Knitting With 4 or 5 Needles


How to Knit with Four or Five Needles

The oldest type of needle is the straight double-pointed needle. Double-pointed needles are tapered at both ends, which allows them to be knit from either end. They are typically used (and sold) in sets of four and five and are commonly used for circular knitting. Since the invention of the circular needle, they have been most commonly used to knit smaller tube-shaped pieces such as sleeves, collars and socks.

Photo Credit: Mr. T in DC via photopin cc

  • Cast on the number of stitches desired or required by your pattern. Do this by dividing the number of stitches by the number of needles in the double-pointed set, minus one. (If you are using four needles, divide by three; divide by four if you’re using five needles.) Divide the stitches evenly on the needles.
  • Arrange the stitches so they are not twisted and position the needles in a triangular shape.
  • Hold the double-pointed needles so that the start of your cast-on row is in your left hand and the end is in your right hand. Place a stitch marker on the right needle, as this will mark the end of the round.
  • Knit or purl the first stitch by pulling the loop on the right needle through the stitch on the left needle. This will join the three (four) needles.
  • Use the free needle in your pack to continue knitting, working on the stitches on the left needle. When all the stitches are worked off the left needle, that needle is the free needle; work the stitches off the next needle.
  • Continue in this manner until you come to the stitch marker, which means you are done with the round. Slip the stitch marker on the right needle and continue until you have the desired size.

Tip 1: To avoid gaps between stitches between the needles, rotate the edge stitches while maintaining about the same number of stitches on each needle.

Tip 2: Make sure your stitches are not twisted when starting out because you will have to pull out the stitches and start again.

Pattern Examples:


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  1. I remember the first time I saw a picture of DPN’s and thought for sure it would drive me crazy but with a little practice it is not that difficult.

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