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Difference if Using Round Knitting Needles Instead of Double-Pointed

    Size of the Project

    • Generally, you would pick circular needles to knit large-diameter tubes, such as the body of a sweater, and double-pointed needles when you are creating small tubes, such as socks, mittens or sleeves, advises the Circular Needles website. Some knitters switch needle types in the middle of a project, i.e., beginning a hat with circular needles at the brim and changing to double-pointed as the diameter decreases close to the top. Experienced knitters often use circular needles for all projects, as you can also knit flat pieces by turning the work over at the end of each row. It is even possible to knit two socks simultaneously, with the help of a second circular needle, according to "The Knitting Answer Book." When deciding on needles, their length and the yarn involved come into play, too. If the dpn is too short or the type of yarn is slippery, stitches may slide off.

    Knitting in the Round

    • Completing a row with a circular needle is relatively simple. Place a marker on the needle at the beginning of a new row, and keep on knitting on the other end of the needle, without breaking off. Use a needle that is, at most, a few inches shorter than the circumference of the garment. Double-pointed needles are sold in packages of four, five or six. To knit in the round, the yarn will actually rest on three dpn in a triangle shape or on four needles set in a square, reports the "Knitting School" book. In either case, all stitches are first cast onto one needle. Then one-third of them are slipped to each of the other needles in a triangle or one-fourth each to the other three needles making up a square. A fourth or fifth dpn is necessary to knit the piece from the yarn spaced around the triangle or square.

    Use for Double-Pointed Needles

    • According to "The Knitting Answer Book," one type of repair for a mistake discovered in completed work can be made efficiently only with double-pointed needles. When a cable has been knitted incorrectly, it is possible to unravel just the faulty cable, without taking apart the whole project, down to the error. Then you can knit that section again using a pair of dpn, working it all on the right side.

    Tips for DPN Knitting

    • For many knitters, double-pointed needles are the most difficult of the three styles to maneuver. "The Knitting Answer Book" offers several tips to make this type of knitting more manageable. Place a pillow on your lap to support the triangle or square until you have done a few rows and the work is more stable. Choosing wooden needles, rather than plastic or metal, which are more slippery, may help. Getting in the habit of sliding stitches to the center of each needle may prevent the structure from flopping to one side.

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