Tuesday, March 29, 2011
2KCBWDAY2: Skill +1UP
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?
Learning how to knit socks two-at-a-time with magic loop was probably the most significant / awesome upgrade to my knitting knowledge in the last year or so. This technique has significantly increased my desire to knit socks, and I love having both socks finished at the same time. No second-sock syndrome? Woot.
Okay so these are mitts, but the principle is the same.
While the technique isn't ideal for all sock patterns, it works for lots of them. Patterns that involve shifting stitches around a lot don't work so well by virtue of the constraints of magic loop. I think it is easiest for socks that can be divided in half - so, the front half of the leg/foot is on one side of the magic loop and the back half is on the other. Also, it's extremely fiddly at first, and the yarn will get tangled at some point. Maybe many times.
I actually like knitting with DPNs, but I find magic loop more convenient for portable projects. It really helps to have a circular needle with a long, flexible cable, though - I mainly use Hiya Hiyas for two-at-a-time knitting, and I like them a lot. (disclaimer: they didn't pay me to say that!)
If you are interesting in trying it, here are some tutorials I found helpful:
Knitting Giraffe's Magic Loop 2-at-a-time Tutorial (for top-down socks)
Silver's Two Toe-Up Socks on One Circular Needle Tutorial
This technique works for things other than socks, too! (see photo above).
For more Knitting and Crochet Blog Week posts, search for 2KCBWDAY2.