two socks at once (on one very long circular needle)

February 14, 2010

Sometimes I like to make two socks at the same time. There are benefits and drawbacks, but overall, I enjoy the process and it seems to keep me entertained. Back to the Valentines day theme (I love a holiday that involves pink, red, orange..), I was feeling inspired to make another pair of pinkish socks. And this was a yarn that I haven’t seen worked up. It is a trekking yarn, made in Germany by Skacel, and this particular variety is 80% wool, 20% bamboo (or something like that). I haven’t made socks with bamboo yet, and I love trekking yarns, so thought this might be fun. We only ordered one bag of this yarn for the store and I couldn’t help myself!

Knitting two socks at once feels like it takes a little longer. Sometimes it seems like the process takes twice as long, as each sock is knit on every round. But at the end, both socks are finished! Kind of a Big Deal! (seriously..) I set up my socks so that the yarn is coming from the inside of the ball for sock number one, and from the outside of the ball for sock number two. Sometimes this involves snipping and weighing the yarn, but in this case I made the socks reverse, and didn’t bother to adjust where they started. Its fun to be random on where the self striping yarn starts. (Its also fun to be selective.)

The socks are cast on, one at a time, and then knit, one row on sock one, one row on sock two. I am working the heels, first the flaps, one row on each. The heel is turned, one sock at a time. For picking up and knitting the gusset, the socks are then worked one round sock one, one round sock two. The gusset always feels like it takes forever for me. And when there are two socks at once thing, it takes forever times two. After the heel is all the way turned, I usually feel like I am home free. The rest of the foot and toe work up quite quickly, and as a project nears the end it seems to pick up speed as well. (Maybe some sort of terminal velocity thing…)

And so, knitting two socks at once does sometimes save me in the end. I have two socks, instead of one lingering sock, sadly waiting for its match.

5 Responses to “two socks at once (on one very long circular needle)”

  1. Teresa Says:

    Hi Torrey,

    I met you a few days ago at the store and showed you a new casting on technique. I am awed by this concept of knitting two socks at once and hope you can teach me sometime.

    BTW, your blog is the best I have ever seen!!!! Sim[ly fascinating. I am sure I will check in often.

    • Torrey Says:

      Hi Teresa, thanks for the comment! I am excited about your cast on, and I am going to try it for my next pair of socks for sure!!!

  2. ann Says:

    I bought self-striping yarn and long circular needle in alaska a few months ago; lost the website for free instructions to do this… can you help? size 6 shoe; size 9 sock? two at once….thanks

  3. ann Says:

    I bought knitcol self striping yarn and long size 2 circular needle in alaska; lost free website pattern for knitting two at once.. can you help? size 6 shoe; size 9 sock

    • Torrey Says:

      I would recommend 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. It is a great book that includes clear directions for knitting two socks at once, as well as many good sock patterns. I think that it would be a little tricky for me to explain it over the internet!!

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