Sunday 27 May 2007

Socks knitted in the round

I am knitting my first pair of wool socks in the round - Heirloom Jigsaw yarn (colour 26) on two 2.25mm circulars (40cm). My lys didn't have any dpns in stock so I bought these as an alternative.

I'm really struggling with two circulars; I get to a point about halfway through my 66 stitches and I can't manipulate either needle. Sometimes I pull up the line between the two metal points to shorten one of the circulars but all this stopping and pulling makes for very slow knitting. Plus, all the stress changing from one circular to another is stretching the space between stitch #1 and stitch #66. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I'm knitting all 66 stitches from one circular to the other. Is that correct? I think I'll go to Lincraft or Spotlight to buy a set of dpns for the second sock - with my rising frustration levels and the slow speed of the knitting, we're definitely heading for second sock syndrome!

The Jigsaw yarn is not as soft as I thought it would be; WM seems quite happy with the yarn - he's talking about these as the prototype and the next pair will be easier! Perhaps he secretly hopes they'll soften on washing! Generally, I knit loosely, so I can't imagine what this yarn would be like in the hands of an 'average' or tight knitter! Do you knit socks? What yarn do you prefer? Is it long lasting/hard wearing? Does it come in a range of "men's colours"?

The pattern for the socks has a moss stitch rib which looks great in the pattern photo but in reality doesn't look good. The self-striping effect is completely lost in the ribbing. The acrylic socks I knitted a few weeks ago, were knitted from The Twisted Sisters' Sock Workbook. They had an hourglass heel which I found to be a challenge but was a nice finish. These Jigsaw socks have a gusset heel. No matter what I do, when I pick up stitches along the selvage edge I always create a ridge on the wrong side, which I would have thought would be uncomfortable for the wearer! Luckily, the ridge is in the ankle bone area and not on the back of the heel!

So, with the first sock still in progress, and WM egging me on, these are the changes I would make if a second pair of socks were ever to eventuate:
1. dpns not circulars
2. the ribbing, perhaps K3, P1 (a test swatch will be needed)
3. an hourglass heel to avoid ridges formed when picking up stitches

And what have I learnt? Knit a test swatch even if the pattern shows eight colour variations, all with the same moss ribbing!

Your comments, hints and tips are very welcome.


  1. you could try a longer circular, cause even with 2 circulars, 40 cms sounds a little on the short side. The longer the better with circulars, cause you can always slide through the extra slack, but you can do nothing about things if teh circular is too short. Hope this helps,

  2. I'm not a big fan of the two circulars or the magic loop methods either, and much prefer knitting socks on double pointed needles, but for what it's worth I've found these two web pages quite instructive...

    How to knit with two circulars

    How to knit small circumferences
    using one long circular needle

  3. I used to hate the 2 circs methid - until I finally understood it!

    Put half the stitches on each needle, and I find it useful to use two needles that are different from each other (one bamboo, one metal, etc) and remember to knit the stitches back onto the same needle you are knitting from. If your needles are the same, it may be useful to mark both ends of one so with coloured nail polish, so that you can always be sure you are using the right needle.

    Hope that helps!

  4. I find I understand the two circs method, but prefer dpns. That is not to say this will change in the future. Personally, and I hope no one from Heirloom ever reads this, but I do not like their yarn. It is coarse and there are many others available for not much more money that are much more pleasant to work with. My husband is happy with his socks, but I will not knit with this yarn again.

  5. I've tried to read the instructions about the two circ. method but I have a total mental block with it. I find if I stick my tongue out while I'm knitting with DPN's it helps:-)
    BTW, you're tagged, just a little.

  6. Yup I hear you on the two circs. Much prefer the flow you get into with the DPNs.

  7. Have always wanted to try knitting socks with 2 circular needles. Will have a look at the links above.

    Have done them on DP's, but you nust use 5 needles, much easier than 4. I can never find sets of 5 here in Australia, bought mine in the USA when living there, so usually buy 2 sets of 4 if a need them.

  8. On dpns it takes me a week to make a sock. On circs...takes 2 days. More of a flow for me. But find what works for you, remember that working from one direction...make sure you keep yout stitches untwisted. I drive a school bus...circs are easier to transport a work in progress than dpns are.

    Keep at'll work it out.


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