Today I am going to show you a nifty little trick for getting started with a small number of stitches on double pointed needles. The majority of my patterns seem to start this way and I have had a lot of questions on this recently, so I thought I would show you this trick.
Please note, when one of my patterns says to "Evenly CO 6 sts onto your dpns and join..." it means CO 6 total stitches, not 6 on each needle. I have had this question several times this week so I just wanted to clarify.
Okey dokey, so when we are starting with 6 stitches we can cast on 2 stitches onto each of 3 dpns. But, this small number of stitches can make you feel rather fumbly-fingered, so here's a trick:
Step 1: Cast all 6 sts onto ONE dpn
Step 2: Pulling the yarn from the last stitch you cast on and beginning to knit the first stitch on your needle (like you are knitting an i-cord), take your second dpn and work the first 2 sts. You are "joining" here, or beginning to work in the round. In this case I am knitting in the front and back of each stitch to increase, as most of my 6-stitch-to-start patterns call for, so those 2 stitches will become 4 stitches on my needle.
Once those 2 stitches have been worked, grab your fourth needle and work the last 2 stitches from the needle you used to cast on. See my other 2 needles just hanging out there? That's what you want, just ignore them right now.
Ta-dah! You are now set up on your 3 dpns to work in the round, with your fourth ready to work the stitches.
I always get this little gap in the middle of my cast on round, whether or not I work the stitches from one needle to 4 like I am demonstrating here, or if I cast on 2 stitches to 3 needles to get started. It should close itself up more or less as you continue knitting, but if it doesn't you can just use your tail to whip stitch it closed at the end.
PS: I made a big list of tutorials to do this last weekend. I am kind of starting at the bottom and working my way up, but I have been knitting long enough that I might think some tricky things are easier than they are for others. If you have something from one of my patterns you would like to see demonstrated, email me would ya?