Reading Directions Helps

The book I’m using for instructions on making two socks at once on two circular needles is Knitting Circles Around Socks:  Two at a Time on Circular Needles.  I highly recommend the book if you want to try this technique.

A couple of years ago when I first got this book, I tried this technique and while it worked ok, I still liked using DPNs better.  With the issue of having to make myself make that second sock and with the legs sometimes coming out a bit longer on one sock than the other, I decided to give the two socks at once technique a try again and that’s what I did with the yellow & blue socks.  I needed the book to get the cast on done and to get the heel turned.  What I didn’t pay any attention to was the length of needles the author was recommending.  I used a 32″ and a 40″.  I stayed tangled up the entire time I was knitting those socks.

At some point, I figured if everyone else could do this without getting so tangled up, I could too but maybe I should read the book again and see if there was anything obvious that I was doing wrong.  The first thing I saw was that the author recommended using a 16″ needle and a 24″ needle.  Hmmm . . that was quite a bit shorter than I was using.  After speaking with a friend who uses this technique and asking her what needles she likes, I ordered from Knit Picks both 16″ and 24″ in 2.25 mm, 2.50 mm. and 2.75 mm.

What a difference using those shorter needles makes.

The stitches are much more uniform and I’m not getting “ladders” where the stitches go from one needle to the next.  This is so much easier!  No tangling with the yarn or with the needles.

Sometimes it just pays to read the instructions and follow them!


  1. 1


    Too funny and too true!! I have pushed myself to get better at reading directions first….THEN move forward with the project. It’s a tough discipline!!!!

  2. 2

    Terry says

    I’m using that technique right now too with that same book. I am making Byron a pair of socks for Christmas and didn’t want to run out of yarn so I’m doing toe-up two at a time on two circulars. It was a little confusing at first but I watched a few you tube videos and that helped. I still prefer using DPN’s though.

  3. 3


    I have been wanting to try that method. Thanks for posting, Judy–I just ordered the book. Will give that a try after Christmas. Already have the perfect yarn in my stash for it.

  4. 4

    Mary says

    I’ve just gone back to knitting socks after 55 years of NOT knitting socks and 20 years not knitting anything. I wish I had read this information before I started. I’ll give it a try on the next pair, but right now the bamboo DPN are better than the old style slippery steel ones. I just have to remember how to keep the yarn untangled.

    • 4.1

      Tracy says

      Try the bamboo circulars, they are light weight and “grippy”.
      Clover makes them and they are less expensive than the stainless steel ones.

  5. 5

    denise russart says

    Have you been stealing from my stash?? I have (or had if you stole it) that same Paton yarn in my stash. LOL

  6. 6


    I use 2 circular needles most of the time now. It took me a while to learn not to tangle and still I look at the book for the cast on. I found the 16″ needles to short and uncomfortable for my chubby hands so I use 2 24″s and mark sock 1. Works for me. 😉
    Love the yarn you are using!

  7. 7

    Diana in RR TX says

    I find that I sometimes quick read directions and 90% of the time get myself in trouble. I have that book somewhere, and I have sock yarn in my yarn stash, now to see if I have the right length circular needles. Knowing me I would be better at knitting two at a time, at least then I would have a pair instead of a single waiting for a mate!

  8. 8

    Mona Roberts says

    In the not so distant past, you were very encouraging to me about knitting a pair of Paraphernalia socks (my first pair) and I should thank you/curse you for the yarn stash that has followed that first pair of socks. IMHO you are going to love the two at a time on two circs–particularly since you are already such an experienced sock knitter. You can make mistakes twice as fast with that method (ask me how I know 🙂 Because if one thing is good, many are even better, I have recently treated myself to 16″ and 24″ sock needles from KnitPicks with the Sunburst points so I can use one of the dark tipped needles and one of the lighter ones.. In the beginning I used to end up with an empty needle in my lap and a a jam-packed one 🙂 Gotta love ordering stuff! I always enjoy checking in to see how you, Speck, and Vince are doing. Have a wonderful holiday season. Mona in South Texas

  9. 9

    Ava says

    Thanks for reading the directions for me, Judy. I bought the book after you first recommended it. I was thinking I needed to buy a 40-inch circular. Like others, I have so many single socks. I’m going to try that method. I like to knit with two circulars. Sometimes I even use two same size circulars when I have a flat piece with lots of stitches.

    I recently watched a video on adding beads to knitting. Oh my, it’s so easy. Now I”d like to put beads on everything. I’m going to start with a few beads on the grand girls Christmas hats.

  10. 12

    Bonnie Litts says

    Sounds like you had quite the day.

    I made a pair of socks…2 at a time…on one needle. I got messed up at the heel so I ended up finishing them separately. I didn’t do a 2nd pair. I’d be interested in the book you are using though. I’ll write the name down. Right now I’ve got a pair started on DPs. I’m stuck so I’m waiting for my knitting “teacher” to return home from her vacation. Wonder if I’ll ever have a 2nd sock. LOL