Anyway, behind the cut is the bag I knit on homemade dpns, instructions for how I made my dpns, links to the youtube videos I used to learn since I haven't had a chance to take a class yet, and the pattern for the bag.
Total cost, assuming you have sandpaper, is under 10 dollars to learn, which is nice. Double pointed needles can be pricey.
Those are my homemade double pointed needles behind the bag. Now, the obvious advantage to homemade needles is that they aren't 9 dollars a set. The disadvantage is that they don't really match up to any needle size once you are done sanding. They are just a bit smaller then my size 8 Brittany needles though, but it means you'll need to do patterns that gauge isn't super important for. Like hats or bags. The other advantage is that you can make your needles any length. These about 7.5 inches long, but you can make a long needle to do your cast on and be sure it's the same size as your homemade dpns.
You'll need dowels, preferably hard wood, but standard craft store dowels WILL work. They just don't stay smooth as long. These are 3/16th of an inch or 4.76 mm. A size 8 is 5 mm.
Something to cut the dowel. I used a craft knife and some patience, but a saw will work a lot better.
A felt tip pen of some sort
Sand paper in a few grits from something rough to something pretty smooth. I used 120 for shaping, then up to 220, then 400 for smoothing.
Mark and cut your dowels, you'll want 5 needles of the same length, then sharpen both ends. Use the rough sandpaper to shape the points so they are tapered and round off the tips a bit. After you've got the shape right, move up to the next sandpaper. If you've got finer then 400, you'll get a finer finish. If you want to oil them lightly when they are done, and wipe off the oil, do.
When your needles are done, find a ball of yarn. I used orange worsted weight cotton because it was on the top of my yarn bag.
Then watch this video by Mrs. Moskowitz. See? Not really scary at all. You can use two of your homemade knitting needles to practice. Make a little swatch, if you are using cotton yarn, it will be nice and soft for make removal. Part 2 shows purling and binding off. This project doesn't require purling or binding off, but your swatch will need to be binded. Okay.. thanks Mrs Moskowitz. Now I feel more secure that the way I knit isn't completely wrong!
You'll also need to know how to yarn over.
Now for the fun part. Learning to wrestle the octopus. I've tried knitting in the round before, it ended badly. But the internet and all the generous people on it to the rescue again. Stitch Diva has a wonderful knitting in the round with double pointed needles video.
So.. the bag pattern.
k=knit yo= yarn over
Using stitch markers- anything roundish will work. I used 10 mm jump rings and the ring from a toggle clasp as the first marker, as you reach them in your knitting, just slide them to other needle.
Cast on 60 stitches, a multiple of 8 might have been better, but I went with 60, equally distribute the stitches on 4 needles, which is 15 needles per stitch. Because I don't have cool clippie stitch markers, I used the ring of a toggle clasp to mark the start of my round, putting it between the first and second stitch.
Rounds 1-5: knit
Round 6: *k 1, yarn over, k 2 together* repeat ** around (forms eyelets for the i-cord)
then k until it measure 6.5 inches, then when you reach the beginning of a new round, count 10 stitches from the first marker as you knit, and put a new marker between the 10 and 11 stitch from the last marker, continue around. You'll wind up with 6 markers total counting your first marker. It does help to have that first marker be different from the rest.
next round: k 2 together as a decrease after each marker
next round: knit plain
Keep repeating those rounds until have 3 stitches between each marker. At some point, it's going to be easier distribute your stitches across 3 needles instead of 4, you do that by finishing off a needle, then using the needle you worked your stitches on to work a few stitches off the next one.
Last row, k 2 together, k 1 after each marker. You should have 12 stitches left at this point. Cut yarn with a 6 inch tail, use a yarn needle to weave that tail through the 12 stitches left being very careful to catch only the yarn and not the markers (unless you want the markers stitched into the bottom of the bag) and pull tight. Tie the tail securely, then weave it through the body of the bag.
Make an i-cord long enough to weave through the eyelets, weave it through the eyelets, then tie the yarn ends together securely and weave in the ends.
So.. if you know the basics and can learn purling enough to do it for a few rows, you're ready to do a truly cunning hat. Quarter inch dowel will get you pretty close to a size 10 needle.
Well.. anyway.. that's how I learned to do it. I still prefer crochet.
Wow.. well.. I messed up that cut. Sorry about that folks!