Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Double Pointed Needles (DPNs)

The double pointed needle is probably one of the most intimidating knitting tools. The intimidating part about DPN's isn't the individual needles, they look a lot like big toothpicks. The part that gets most people about DPNS is that they are used in groups. I know whenever I am using DPNs I get strange looks, because I'm using 5 needles at one time. To most people, it seems like there are too many things going on if five needles are in one project at a time. The thing about it is that it really isn't hard to use DPN's, the secret is to make sure that the needles you aren't using at a particular moment don't slip out of your stitches. The best thing to do to ensure that the stitches don't slip off of the needles is to use needles made from a rough material. My favorite double pointed needles are made of bamboo. These needles aren't as smooth as aluminum needles, but they are still smooth enough to slide through yarn without snagging it.

So, what are DPN's used for? Double pointed needles are used to make cylindrical garments, such as socks and sleeves. DPNs are useful for those instances when a circular needle is too big. Yes, there is another way, probaby more than one way, but the one that comes to mind right now is the magic loop method, which allows knitters to use long circular needles to knit things that are smaller in diameter than the length of the circular needle, if that makes any sense. I have not gotten completely comfortable with the Magic loop method, but when I do feel a little more proficient at it, I will prepare a tutorial on it and share it with you.


Ribbing is very common in hats, sweaters and anything where a stretchy fit is desired. The prequesites for knitting ribbing is a knowledge of the cast on, knit and purl stitch. Refer to previous tutorials if you want to learn more about these stitches and others. Ribbing is basically alternating the knit and purl stitch. There can be 1 by 1 ribbing, two by two, one by five or pretty much any combination. Here are some examples of ribbed projects. These are all projects made with 2 by 2 rib, in which I knit two stitches then purled two stitches, continueing in this manner until I reached the next row. On the next row, if we are kniting in the round like in the sock below, the stitches will just be a continuous knit two purl two. If the garment is knit flat, as in the case of the scarf below, the pattern that consisted of knit, knit, purl, purl... will be the opposite on the next row. A better way to think about this is to just make sure that the knit stitches line up with the purl stitches on the previous row.

Houston This weekend

October 18 -19 is the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown in Houston. Here is some information from their website: “October 18 - 19, 2008 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both days Admission is $10 for adults and free for children 12 and under.The downtown skyline serves as a dramatic backdrop for art, music, dance, and interactive activities at the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown.The annual, juried, fine art event boasts a stress-free outdoor gallery brimming with 300 artists working in 19 artistic media. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are wine cafés, an interactive Creative Zone for children, restaurants, Broadway in Houston’s Broadway Café, and a performing arts stage with on-going multicultural musical and dance entertainment presented by The Houston Arts Alliance.The festival is showcased in front of City Hall and around Hermann Square on the streets of Walker, Bagby, and McKinney, as well as Sam Houston Park. For more information about the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown, please contact the Art Colony Association”October 25th is the MidCity Art Market. The market is the last Saturday of each month at Palmer Park. Palmer Park is at the intersection of S. Carrolton and S. Claiborne Ave in Uptown New Orleans. It is from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Come out and support art in New Orleans. See Lane Lefort Photography to view some of the available photographs.