JudyL who inspired me to learn to knit socks is having a sock knit along beginning on November 1 and is encouraging everyone who wants to learn to join in.
Earlier this year I decided that socks would make the perfect travel project and that I was going to teach myself to knit them. I’m a very inexperienced knitter who taught myself to knit from a book about 4 years ago but hadn’t knit much of anything in the last 2-3 years because quilting and HeartStrings seems to eat up all my time.
One thing I did know from knitting a few hats is that I HATE double pointed needles so while Judy loves knitting with them, I knew I’d have to find another method that would work for me. I also knew I’d do best if I knit two at a time so I wouldn’t end up with a bunch of single socks.
After extensive research, I decided I would knit two at a time on two circular needles from the cuff down. (I initially wanted to do toe up but quickly decided cuff down would be easier to learn).
While I bought several books — the one I used to learn and still refer to most is Knitting Circles Around Socks.
I use yarn from Knit Picks and I love their Harmony circular needles (I have a set with interchangeable tips but I prefer the fixed circular needles that don’t have the connection between the tips and cable)
While the book uses Worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles in 16 and 24 inches for the basic socks where she shows you the process step by step, I used sport weight for my first pair and there are other patterns in the book using other yarn weights.
Most of my socks now are made from fingering yarn and size 2 (2.75mm) needles but the sport weight ones are quick! If you buy the sock yarn in balls (which are really skeins) you don’t need to wind a hank into balls or divide it into two although I did invest in a ball winder after my first couple pair of socks.
The biggest thing people seem to object to with this method is that they tangle their yarn. It’s really pretty easy to keep the yarn in the correct position and untangled but like every new thing you learn, you have to get used to it.
First, people tend to turn their work in the same direction every time. With two skeins you need to alternate the direction you turn otherwise you get this:
I keep my skeins in a plastic bag and there’s no need to pull them out, I just twist my work in the opposite direction a couple times. I can easily glance down at my yarn and see which way I need to turn the work to keep myself untangled.
Another thing mentioned in the book that I had to learn for myself is keeping my yarn to the back of my work. When you first turn, most likely the yarn on your second sock will be falling in front like this photo.
So you simply move it to the back before bringing your needle around to start the next row.
I’m working on my heel flaps right now and I’m starting with a slip stitch with my yarn in front. If I lift it over my hand and pass my needle under it, I won’t get it trapped inside the circle.
So really all you need to do is alternate the direction you turn your work and keep your working yarn to the outside of the circle!
But really if you forget to move your yarn to the outside while you’re learning — it’s pretty simple to just pass the ball of yarn through your circle to get it in the right position.
I’ll just state again, this is the method that works for me…. it may not work for you and I really have nothing invested in convincing you to do it MY way but if you’d like to give two at a time a shot, don’t be turned off by people who’ve tried it and don’t like it.
Seriously, I’m not that talented so it can’t be but so hard if I can do it.
Don’t forget to join in Judy’s November knit along!