Monday, June 16, 2008

tutorial--2 at a time toe-up socks on 2 circular needles! Part 1

OK, I know a LOT of knitters who want to learn this method. I am not, by any means, an expert, but this is my favorite method for making socks and I have done several pairs this way, so I'm going to create this tutorial to help any and all of you knitters wanting to learn. If you have ANY questions or my directions aren't clear, please leave a comment or email me at I'll be happy to help you!

OK, here we go! Are you ready?

The socks I'm making for this are with sock weight yarn and size 2 needles. However, if you would prefer using thicker yarn and bigger needles, or even smaller needles for that matter, this pattern is easily customizable. Don't worry, I will walk you thru it all.

This method is NOT HARD. It is a bit complicated and may seem fiddly at first, but once you get the hang of it and the lightbulb goes off over your head, you'll wonder why you ever tried dpn's or one at a time socks :-)

To begin, (deep breath if need be!!) please read and review this cast on method. I will do my best to explain it, but they have great photos and instructions there.

Pick your two needles. I am using two size 2 circs, both 24", one is an addi lace and one is an addi turbo lace. not a ton of difference, other than color and a slightly sharper tip (FWIW, I much prefer my knit picks needles over the addis, but these worked better for pictures since they are different colors.)

Now for the cast on. Hold the two needles together, one tip (needle #2) in back and one (needle #1) in front. For me the gold one is needle #1, silver is needle #2. Make a slip knot and put it on needle #2. The points should be held in your right hand with the tips pointed to the left, if you are right handed. If you're a lefty, I have no idea. :-) Sorry! Hold the tails of your yarn like you would for a long tail cast on, with the tail end over your thumb and the working yarn over your forefinger. You have one stitch (the slip knot) on needle #2, to make a stitch on needle #1 you bring the working yarn on your forefinger under both needles and around the top of needle #1, in between the 2 needles. To make the second stitch on needle #2, you take the tail end on your thumb, bring it under both needles and around the top of needle #2, in between the 2 needles. Repeat these steps unti you have 10 sts on each needle. (for better instructions click the link above) If you are using different weight yarn or different needles you can change this number. Just make sure it is an even #, and that the total cast on measures about 1.5" long give or take a bit. Socks are not an exact science, despite what many think. :-) Relax, it is just knitting LOL

now tie a small knot with the tails to hold it together, to the inside of the sock (the side with what looks like purl bumps). You can tie a lose knot if you want to undo it later before you weave in the ends.

now slide the stitches down both needles, onto the cables.

Cast on for the second sock the exact same way starting to the left of the first sock. when done, all the tails should appear on the left. Make sure you are using the second ball of yarn for the second sock. :-)

Congratulations, you have casted on!! Before we get to knitting, I want to explain the difference between ROWS and ROUNDS as it pertains to this method. Each ROUND has 2 ROWS. A ROW is one half the stitches on each sock. A round is, well, a complete round of each sock. For instance, ROW one is on needle #1, ROW two is on needle #2. Once you knit both rows you have completed a ROUND. Clear as mud? OK, lets move on. Remember this tip as you may see it again!

OK, on to knitting your first round. For ROW 1, (see, told you that you'd see it again!) you will just knit as normal. For ROW 2 you will be knitting thru the back loops in order to twist the stitches in the proper direction. It's easy though, don't worry.

First, let's turn the whole kit 'n caboodle so that the tails are all on the right, and needle #1 is in front. now pull the tip of needle #1 so that the stitches for row one are resting on the tip, while the stitches for row 2 are still hanging on the cable of needle #2.

Pull the tip of needle #1 up to begin knitting. when you knit, the purl bumps will be on the inside of the sock. Make sure you have the correct needle tips before you begin knitting, as I said it helps to have 2 different needles so you can see at a glance that you're always using the correct ones. In this case, both the tips of needle #1 are gold.

Knit across the stitches for sock #1, row #1. now slide those stitches down before beginning the sts for sock #2.

be sure to drop the yarn for sock #1 and pick up the yarn for sock #2!! Trust me, you don't want to forget to do that! :-)

now begin knitting row 1 on sock #2. sock #1 is just hanging out on the cable.

knit across the stitches for sock #2. When done with this it will look like so:

You have now done your first row! OK, slide needle #1 to the left so that all the stitches are resting on the cables again. Turn the work. (when turning, you may want to periodically check to make sure that the 2 balls of yarn aren't tangled.) Now you're ready to begin the second half of the round. Do this the same way you did row #1,

except knit thru the back loops of the stitches. This is the ONLY time you will do this on these socks.

Knit thru the back loops across both socks, stopping sock one and starting sock 2 just like before.

You are now done with the cast on and set up!! Tired yet? I promise this is the most complicated part. Well, except for the heel, but that isn't too bad either, really! I will post the toe increases and foot soon, once you've had time to digest all of this. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you!! Good luck and happy knitting.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

woo hoo! got it! I've been looking forward to this tut! thank you Jennifer!