In Defense of DPNs…

March 10, 2017

I feel I have a need to defend my dpns this week. They are my favorite “in the round” needle. They are used for most of my projects. I can say I have used two circulars and one long circular to knit socks. I have not yet used a 9” circular to knit a sock. I’m not sure if I cherish the idea of learning a new heel, but I will, when the opportunity presents itself. I see the 9” circular needle used and it looks simple enough.

However, this week, I received the yarn to knit the Owl Hat by Julie Measures could not find my size 8 dpns. They are likely attached to a UFO, I think I even know which one, but they won’t show their hiding place until I’m nearly finished with this hat. I can almost promise this….I have to wonder if Scamp made off with the project…she has absconded with the yarn and stashed it  in the basement in the past. It’s possible. I may venture down there this week to check.

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See, I know how to use circular needles….

In the meantime, my dear James volunteered to get up early and go to the local yarn store to pick me up a pricey pair of size 8 dpns. I sent him in with exact instructions and the color of yarn I was knitting with. They were out of all of the size 8s in dpns…except a black pair with silver tips, he told me when he called me at his house from the store. I didn’t think about it then, but my friend picked brown yarn. Counting stitches on black needles was going to be difficult. I asked for anything else. I did not look up the needles until after the phone call.

The problem was only one part the store was out of needles, except for the likelihood that she still had Karbonz in stock. I’ve heard very good things about Karbonz…However, they still had a black shaft which would make counting brown stitches difficult, they also cost money. I wanted a ten dollar pair of needles, as these were a replacement.

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This one, the problem is not the needles so much, as the complicated pattern….It’s on both sides now…(more about repeating things four times at once next week…).

The second part of the problem was that the proprietor did not simply tell dear James when the other dpns would be in(likely next week), it was that she tried to sell him circulars for me to knit the hat on. I’ve read patterns for one circular, and in the last rows, you have to switch to dpns anyways, if you are using one circular. I don’t want to switch needles…if I need to use dpns, I may as well use dpns.

In her ingenious suggestion, she offered up two circulars, which don’t require the switch. I have two problems with using two circulars….perhaps three. 1) Cost-these are a replacement pair of needles. I don’t want to drop the money for two sets of needles when one will do. 2) Cats. Most of you know we have cats. The cats love two circulars, therefore, Mom doesn’t. I have knit socks on two circulars and the cats have been more willing to help than ever. 3) I get confused which needle I’m knitting on and pull one entirely out of the socks…usually while knitting all of them onto one needle. The cats love this game. Mom, not so much.

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I haven’t mentioned this yet…my Little, Mariah and I made this for an auction to support Big Brothers, Big Sisters Wednesday night at 7 at the Doherty Hotel in Clare, MI….Come bid on it;-).

So, I defend my position that I want dpns. They’re familiar and comfortable and the only hanging strings for the cats to “help” with are yarn. They’ve almost grown up enough not to eat the yarn. They may never be grown up enough to not eat the plastic and nickel needles(that let stitches slide off like no one’s business). I like my dpns.

In defense of circulars, they have their place. Some people swear by them….likely those without cats, or those who learned on them (and perhaps don’t know better). You are less likely to drop a stitch (unless your yarn loves to drop stitches), but when you drop one stitch, you might drop the entire project. As a result of dropping fewer stitches overall, they might travel a little better. However, you can use point protectors or rubber bands(the small ones for dental work or hair) to keep stitches on your needles when you travel. In the end, I prefer dpns and am not ashamed to admit it.

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My beloved dpns….not perfect, just preferred by this knitter…. You are free to make your own knitting choices! (yes, I wish the color showed better…perhaps next week).

Someone once told me you could work two different patterns on the front and back of the sock with circulars….I do that well with dpns and only occasionally need place markers for this. I used more place markers to knit the heel of my toe-up on circular Terpander pattern than I have for any other socks I’ve knit lately.

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Progress on the Murder Mystery Quilt 2017. I was behind so I didn’t get my February clue and now I need more of the middle fabric for March’s block…Did someone say more “Shopping!” ?

In the meantime, there was progress, and the dpns are still easier for me. Yes, I learned/taught myself on dpns using silver’s sock knitting tutorial and an adventurous spirit. I did order the Caspian dpns from Knitpicks.com, as well as more yarn. I’ll tell you all about it next week. It’s supposed to be here by Saturday. Also, please note that I prefer to fully support my local yarn store, and will for future purchases of yarn. For needles, I think I will seek other options at this time. It would be different if I were entirely a novice…perhaps, but I’m not.

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