After the last Introduction to Sock Knitting class I realized a need for clear written and visual instructions for getting started on double pointed needles. The trickiest part of using DPNs is actually casting on and getting it joined while trying to manage five tiny needles that all seem to want to go in different directions. Before you give up on your DPNs give these instructions a try:
Cast on enough stitches to fill or nearly fill one needle - something close to the number you have to cast on.
Slip half of the total number of needed stitches onto a new needle (ie. if the total number to be cast on is 32, slip 16). Remember: start slipping from the slip knit end so as to not loosen the stitches at the working end.
Cast on remaining number of stitches needed (ie. 16 stitches on each of the two needles for a total of 32).
Fold stitches in half; needles should be parallel with no twists in the stitches - working yarn should be coming from the back needle, right side
The first stitch to be knit is the slip knot: first stitch on the right side, front needle.
Knit across the third 1/4 of the stitches - you now have a square!
Use another new needle to knit remaining stitches - you should now be working on five needles and be back to the beginning.
You are now ready to continue on with your pattern in this direction. When you start the second round give an extra little tug to the first stitch to narrow the gap that can sometimes form there.
Happy DPN knitting!
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