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Knitting on the Round with Double Pointed or Circular Needles?

Hi everyone!

We really love our double pointed needles!

We both learnt to knit small things on the round using dpns, which is also the traditional way of knitting smaller projects in Norway. Knitting small items on the round, like socks, dolls or even Christmas balls with circular needles feels very strange to both of us. And let’s not get started on the magic loop, which we really dislike!

We are all different and when it comes to the choices that we all make, it really is a matter of habits, taste and what suits each one of us the best. There are no right ways or wrong ways to knit or crochet, as it is the end result that counts! Personally, we are both masters with dpns but become very uncomfortable when it comes to circulars or the magic loop for smaller projects. It is only when we cast on a larger number of stitches, starting from 96 stitches for a hat (96 is such a great number for knitting, by the way!) and upwards that we enjoy knitting with circulars. And since we are from Norway, we will knit everything, including sweaters and jackets on the round, so we do use circular needles for larger projects all the time.

Toe- up sock knitting with metal needles.

We have been reading the comments on our latest YouTube tutorial and we are noticing that many people have been asking us if it is possible to knit the spiral sock with circular needles. And the answer to this question is: Yes! Of course it’s possible! As long as you are knitting a small project on the round, you can absolutely replace a set of 5 dpns  with circular needles and you can also do magic loop, if that’s your thing… We will obviously never show you how to knit “two at a time with magic loop” but the principle of knitting a sock on the round remains the same – regardless of whether you choose dpns or circulars.

Our best tip when knitting with dpns:

So, if you are considering trying knitting with dpns here is something you should always consider:

Selecting the right type of dpns for each individual project is essential!

The market is full of different kinds of needles: bamboo/wood, metal, aluminum, carbon, plastic and other kinds of composite materials. So, what should you consider when selecting your dpns? Well, it really depends on the project you are doing. If you are going to knit a pair of socks using a 4-ply yarn (fingering weight) suitable for needles 2.5 mm or 3 mm, we would recommend first timers on dpns to consider avoiding metal, aluminum and even carbon needles. In general, bamboo and wooden needles tend to be light weight and not so slippery (bamboo dpns in particular are a great favourite of ours) so there are less problems with needles that fall out of your knitting, especially in the beginning of a project where you cast on a very small number of stitches and before you start to increase.

Casting on with large wooden needles.

If you are knitting something  on the round, that you are going to stuff later on, like one of our Christmas balls or a doll, then you may want to tighten up your knitting so that the stuffing doesn’t show through, so metal needles would probably work much better, as they are less flexible than bamboo or wooden needles and won’t break/bend as easily as wooden needles do. If you decide on using metal needles, the squared ones tend to be less slippery and are actually quite comfortable to hold. Length is also very important, so make sure that you are not knitting with too short or too long needles. Personally, we will always choose the 18 cm (7”) needle length for socks. In both our cases, there is something very comfortable about that length when we hold them in our hands. Others may prefer shorter dpns  – but if they are too short for the number of stitches, you will have problems knitting on the round  as there is a big risk that you drop stitches, so be aware that shorter needles for small projects isn’t necessarily better.

Knitting a short row heel and top-down socks with bamboo needles.

So, next time you are considering doing something with dpns, think about the project that you want to make and select the needles accordingly. There are many choices available and there is always a perfection option for everyone. We’d also like to ask you to keep in mind that all LYS have dedicated and passionate people working there, who know how to knit and who can advise you and help you to select the type of needle which would work best for a specific project in order to help you take your knitting to the next level!

PS: If you haven’t seen our latest tutorial, you can catch up by clicking here.The pattern for the spiral sock is available here.

We hope you are enjoying knitting the spiral socks and we wish you a continued great week! See you on Sunday on YouTube at our usual time, 6:00pm CEST // 11:00am CDT


Calendar of events (click on links for more info)

May 28th – June 3rd, 2019: “Knitting Under the Midnight Sun”. Cruise along the stunning Norwegian coast together with us. Due to another cancellation, we still have 1 cabin available. More information is available here.

August 15th – 19th, 2019: Tour some of Britain’s most stunning gardens together with us. In addition to visiting some seriously beautiful gardens in the Cotswolds, we have tickets to Prince Charles’ Garden at his private residence, Highgrove. These tickets are almost impossible to come by, so this is a unique chance! There are still a few spots available. We are SO excited about this trip!! More information is available here.

March 3rd – 9th, 2020: “Knitting under the Northern Lights”. Cruise along the stunning Norwegian coast together with us. We just opened this cruise for registration and half of the spots are already gone. We expect it to sell out very soon. More information is available here.