How to Cast On Using Double Pointed Needles

How to Cast On Using Double Pointed Needles

Have you ever felt stumped trying to cast on with double pointed needles? If so, you’re not alone; many knitters find this method challenging. This article will guide you through a step-by-step process that demystifies the act of casting on using double pointed needles, making it an achievable task even for beginners.

Ready to improve your knitting skills? Keep reading!

Main Highlights

  • Understanding how to hold the double pointed needles and yarn properly is crucial for successful casting on using this method.
  • Making slipknots and evenly distributing stitches across the needles are essential steps in the casting on process.
  • Joining in the round with double pointed needles allows for seamless knitting in a circular motion, perfect for projects like socks or hats.
  • Stitch markers can be used to keep track of specific sections or stitches when casting on with double pointed needles, ensuring consistency throughout your work.

In this article:

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cast On Using Double Pointed Needles

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to cast on using double pointed needles for knitting in the round.

Holding the needles and yarn

Embarking on a knitting project using double-pointed needles (DPNs) necessitates an understanding of how to hold your tools properly. Start by positioning one DPN in your right hand as if it’s a writing pen – this is often referred to as the “knife hold“.

The yarn should comfortably rest over your left index finger, maintaining a constant tension for even stitches. Your remaining fingers can coil around the yarn tail, providing control and stability.

This setup not only aids in dexterity but also sets the stage for successful casting on with DPNs.

Making slipknots and distributing stitches

To start casting on using double pointed needles, the first step is to make a slipknot. This can be done by creating a loop with the yarn and pulling the end through, securing it tightly. Once you have your slipknot ready, it’s time to distribute the stitches onto your needles.

You’ll want to evenly divide the total number of stitches required for your project across three or four double-pointed needles, depending on your preference and pattern instructions. This ensures that you have enough space to comfortably work when knitting in the round.

Remember to keep your tension consistent as you transfer each stitch onto a needle, avoiding any tightness or looseness that could affect your knitting later on. With these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to starting your knitting project using double pointed needles.

Joining in the round

To start knitting in the round with double pointed needles, insert your fourth needle into the first stitch on your left-hand needle. Hold it in your right hand, making sure the working yarn is at the back.

Now, use your fifth needle to knit that first stitch onto the fourth needle. Continue knitting around, joining each subsequent stitch until you complete a full round. This technique allows you to seamlessly transition into knitting in a circular motion and is perfect for projects like socks or hats.

By mastering this method of joining in the round with double pointed needles, you can easily embark on new knitting projects and explore more advanced techniques using these versatile tools.

Starting to knit

To start knitting with double pointed needles, hold the needle with your cast-on stitches in your right hand, and the empty needle in your left. Make sure the working yarn is coming from the first stitch on the right-hand needle.

Hold both needles parallel to each other while making sure that you have an equal number of stitches on each needle. Now, take a third needle and insert it into the first stitch on the left-hand needle, as if you were going to knit.

Wrap your working yarn around this third needle and pull it through to create a new stitch. Repeat this process until all of your stitches are transferred onto the new needle, ensuring that they are still evenly distributed across all three needles.

Tips and Tricks

From using stitch markers for easy tracking to fixing common mistakes, these invaluable techniques will level help you avoid common mistakes

Using stitch markers

Stitch markers are a handy tool when casting on with double pointed needles. They help you keep track of specific sections or stitches in your knitting project, especially when working in the round.

By placing a stitch marker after a certain number of stitches, you can easily count your rounds and maintain consistency throughout your work. This is particularly useful for patterns that require increases or decreases at specific intervals.

Stitch markers can be either removable or fixed, and they come in different shapes such as rings or clips. Experiment with different types to find what works best for you, and enjoy the convenience they bring to your knitting process.

Keeping tension consistent

Consistency in tension is crucial when casting on with double pointed needles. To ensure your stitches are even and balanced, it’s important to maintain a steady level of tension throughout the process.

Start by holding the working yarn with a relaxed grip, not too tight or too loose. As you create each stitch, gently guide the yarn through your fingers using equal pressureAvoid pulling too hard or allowing the yarn to slip through loosely, as this can cause uneven tension and affect the overall look of your knitting.

By keeping an eye on your tension and making subtle adjustments as needed, you’ll achieve beautifully consistent results in your cast-on stitches with double pointed needles.

Fixing common mistakes

Mistakes happen to even the most experienced knitters. Don’t worry, though – here are some common mistakes you might encounter when casting on with double-pointed needles and how to fix them:

  1. Twisted Stitches: If you notice that your stitches are twisted when joining in the round, simply slip the twisted stitch off the needle and reinsert it correctly.
  2. Uneven Tension: Keeping an even tension is crucial for a neat finished project. If you find that your tension is inconsistent, try adjusting how tightly you hold the yarn or experiment with different needle sizes.
  3. Dropped Stitches: Accidentally dropping a stitch while casting on can be frustrating but easily fixed. Use a crochet hook or spare double-pointed needle to pick up the dropped stitch from below and place it back onto the working needle.
  4. Extra Stitches: Counting stitches as you go is essential to avoid adding extra stitches unintentionally. If you discover that you have more stitches than intended, carefully unravel your work to the mistake and backtrack until all stitches are accounted for.
  5. Twisted Needles: Double-pointed needles occasionally twist as you work, making it challenging to knit comfortably. To fix this, stop knitting momentarily and give each needle a gentle twist in the opposite direction until they align properly.

Video Tutorial

Looking for a more visual explanation? Then this video tutorial from Craftsy will be just what you’re looking for.

In this particular video knitting expert Stefanie Japel demonstrates how you can cast on using double pointed needles. This is a tutorial which forms part of her online knitting class Circular Knit Lab.

You can find out more about Stefanie and her online knitting classes by clicking here.

Before you go…

Casting on using double pointed needles is an essential technique for any knitter looking to tackle projects knit in the round. With the step-by-step guide provided and some practice, you’ll soon be confidently starting your knitting projects with this versatile method.

Remember to keep tension consistentuse stitch markers for clarity, and don’t be afraid to seek out additional resources for further learning. Happy knitting!


1. What are double pointed needles used for in knitting?

Double pointed needles, also known as DPNs, are commonly used for knitting in the round, such as making hats, socks, or sleeves. They allow you to work on a small circumference without needing to switch to circular needles.

2. How do I cast on using double pointed needles?

To cast on using double pointed needles, start with one needle and make a slipknot. Then distribute the stitches evenly onto three or four double-pointed needles depending on your pattern requirements. Begin knitting with another empty needle and continue until all the stitches have been worked onto the new needles.

3. Can I use double pointed needles for flat knitting projects?

While it is possible to use double pointed needles for flat knitting projects, such as scarves or blankets, it can be less convenient than using straight or circular needles since you’ll need to turn your work at the end of each row instead of simply sliding the project from one needle tip to another.

4. Are there any tips for managing multiple working yarns with double pointed needles?

If you’re working with multiple colors or yarns while using double-pointed needles, it’s helpful to keep each color/yarn on a separate needle so they don’t get tangled together. You can also use stitch markers between sections of different colors/yarns to help keep track of where each section begins and ends during your project.

How to Cast On Using Double Pointed Needles

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