Today I’m going to show you how to knit with double pointed needles.
Double pointed needles usually come in a set of five or six, and they’re used to knit
in the round.
Now, you might be thinking, I thought circular needles are for knitting in the round?
What’s this double pointed needle business?
You’re absolutely right.
Circular needles are for knitting in the round, but they can’t knit everything.
The smallest circular needle is sixteen inches, and that’s still too big to knit things
like a sock or a mitten or the top of a hat - basically things with a small circumference.
I mean, how is this sock going to fit on a sixteen inch circular needle?
Well, it’s not.
So, what are we going to do?
Enter double pointed needles.
Double pointed needles are specialised for knitting small things in the round like socks,
mittens, the tops of hats, and even the teeny tiny finger portions of gloves.
Yep, we can get real small with these bad boys.
So, how do double pointed needles work?
Okay, let me do a quick analogy for you.
You can think of knitting on circular needles like taking a train.
The stitches get on the train, or they’re cast on, and then they’re knit around and
around and around.
They never get off the train until they reach their final destination, at which point, they
disembark, or we cast them off, and they journey is complete.
On double pointed needles, however, our stitches are not on a train.
They’re on a bus.
And they’re not taking the bus from point A to point B. They’re getting on the bus,
going a little ways, transferring to another bus, going a little ways, transferring again,
and around and around they go.
They’re transferring from one bus to another bus until they reach their final destination,
also known as casting off.
So, double pointed needles are not as direct as circular needles, but they’re also not
that hard to master.
So with that bus analogy in mind, let’s get into the demo and go through this step-by-step.
I’ve got four double pointed needles, and I’m going to start casting on stitches onto
one of my needles.
The number of stitches you cast on will depend on what you’re knitting or what your pattern
If you’re just practicing, you can cast on 45 stitches.
That’s the number of stitches that I cast on for this demonstration.
So now I’ve cast on 45 stitches onto one needle, and I need to start dividing these
stitches onto two more needles.
I want my stitches to be spread evenly on a total of three needles.
So 45 divided by three is 15, so that means that each needle should have 15 stitches.
You can do the same.
You can divide your stitches by three, and the number that you get will be the number
of stitches that each needle should have.
So don’t worry if your stitches don’t divide perfectly.
Just round up or down.
That’s totally fine.
So now I’m picking off stitches from my needle with a bunch of stitches onto my bare
So 14 and 15.
Alright, so I’ve got 15 stitches onto this needle, and I’m going to push it so that
the stitches are in the middle of the needle.
I don’t want them to accidentally fall off.
Now here’s my third needle, and I’m going to start picking off some stitches.
I’ll need 15.
So here’s four … alright, so I’ve just picked off 15 onto my third needle, and I’m
going to push my stitches so that they’re in the middle of my needle.
I’ll do the same for this third needle here - just push it so that my stitches are in
the center of the needle.
Now that our stitches are evenly divided, let’s talk about how to hold our needles.
Our needles before we join in the round are like this weird jumbly thing.
They feel awkward and kind of unstable.
So, first what we’ll do is look for the needle that has your longtail cast on and
your ball of yarn attached to it.
So you can see right away that would be this needle.
This needle has what’s left of our longtail and it also has our working yarn, which has
our ball of yarn attached to it.
So this is our guy.
We want to keep this needle on our right side.
Now on the left side, we’re going to use this needle, and just push the stitches up
close to the tip of our needle.
I’m keeping that little triangle shape.
I’m going to use my naked needle, our working needle, this is the needle that has no stitches
on it whatsoever.
I’m going to use my naked needle, and push into the first stitch on my left needle.
So here we go.
I’ve isolated that stitch, and I’m going to push my naked needle into it.
You can see my naked needle has speared into this first stitch.
Now I’m going to take my working yarn on my right needle, and I’m going to wrap it
around my naked needle.
3:08 I’m going to go underneath my right needle and then over onto my naked needle.
So I’ll show you again.
Here’s my working yarn, and I’m going to go underneath my right needle, underneath
that naked needle, and then wrap it around like this.
Wrap it around my naked needle and then just knit into this first stitch using my working
I’ve knit into it and now I’m going to push it off my left needle and make it nice
and tight, give it a little tug.
And now if you look closely, you can see that I’ve joined in the round.
Now I’ve got four needles into the mix.
Pretty cool, right?
So let’s continue knitting across our left needle.
I’ve knit into that first stitch.
I’m going to move into the second stitch.
Let’s push into it and continue knitting.
So we’re moving across our first needle, and we’re nearing the end of it.
Here we go, and there it is.
Alright, so here’s our last stitch.
So now we’ve knit across our first needle, right?
Here it is.
So now we’re back to three needles in our work.
Little triangle shape, and we have our naked needle once again.
So what I usually do when I finish knitting the stitches from one needle is I push my
stitches to the middle of my needle.
Right into the middle.
That keeps my stitches nice and secure.
They have less risk of falling off my needle.
So now I’m going to bring my naked needle back in, and I’m going to turn my work like
So here’s my working yarn.
My working yarn needle is always on my right side.
And now I’m going to push my needle down so that my stitches are nice and close to
the tip of my needle.
Then I’m going to continue all over again.
Here’s my naked needle, my working needle.
Push it into the first stitch, and then I’m going to take my working yarn and go around
my naked needle.
Can you see?
It’s a little hard to see, so I’m going to twist this here.
I’m going to give it a little tug.
Wrap it around my naked needle and then just knit into it.
So it’s a little bit complicated at first because you’ve got three needles going on
and doing their own thing, but you’ll get used to it.
And here’s my last stitch on my left needle.
Let’s just knit into that.
So now I’ve finished knitting off my needle, and we have our naked needle again.
Again, I’m going to push my stitches onto the middle of my needle.
Okay, so we’ve just knit stitches from two needles.
This one and this one.
Now we’re on our last needle, so I’m going to turn my needle configuration again.
Here’s my working yarn.
This is on my right side, and here’s my needle.
I’m going to push it so that my stitches are up close to the tip.
This is going to be the last needle before we get to the beginning of the round.
So here’s my naked needle.
We’re going to push it into the first stitch of my left needle.
Here’s my working yarn.
We’re going to go around my working needle, and then pull it through and pop it off the
I’m going to go into the next stitch and do the same thing.
Here we go.
Here’s my last stitch, and bada-bing, bada-boom, we are finished our first round.
So let’s take a look, take stock.
We have just completed our first round, and I know that because here is my longtail cast
The longtail from our longtail cast on marks the beginning and end of our round.
It’s almost like our own little stitch marker.
So we can just keep on going.
Your working yarn is always going to be on the right side.
Your stitches to be knit will be on your left needle.
Push the stitches up close to the tip of the needle.
Naked needle is going to go into the first stitch on your left needle.
Use your working yarn and go around that needle, and then knit into that stitch.
Pop it off the needle.
So this is where our bus analogy comes in.
We are taking one bus.
In this analogy our needle is a bus.
So here’s our first bus, and once we get to the end of our journey on our first bus,
we’re going to move on to our second bus.
This would be our second bus.
We’re transferring over to our second bus.
Once we’ve completed that, we’re going to move over to our third bus.
Transfer over to another bus, and around and around we go.
Our whole journey is made up of transferring from one needle to the next needle, and that’s
all there is to it.
Thanks so much for watching.
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And hey, if there’s a technique you’re struggling with or one that you’d like to
learn, then let me know about it down in the comments.
I’m Davina from sheepandstitch.com.
Thanks for watching, and happy knitting.