Socks two at once

Vickey__MNMarch 31, 2009

Okay I'm going to venture into two socks at one time....I think.

Which is your favorite...magic loop (which I've never done, so maybe should learn that first), or two on two circs (which I can do and kind of like). I'm trying to learn all kinds of sock techniques just because..though two at a time on dpns intimidates me and will take a while to get the courage up for that.


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Vickey, I like both and can't really say what my favorite is. But when I do magic loop I prefer a REALLY long cable, like 60". Others say that is too long, but it works for me. I am doing two at a time, toe up right now and I'm using 2 circulars. That fits nicely into the small zip bag that I carry in the car, so I guess for portable I like the 2 circs, because I don't have to put a kink in the one long one.

Actually, there is little difference between using 2 circs or magic loop. It's just as if the two lower needle points are connected. AND - you can never make the mistake of using the wrong needle (which I have been known to do on occasion.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Vickey, I have done two at once magic loop. Well, started them that way! I didn't like it, but most of my sock knitting is done traveling. Appts, and when DH is driving. I find it too awkward that way. I do two at once, but not on the same needles! I use my ball winder and digital kitchen scale to weigh and re-wind my skeins, as I usually have the 100g balls. I split it in half weight wise, then find matching ends ( usually end up with a small ball before I find the matching ends, & sometimes finish toes with it!) then start them both at the same time on seperate needles. This seems to keep my tension fairly even on both socks. I just do a little on one sock then switch to the other. And I don't have that awful feeling of "darn! I still have to knit the other one!"

Have fun learning all the differnt ways.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 1:08PM
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Hi Vickey,

I am very much a beginner in knitting, but I discovered sock knitting, and almost immediately I also discovered 'Two at a time'. That made sense to me, so I tried it (I try everything at least once!) and then went directly to the Magic Loop variety, which was sort of adventurous the first time, but then became normal before I even finished the first pair.

Four months later I am already on pair 12 or 14, and by now the proud owner of several Addi circular needles (sigh), 60 inches long, and between 1.75mm and 3.5mm.

I also find that the length of the circular can't be long enough - even my 'cast-on and toes only' 1.75 mm needle has 60 inches. On the German site of Addi I discovered that they have even finer needles, 1.25 and 1.5mm, and that one could actually order circulars in special length - up to 2 m (which is 6 foot something, or so....).

I knit toe-up (turkish cast-on), with short row heels (no wrap easy-peasy method), and promised myself that until I can knit them blindfolded and drunk without any problems, I will do only very simple ones: 2/2 rib on leg and instep, stockinette stitch sole. Different material for every pair is excitement enough!

Good luck :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:21PM
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MaKo, I enjoyed your post very much and found it informational as well. I only recently tried the Turkish cast-on and I am hooked. I had previously used the figure-8 cast on, and wasn't happy that I had to go back and tighten up that first row. It sometimes appeared messy. None of that with the Turkish cast-on. And I really like the afterthought heel. I often make them in a contrasting color and like the looks of it.

There are so many patterns for the legs of socks, but since I don't go around lifting my pants legs to show my sock legs to people, I'm fine with simple. I occasionally do some mini cables or cabled ribbing though. And like you, I often do the cabling or ribbing on the top of the sock, too. You mentioned knitting socks blindfolded and that is what I like about knitting them "my" way, LOL. I don't need to bother with patterns anymore, because when I knit them toe-up I can try them on to find out when I am done increasing, and off I go until I'm ready for the heel, knit my waste yarn in and finish the socks, go back and knit my heel and Voila! Finished!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:13PM
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Donna Loomis,

I am very lucky :) to be a beginner at my age. That means, I can do it my way, I don't have to do things because "one does it THIS way" (end of discussion), but I read up on a topic, read blogs and fora, compare and try different varieties until I find one or two or three options for anything that I want to do.

I tried the figure-8 constellation once and had to wait until DH came home to cut me free, sigh, and I am not overly optimistic about me gaining ever enough experience with it to be able to do it as painlessly as with turkish cast-on.

I tried DPNs, and yes, I can knit with them, but if you're in a plane and you grab the needle to knit a new row - only to discover that
a) you pulled the wrong needle
b) you have to figure out what to do with a row of live stitches
c) you have to *find* the missing needle which effortlessly fits into the smallest niches and crevices in a plane, and
d) your seat neighbor - even when you are swearing in another language - can read from your body language that you're not happy and gets scared with all those explosive guttural sounds

.... then using a magic loop or two circulars does not seem to be a big thing.

