DPN vs Circular needle for socks

Having recently finished a scarf for the exchange, I have gone back to my abandoned sock. I have ripped it out twice. I restarted it again 2 days ago on #3 circular needles using the Magic Loop technique. Evertryrthing was going fine until I realized that I wanted to knit on the plane ride from FLorida to San francisco. Not wanting to get my Addi Turbos confiscated, I decided to find a pair of plastic or bamboo needles to put my work on for the trip. Not being able to find what I wanted I realized that the only thing left to do was to put my sock on DPN.

I noticed something very interesting since I switched to the DPN. My stitches are tighter and a lot more uniform. What kinds of experiences have any of you had with DNP vs circular needles ( using Magic Loop) for socks?


scenter's picture

I don't like magic loop (too much cable with a mind of its own, too much fiddling with the cable to get to the other half of a round). My preferred technique is using two circulars, and I have even done two at once (side by side) on two circs without problems. DPNs are my second choice, and my 'ladders' have dissapeared with practice.

Just my 2 cents.

kiwiknitter's picture

I agree with Bruce about the ML method. I knit socks on 2 circs but do both socks at the same time. As for DPN's, I can't get on with them: I keep ending up with ladders and they are just to fiddly for me to use.

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

crmartin's picture

I have done both ML and DP's. I agree with scenter in that the cable just gets in the way and of course all the fiddling with sliding the stitches in position. Of the two methods I prefer DP's. I really didn't notice any difference in the stitches however. My preferred method is my beloved
9" Hiya Hiya circulars. I do use the magic loop method when starting my socks, doing toe up, until I get enough stitches for the circulars.



HuskerChub's picture

I also, was not a huge proponent of the ML for doing socks and stuck by my tried and true DP's. However, for me the fun is in seeing what the yarn is going to do and no so much in the finished product sooooo I have lots of single socks and very few pairs. No big help to anyone right? So I tried 2 socks on 2 circs....hated it! too much yarn too many needles, too much pulling etc etc.

Well, recently a new book came out "2-at-a-Time Socks..." by Melissa Morgan-Oakes and I've been able to get 3 pairs done using this method and really enjoying it. It uses the magic loop but becuase of the second sock you don't have extra miles of cable to wrangle.

I have been getting 100gr balls of yarn so can get both sock from one ball, which cuts down on some of the messiness factor...just pull an end from inside and outside of ball. Granted for the truly anal this wont work as the patterning of self-patterning yarn is opposite on the two socks. Oh well, they a fraternal twins not identical. The way she writes is a bit quirky but once you jet the jist of what she is doing it is very easy and you can knit top down or toe up. Just another option to throw into the mix.

PhilNmtl's picture

I am addicted to sock knitting and I have only ever used dpn. I taught myself to do that. At some point I really do need to try magic loop but even the name makes me think that I will mess it up. My only trick for not ending up with sock orphans is to knit the two socks in sections (cuff of one, then cuff on the other, body, then body etc). I am finishing some lace now but then anotehr pair of socks. Magic loop? Do someone know of a good tutorial? -Phil

I like to do 2 socks at the same time using the ML method.