old rubber bands.
Tip 3: Bamboo or wood is good
If you’re wondering what kind of double pointed needles you should get, consider bamboo or wooden needles. I find bamboo or wooden needles are better for beginners because they have kind of a natural surface drag that holds onto stitches better than metal or plastic needles.
Tip 4: Trap a stitch marker
Previously I said that you didn’t need to use a stitch marker to mark the beginning and end of your round on double pointed needles because you’ve got this handy little remnant of your longtail cast on. This little tail tells you where the beginning and end of your round is. It’s right here, so I know that it’s right between these two needles.
However, there are some situations in which you maybe want to put in a stitch marker because you don’t want to knit past the beginning and end of your round. Maybe you’re knitting a complicated stitch pattern, you just want this guy in there. So, you can put your stitch marker right on your needle, just like that. But you’ll notice that if I turn my work at all – oopsie. My stitch marker just comes right off.
So that’s because when you put your stitch marker on your needle, there’s no other stitch on the other side of your marker to prevent it from just popping off. So what you can do is put on your stitch marker, and we’re going to steal one of these stitches from our right needle and pop it onto our left needle. By doing that, we’ll trap our stitch marker in place. Here we go I’m going to move my stitches up close to my needle and get my left needle out and just grab that stitch.
I’m going to push my stitches into the middle of my needle so they don’t fall off, and voila. You can see that now my stitch marker is trapped in place because we’ve got this new stitch over on this needle. So you can do that. You can just move your stitches around. Take a stitch from this needle and pop it on this needle.
I can redistribute the stitches however I want. So that’s a really easy way to add in a stitch marker to your knitting.
Tip 5: Make an invisible join I’ve got two samples here, and this sample was join just normally We knit in the round on our double pointed needles. You can see here, if we zoom in, you can see that there’s a bit of a gap where we joined in the round.
You can see a bit of looseness here, right? It’s not terrible You can fix it by weaving in the end of your longtail and tightening up that gap, but another way that you can achieve that nice seamless join, is by doing an invisible join. You can see on this sample here that there’s no jog or a gap where we joined in the round. It’s a nice seamless join I’m going to show you how to do that next, so let’s get into it.
So, to make this invisible join, you’re going to cast on one extra stitch than what you need. For example, if you need thirty stitches, you’d cast on thirty-one stitches. That extra stitch is going to get absorbed into our join, so don’t worry about it. It’s not going to throw off your stitch count. That stitch will disappear.
So, you’re going to push your stitches on your right and left needle up close to the tip of both of your needles. Now we’re going to steal the last stitch on our right needle and bring it onto our left needle I’m going to go into the stitch and take it off my right needle. So, I’ve got my hand – whoops! Everything’s falling around – I’ve got my hand holding onto my longtail cast on right here because i don’t want it to unravel and for my stitch to come undone So, I’m just holding onto it right now with my thumb.
What’s going to happen now, is you’re going to take this stitch here – this second stitch – on your left needle and bring it over the stitch that you just stole. That sounds kind of complicated. I’m going to use a separate needle for this I think it’s just a bit easier. I’m going to go into this stitch just like that, and I’m going to bring it over this stitch.
Alright, so watch me go Let’s see if I can’t do this Just going to bring it over. There we go Alright, I’ve just brought that second stitch over my first stitch, and now you can see that I’ve joined in the round.
That’s not the end of it I’m going to take my working yarn and give it a tug. Then, I’m going to take back this first stitch and bring it back to my right needle. I’m just going to grab it and bring it back over to my right needle. Now I’m ready to work my first round.
Now everything’s joined in the round. One of my stitches is down here because I took that stitch and brought it over my first stitch. So I’ve actually decreased one stitch. That’s where our extra stitch has gone It’s gone down here, right here.
It’s actually what’s creating that nice join on our round. Okay, so at this point I’m going to start knitting in the round. This would be my round one, and I’m going to start knitting as normal. As you knit, you’ll find that that join looks really nice, neat and even. There you go.