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Knitting ... Circular help

(11 Posts)
Jaynebxl Wed 15-May-13 10:08:02

I'm following a pattern which involves casting on 8 then increasing to 16 and building up from there. The pattern recommends using DPNS but this is the first time I've done that and I'm struggling! It seems to me that circular needles would be easier. Are the two methods interchangeable? Can anyone give me any tips? Thanks.

tribpot Wed 15-May-13 10:13:41

You can use circulars even for very small diameter things using Magic Loop

I did a class on circular knitting and we learnt doing it on DPNs first, then magic loop. Most people had a very strong preference for one or the other, so you may find ML is the one for you.

Btw for something starting with such a small number and growing outwards, you can use Emily Ocker's Cast On which makes it considerably easier, as the stitches are on a bigger loop which you then pull closed to make a lovely centre.

Gingersstuff Wed 15-May-13 10:25:34

YY to tribpot...magic loop seems a bit fiddly at first but when you get the hang of it, it's much easier than DPNs. Also much better for projects on the go...I was forever muttering and cursing on the train when a DPN ran away from me grin

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 15-May-13 11:12:33

You can also buy short, bent circular pins (from Addi, I think) that make it much easier to knit short rows. I used them to knit the sleeves of a shrug that was supposed to be knitted on dpns at first, moving to circular needles as the row length increased (for the body of the shrug).

I found I couldn't use ordinary circular needles, because the rows were too short, even if I used magic loop - because the needles themselves were too long for it to go round the corner, if you see what I mean.

I need to learn how to knit on dpns - it is one knitting skill I have utterly failed to grasp. I would like to be able to knit socks.

tribpot Wed 15-May-13 11:16:42

SDTG, I've just started knitting socks. Not on DPNs though! I've tried two socks on two circulars (so you have the front half of each sock on one, and the back half on the other and two socks on one very long cable needle. At the moment I have two socks on two separate circulars because one of them needed pulling back a bit and I haven't put them back together yet.

The bent DPNs you're describing are for cabling, although I can see exactly how they'd work well for very small rounds as the bend prevents the stitches from going shooting off the end.

You could do 8 stitches with magic loop but you'd need a good long cable to do so.

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 15-May-13 11:20:36

I have been knitting for donkeys years and could never get on with dpns.

You need to google magic loop!

I even knit socks 2 at a time on the same needle these days using this method.... (google silvers sock class for anyone interested in that).

SDT - you really don't need to learn how to use dpns to knit socks! I knitted ONE pair of socks in 35 years because I hated dpns so much and just could not get on with them. Since learning magic loop and 2-at-a-time a couple of years back, dp has a full sock drawer of all lovely handknitted socks. I don't mean to sound mean but if the rows were too short for magic loop then you weren't doing magic loop right. THe idea is that you have half the knitting on one 'side' of the circ, half the stitches on the other. Knit as usual and then when you get to the end of one side's stitches, you adjust the loop. No that doesn't make sense, its one of those things you need to watch some videos of. Get thee over to youtube!

Jaynebxl Wed 15-May-13 11:45:56

Fantastic! Thanks! I knew you lot would be able to help.

Just had a quick look at some magic loop stuff and it has just reminded me of another question I had. When I googled DPNS and also on some of this ML stuff, they show knitting once you've casted on and are ready to start circular knitting, but in each pic the tail at the start of the casting on is at the same end as the yarn ready to knit with. When I cast on I end up with the tail on the left and the yarn to continue knitting on the right. What are they doing differently from me?

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Wed 15-May-13 11:47:16

Yes Ma'am!! I had heard others refer to this, but couldn't get my head around using two sets of circulars - so assumed I was hearing/seeing wrong!

Youtube here I come!

Flibbertyjibbet Wed 15-May-13 11:57:52


I think you are looking at American demonstrations, there are several different ways of casting on, and I think the one you've been seeing is called 'long tail cast on'.

I just cast on in my normal fashion and join up the loop at the end of the cast on.

tribpot Wed 15-May-13 12:04:37

SDTG - Flibberty is describing using a single circular to do two socks at a time like this (although there are other ways of casting on but the aim is to have both socks on one long circular). Alternatively you can use two cables like this

This vid explains the three options (magic loop, two circs, DPNs).

Jaynebx - the important thing is the working yarn is at the back on the right.

Jaynebxl Wed 15-May-13 12:06:32

Brilliant, thank you.

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