How to cast on using double pointed needles

Facts & handy tips

Learn how to knit socks by watching our easy peasy knitting tutorial all about casting on using double-pointed needles.

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Step By Step

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To start, pull on the yarn from the inside of the ball, it’s hooked onto the ball band by a small tag which says ‘easy start. Pull on it until you come to your first colour which in this case is a pale pink. Cut off the yellow waste yarn but don’t throw it away, you’ll need to use it when you come to work the heel of your sock.

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Continue to pull on your yarn until the second colour appears. In this ball of yarn, the second colour is blue.

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Make a slip knot at the point where the two colours merge. Now we are ready to cast on our stitches.

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The technique I am going to show you is the long tail cast on which will give your sock a nice, stretchy edge. Casting on to double pointed needles (dpns) is just the same as casting on to straight needles except you have to distribute your stitches evening across the set of needles you’re using. This set includes 5 needles so we will cast on over 4 needles and use the 5th needle as our working needle.

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With the pink yarn in front and the blue yarn behind, inset your thumb and index finger between the two strands. Wrap your remaining fingers around the two strands. Open out your thumb and index finger. Take the tip of your needle underneath the strand around the front of your thumb, from front to back. Now take it underneath the strand of yarn wrapped around your index finger, from back to front. Scoop the blue loop through the pink loop, gently remove your thumb, and adjust the new stitch by pulling on your yarn tails.

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Once you have cast on a quarter of your total number of stitches, take a second dpn and hold it in front of your first needle by pinching it between your thumb and fingers. Continue to cast on your stitches as you did before, until your second needle has the same amount of stitches as your first needle.

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Repeat these steps for your third and fourth needle until you have cast on all of your stitches.

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Now you are ready to join in the round and begin knitting for real! Take your first dpn and push the stitches down towards the tip, this is where your round is going to begin. Hold your dpns so that your cast on edge forms a square and be careful that your haven’t twisted your cast on edge. Pinch your yarn tail to your first needle to hold the square in position. Take your fifth needle, this is your working needle and insert it through your first stitch. Knit it as normal. Your round is now joined!

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Continue working the stitches in 1x1 ribbing on that first needle until you have transferred them all onto the working needle. Push the stitches to the middle of that needle. That first needle has now become your working needle.

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Turn your work clockwise, now we will knit across the second needle. As we are working in 1x1 ribbing for the cuff of this sock, remember what your last stitch was on your previous needle. If it was a knit, you will need to begin with a purl and vice versa.

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Continue to repeat these steps until you reach the end of the round, then repeat them for every following round.

This is how you do it

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