Monthly Archives: February 2012

Socks On Two Circs? Not 100% Sold On The Concept…

Happy Leap Day everyone! I’ve been a very bad blogger and a very bad knitter, ignoring both for the better part of two months. I’m still knitting the two cowls I posted about earlier, and I haven’t made much progress on either. At this point I’ll be lucky if I can wear either before spring.

Speaking of spring, there are tiny signs here and there assuring us that it’s just around the corner.

We seem to have a 50-degree day once or twice a week this winter.  Yesterday was so nice I went for a walk down by the waterfront on my lunch hour, yet today we’re expecting snow. No wonder everyone around here is sick.

As you may remember, I was knee-deep in socks last fall. I finished the Almondine socks from Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class but…no photo today. 😦 I still need to knit the second Jaywalker sock. Again, I’ve been a very bad knitter! In November I signed up for a class on knitting two socks at the same time on two circular needles, a 16″ one and a 24″ one.  I couldn’t find both pairs from the same supplier so I bought a Susan Bates 16″ and an Addi Turbo 24″ and I’m glad I did, since the cables are two different colors. Susan Bates’s is clear, Addi’s is blue.  This made it easier for me to tell which one I was using and I realized that I’d never paid attention to the cable before. Are they always different colors depending on the length? Because that would make a whole lot of sense.

Our class met for only two sessions and worked the socks at a miniature scale just to learn the technique.  The instructor taught a full-size class once before, over four sessions, but reported that the attendees were so frustrated that nobody showed up for the final class.  We worked from Antje Gillingham’s Knitting More Circles Around Socks (I bought my copy during a Knit Picks sale for $10 less than retail).  I was excited because my local shops offer a socks-on-circs class fairly often, and I sign up every time, yet they seem to get canceled due to lack of interest. Finally, this one went ahead with 6 participants.

Do I enjoy knitting socks with this method? Not entirely. The cast on, while clever, takes some concentration, as does the knitting itself. I loved seeing two socks appear, side by side, simultaneously, but it was a lot of work just to knit.  The two balls of yarn got tangled constantly. BUT…look at those stripes! How cool are they?! And they match up almost perfectly! That was the most fun of all, using a self-striping yarn and watching the stripes appear.  I used the oldest yarn in my stash, some Regia that’s been sitting around since 2003! I bought it soon after I stared knitting and saved it for the future, when I was more experienced and ready to learn sock-knitting.  When I took the plunge two years later, however, I didn’t pick up the Regia, I bought some Opal and started with that instead.  I held on to the Regia through all the subsequent stash purges because I couldn’t bear to part with it. I love the color combination and I knew in my heart of hearts that someday I would pull it out and knit with it. 

I’m not sure if this pair will end up on two circulars or on good ol’ DPNs.  I’ll take these mini-socks off an cast on for full-size on the circulars and see how it goes. If I find the process too frustrating I’ll switch to DPNs. I would love to learn a new technique and reduce the time it takes to knit a pair, so I really do want to knit using this method. Then again, those yarn tangles are a bear.  We’ll see what happens.