Two at once are perfect for me, because I'm in such a hurry to learn and try and discover that I can barely manage to have only *one* thing on the needles or on the loom (another story of a midlife-crisis-discovery, sigh), and knitting two at once insures that I have at least the pair finished before I go on to the next adventure, and that this pair is relatively similar.

Counting rows and rows and rows of tinytiny stitches to figure out when I decreased/increased/changed colour or did something stupid looks like a waste of time to me.

... reading that, I seem to be a bit understaffed in the patience department..... oh, well....

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 5:48PM
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I, too, haven't been knitting that long and like to learn new things. However, I don't want to get so frustrated that it's no longer fun. I found that out knitting my first pair of 2-at-a-time socks (on 2 circs), first Picot hem, and first lace sock. The beginning was not fun, but now I've gotten in the rhythm and, except for the tangling yarn, I like it. And they look pretty, too.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 8:57PM
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I am going to do a search for the turkish cast on. I don't like the figure 8 either, and have only done one pair of toe up. Sounds like it might work better for me and encourage me to try them again.

Mako, blindfolded almost describes the way I do my basic cuff down socks! As I said earlier, most of my sock knitting is done in the car. I get motion sick! Sooooo, to knit in the car, I had to learn to do it without looking at what I was doing very much. DH DOES NOT know the meaning of slow down on mountains and curves. I am lucky in the fact that we live in a mostly flat/slightly rolling area. I have learned to feel my stitches on my left needle and where I am inserting the right needle. I glance down when I start the new needle, and that's about it. I can knit riding the mountains of VT. What I can not do is knit in WV. I can't do anything in that state except take my medicine and pray! I can't even knit sittig still in WV! I have learned to not even try. Drunk, I haven't tried! But then, it only takes a shot glass of anything to get me headed that direction. That inclueds a shot glass of wine. Don't drink much any more! But this is why I seldom do any but the basic pattern. I have it in my head, and only look up the pattern when it's been a while between socks. (Reading patterns in the car is a no no.)

My favorite is the magic loop. I have done double points. Everyone needs to learn to use them. Not my favorite. Like you, they end up everywhere but where they are supposed to be, down in the chair, between the seats in the car.......haven't lost any on a plane as I haven't flown in 21 years and didn't know how to knit then! Train seats on the other hand....... I have used two circs, and that worked ok, until I learned magic loop. I guess if I wanted to try two at once, I would use the two circs. I know I won't magic loop it if I try two at once again. I do mine on US size 2 needles. If I want them bigger, I cast on more stitches. In fact, I cast on 72 for DH's socks, and for mine, but for mine, I decrease at the ankle to 68. I am pretty fluffy, and need more in the leg, less in the foot, and could probably even go down to 64 stitches on the foot of mine.

Donna, I (and DH) DO lift my pants leg to show off my socks! In fact, DH lifts his to show them off more than I do! He loves his hand knit socks. I am not the most experienced knitter, but he brags about what I knit! He seems amazed that he can look at it and see the evenness of the stitches. I, on the other hand, can see the mistakes, and unevenness of them! But, if I am doing a cable sweater, he is my inspecter. If I don't have him check it every few rows, I end up ripping out many rows. He finds where I goofed and I can fix it quickly. I think because I am so close to the work, and he isn't, but doesn't knit a stitch! Hmmm, looks like I highjacked your post, Vickey. I'm sorry!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:27PM
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I read a brief discussion about a woman who has a method to knit two socks at a time, and the second sock is INSIDE the first one. Don't think I need such a complicated approach. They apparently don't come apart till you bind off.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 11:44PM
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Hi love2knit,

you wrote:
>>except for the tangling yarnI can only answer: ZIPLOCK!

I put my two balls in a ziplock bag - not the ones with the slider but the other ones where you can lock parts of the opening - and then I have one thread coming out of the ziplock bag on the left side, the other one on the right side.

When I knit the 'other row', I simply take the whole bag and flip it together with the socks-in-progress so that it doesn't tangle.

Next advantage: when interrupted, I simply open the bag fully and stuff socks, needles and everything into this bag, close it and it is clean, fairly untangled and waiting for me to knit on.

If I could just remember where I read about this ....



    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 7:01AM
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Another trick is to flip them in alternate directions. After one row, flip them up and toward you, the next, up and away from you. Of course, I don't always remember which way I flip them last, but enough of the time so that I don't have to move the ball/skein/cake of yarn too often.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 9:10AM
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