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.

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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.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting those tutorial links. I need to give this technique another try!

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  2. yeah, this is something that I'm very keen to try out. My previous forrays into the world of the magic loop have been pretty unsuccessful so far, but it would definitely be nice to have a pair of socks finished at the one time.
    Oh, and that's a nice cuff on those mittens, btw. :D

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  3. though i have to admit that i'm a die-hard dpn sock knitter, there have been times where attempting to knit both at the same time paid off - i finally 'got it' when i picked up melissa morgan oakes' 2-at-a-time socks. I'm glad I finally mastered this technique, too - especially when it comes time to knit sweater sleeves!

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  4. Two at a time socks is SUCH a crucial skill! I learned last year, and now I don't want to do socks any other way!

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  5. You can knit to socks at the same time?? What the WHAT?! Why have I never heard of this before?

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  6. I have yet to try two at a time socks. I love my double points too much to give this method a try.

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  7. This is exactly what I need! I love using the Magic Loop, but only do one at a time, so these links should help to make sure I finish a pair!

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  8. Love the color of your mitts. I am a big fan of magic loop, too. Right now, I'm knitting 2 at a time socks on 2 circulars, but my next sock project will be with the magic loop method. Thanks for the helpful links.

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  9. For me, magic loop always is a tangled mess, but I do like the 2 circular needles method. I have to convince myself to try socks 2 at a time sooner or later, just for comparison's sake!

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  10. Thanks for the tutorials. this is on my list to Learn soon.

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  11. I have never tried to magic loop a sock let alone try 2 at a time but I have done magic loop for other items & I love it.

    Love the color of your socks.

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