Earlier, I told you that I was teaching a class on knitting two socks at a time on two circular needles, using Antje Gillingham’s Knitting Circles Around Socks. Now that the class is complete, I thought I’d share some things that we learned and tips that we found particularly useful for the technique.
- Wind your ball of yarn into two separate cakes of yarn on the ball winder. This serves two functions. First, having two separate balls of yarn helps keep your project from becoming a tangled mess. Second, winding your balls into the center-pull ‘cakes’ means that your yarn will sit flat, and not roll around. A real help!
- Use a table when you start. It’s tempting to just lay your balls of yarn next to you on the floor or sofa, but when you start out, use a table. The balls are then directly in front of you, and are more likely to stay organized.
- Rotate your yarn often. When knitting two socks at a time, the yarn can easily become tangled. Avoid this by making a dedicated effort to untangle your balls of yarn (this means swapping their positions on the table) often- probably every round to start.
- Use two different types of needles. It’s essential to be able to differentiate your two circular needles, and we found lots of different ways to do this. The book recommends using one 16″ circular and one 24″ circular. When using Addi Turbos, you can use one lace-tipped needle (the needles are gold) and one regular tip needle (where the tips are silver). Also, you can find needles with different color cords (needles produced in different years), which some students found helpful. I wouldn’t recommend using two different types of needles (i.e. one metal and one bamboo), because you may run into difficulties maintaining a consistent gauge.
- Yes, the gusset really should look that weird. No one believed me… but that’s how it should look (you’ll know what I mean when you do it for yourself). It’s strange because you move on to knitting part of the second sock before you’ve finished picking up all of the stitches. Stick with the instructions in the book, and you’ll be fine.
- Only put the project down at the end of a round. When you’re starting, it’s easy to get lost. Make sure to only put the needles down at the end of a round, and you’re less likely to feel confused when you pick it back up again.
- Knit the first round if you have to. Some patterns call for you to start working in pattern (usually a rib) on the first round. If you’re new, the first round (after you’ve cast on) can be really confusing. It’s okay to just knit the first row until you get your bearings, and work the pattern in subsequent rows.
Hope these tips are helpful! Have fun with your socks!