I’m just going to put it out there that I play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D).  I haven’t been playing very long (I am only on my second “campaign”) but I play enough that it was decided that I should have my own set of dice - preferably pink dice.  So we went on a trip to the game store in Barrie and I picked out some pretty cute dice that I can now infuse with my power so they can assist me on my campaigns.  I don’t actually believe that one can infuse dice with power, but my character does, so I’m doing it for her. ;)

I got my dice home and realized I needed a dice bag.  Thanks to my new addiction to Ravelry and all the geeky patterns within, I quickly found at least ten dice bag patterns to choose from.  Only problem - they all involved double pointed needles.

As with most new knitting techniques, I was intimidated to try using double pointed needles (dpn).  I’ve had a set of dpn’s for over a year, but five needles instead of two sounded a little to advanced for my abilities.  That is actually my line of thinking about all new techniques - they must be too advanced for me.  It is silly to think this way, as I have continually proved to myself that I am capable of learning new things, but I still have this hesitation to start projects that have new techniques.  It probably has something to do with my self-imposed perfectionism - that inner voice that is demanding me to “make sure you do it right.”  I just have to keep in mind that trying something new is amazing in itself and if at first I don’t succeed, I can try, try, again.

Thus was my experience in learning to use double pointed needles.  Even with the help of an internet teacher,  it took me three tries to get it right.  My first attempt, I had my stitches cast on evenly across four of the needles, but when I knit them “in the round” I did it in such a way that the needles didn’t come together in a square like they are supposed to.  Oops.  I pulled out the stitches and tried again.

This is wrong somehow...

My second attempt, I got the needles to form a square, but must have crossed my stitches, because it just didn’t look right. Plus one of the needles fell out of the stitches it was holding, which made me a little cranky, and without thinking on how to fix it, I just pulled the rest of the stitches out and prepared to try again.

Third time was the charm.  Something just clicked and I was knitting in the round as if I knew how.  Following my internet instructor's advice, I put a stitch marker on my first needle, so that I would know where the start of my “round” was.  I don’t actually own stitch markers but a twisted pink paperclip worked perfectly for my purposes.  This was incredibly helpful, as I can’t imagine having to remember where the round started - that sounds like far too much counting for me.

Much better...

I am really happy with how my dice bag turned out.  It is adorably pink for my adorably pink D&D dice.

The only problem I experienced with this project, is that by the time I finished, my left hand was cramped and achy from the hours of holding the square of needles.  Plus, the points on my needles are quite sharp, and the index fingertip of my left hand was actually red from repeatedly being stabbed with the right hand needle.  The next project I make with dpn’s, I am going to try and be more aware of how intensely/awkwardly I am holding the work in my left hand, so that I don’t end up with carpal tunnel syndrome.  As for the fingertip stabbing - I wonder if this is what people use thimbles for?  I just might have to get one.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, May 17, 2010 4 comments


  1. Hey JL :) I laughed out loud when I read the opening to this post, because even though I haven't played in years, I too have my own dice. They're green and sparkly :)

    Knitting in the round is wonderful once you get used to it - hats, socks... and when you get really good, fairisle sweaters :]

    A metal or ceramic thimble may be too awkward, do you have any old pair of rubber coated work/gardening gloves? (or you can probably pick some up at a dollar store) You may want to try cutting the finger off one and using that - your needles aren't like.. drawing blood sharp, right?

    this is getting long :) ttyl

  2. Green and sparkly dice sound fun!! :)

    I was looking at some sock patterns now that I have attempted double pointed needles. I am still amazed at all the different things we can create with knitting!

    Thanks for sharing the tip about the gardening glove! I will definitely try it. The needles aren't that sharp, but I knit the dice bag for about four hours, so my fingertip was angry at me. :)

  3. Love your handknit dice bag! So beyond my level of skill, but always awesome to make it yourself.

    1. Thanks so much! The bag is still doing well, and I'm playing more regularly now.

      Thanks again for featuring me on your blog - totally made me day! :)


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