Two socks at once?

altivo's picture

OK, guys, someone here probably has the answer or a pointer to it. I normally knit socks with DPs or using two circulars. I knit from the cuff down because I don't like the way heels come out on toe-up socks.

I know it is possible to knit both socks in the pair at once using various techniques. Double knitting, where you do one sock inside the other on either DPs or two circs or even one circ (not-so-magic loop method) has intellectual appeal like a magic trick but seems unnecessarily complex and risky. It seems to me that you should be able to just work two socks in parallel on the circulars, using two balls of yarn. Knit across half of one, change yarn and knit across the other. Lather, rinse, repeat. Might get a bit tricksy at the heel, I guess, but should still work.

Has anyone tried this? Or can you point to a tutorial on the web that shows it with drawings or photos? With or without that, I'm about to embark on the experiment I think. I know that no one ever notices if there's an extra row or two in the cuff or foot, but I know it's there and it bugs me. This should prevent that, and produce matching stripes in self-striping yarn too....


Chris Vandenburg's picture

I think I can answer that for you.

Kenny (kc78 on here) has a tutorial on his blog. Scroll down from the Russian Join.

I've tried it but have not yet mastered it. I need to sit down after the holidays and get it down.

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

altivo's picture

Thanks. That has good photos at least, though it's the magic-loop-one-long-tangled circular method. I think I can adapt that to work on two circs, which I find much more coordinated and less fiddly.

Bill's picture

the method you described is right... side by side on two circulars...two balls of yarn...
I have a DVD by Nenah Galati that shows take them of for the with dp's...then back on the two circulars when you've gotten to the foot part...

altivo's picture

I've seen the Galati DVD in catalogs, but it seemed kinda pricy. I'm going to try this, and see if I can't do the heels as well without switching needles. Getting the cast-on right seems to be the main hurdle and I'm sure I can do that. :)

Bill's picture

she's very friendly...good closeups of the knitting techniques...
(I've met her... and like to support her...)

kiwiknitter's picture

The 2 circulars + 2 socks at the same time method is the only way I ever knit socks. I would be very happy to share the pattern with you if you want to send me a pm with your home address. I learned this in a class a couple of years ago and love it. It is not the Magic Loop method and no DPN's are used for the heels. I've never seen it on the web.

My knitting is totally tubular!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

altivo's picture

My boss just found a tutorial for it on the web. (Advantage of working in a library where everyone knits.) It has decent photos of what's going on:

If your instructions are different, I'd be glad to see them, and thanks! I'll pm you with my address.

YarnGuy716's picture

Last weekend our knitting guild held our Fall Seminar Weekend and one of the classes was 2 socks at once. We were taught the technique for knitting 2 socks at the same time on 1 circular needle. I love knitting socks using magic loop, so this technique appeals to me greatly. I'm right in the middle of a pair of socks, but once the 2nd sock is done I will be starting a pair of 2-at-once socks.

Vogue Knitting published the technique several years ago based on the description given in the novel 'War and Peace'. It uses the technique on 4 double pointed needles; one sock completed inside the other. This is where alternate stitches are cast on with different balls of wool and knitted by slipping one stitch and knitting the second (not a very good description is it...). The important thing is I recalled that they looked crap! loose, uneven and baggy. It's clever but not worth the effort of the experimentation. You might be able to contact Vogue Knitting and see if they can copy it for you from their archive.

MMario's picture

YOu can easily do two socks on either one or two circsif you use the double-knitting tube technique.

I suspect they would be *easier* using two circs and casting them on side by side. Of course you'd have to make sure you used the correct yarn when swapping from one to the other but that shouldn't be hard. So you knit across sock 'A' on needle 1; drop that working yarn, pick up the yarn and knit across sock 'B' but still using needle 1. turn the work, drop needle one and knit across sock 'B' completing the round with needle 2; and then drop your working yarn and pick up the other yarn to knit across sock 'A' with needle 2 completing the round on 'A'.

turn, pickup needle 1 and continue in pattern.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation