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Knitting pattern needle selection help please

(12 Posts)
piemashandliquer Tue 06-Jan-15 21:09:00

I am a fairly novice knitter. I have found a beautiful Rowan capelet called Pippin in their 'Warm and Toast' collection using their Tumble super bulky yarn. Pattern says to use 12mm and 10mm DPNs or short circular needles. It is knit from the bottom up to the neck. You cast on 96st on the 10mm knit in 1x1 rib for 4 rounds then switch to 12mm in St st. Gradually you decrease down to 32 st at the neck and then switch to 10mm and rib as before for 4 rounds.

I have 10 and 12mm interchangable needles so I don't really want to have to buy DPNs, but I'm struggling with the following:

1) 96 sts on a10mm needle on 60cm cable is very squashed and hard to know if they are twisted or not - could I start off with a longer cable and switch to a smaller one later on at the decreased bit? If so how?

2) If I do use the circulars how do I switch from one circular needle to another?

Would it be best to bite the bullet and buy the DPNs for sake of ease of control?

All advice much appreciated!

MinniesMate Tue 06-Jan-15 22:18:52

Are your circular needles Knit Pro? You can buy much longer cables than you are using - up to 150cm. That would give you more room to spread the stitches out.

Switching needles is easy with interchangeables - change the needle on the end you are going to knit onto, knit the next row, then change the needle the other end.

piemashandliquer Tue 06-Jan-15 22:27:27

Thanks for your replies. Yes I am using Knitpro symphony. I have a longer cable which would be great for the long cast on, but how easy is it to switch to a shorter cable later on? ( the pattern says to use a short circular needle btw, but doesn't say why - presumably so you can knit the decreases without a struggle?)

STDG - thanks for that, yes it's obvious now you've said it!

LizzieMint Tue 06-Jan-15 22:35:36

There's a couple of things you can do. You could use a longer cable all the way through, and when it gets to the point where the stitches are too spread out and you need to switch down, instead of switching you use something called the magic loop method (I think). Basically you pull a loop of the cable through between two stitches, knit all the way around to it, then pull the loop through again at a different point. Very difficult to describe but if you google it you should hopefully find an example!
Alternatively, when you get to the point of needing to go down a size, just switch to another circular needle with a shorter cable (do you have more than one, if you have interchangeable needles?) and knit onto that until all your stitches are on the shorter one.

piemashandliquer Tue 06-Jan-15 22:43:19

Thank you Lizzie, I did think magic loop but I'm not confident about doing decreases on iTunes, I picked this patter n as it seemed a little challenging but not too hard, I don't really want to complicate things with an additional skill especially so near the end of the project!

I will try what you suggest about knitting onto an assignable but shorter cable as I have several lengths, but I didn't know if it would work knitting from one circular to another.

piemashandliquer Tue 06-Jan-15 22:44:58

I don't know why it came up with iTunes! Blimming predictive text!

piemashandliquer Tue 06-Jan-15 22:46:49

Another, not assignable!

TheWoollybacksWife Tue 06-Jan-15 22:47:25

Another thing you can do is cast on on straight needles and work your first row. Then switch to your circulars and join at the end of the second row. This will ensure you aren't twisted. Just sew up the little gap when you are darning in your tail from casting on.

RaisingSteam Tue 06-Jan-15 22:47:36

I would start on a comfortable length cable - 80cm is good for most body-sized knitting.
Have you got cable connectors in your set, for daisy-chaining your cables together? That should help with changing to a shorter cable part way through. Connect the new to the old, pull through and then re-attach the needle end.

When you get to the very small bit I suggest the 2 circulars method. Use two of your cables they don't need to be the same length. Have the "leading" end (that you knit onto) the right size on each one, and the "trailing" end (that you knit off) the next size down, that way your tension will stay OK. You put half the stitches on each needle, then knit along each in turn.

Alternatively you could make a really long cable using connectors, and do magic loop. I have found 2 circulars easier though. At least with that bulky yarn you don't have too many rounds!

explanation here

Switching cables is fairly similar to switching needles - put one of your needles onto the new cable, with one of the round stop things that stop the stitches falling off the other end, knit from the old cable onto the new one, then transfer the other needle onto the other end of the cable.

piemashandliquer Wed 07-Jan-15 20:22:42

Thanks for all the excellent advice, I'm going to go with the simplest option of starting on an 80cm cable and switch to a 40cm at the decreases.

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