Monday, June 28, 2010

Not another pair of socks! And tips for TAAT

Thanks, everybody, for all your kind words and inquiries. I'm pretty much over my bout of food poisoning. I only have problems now if I don't stick to small portions, something I should do anyway. Somebody asked if I know where I picked up the nastiness. Yep, I know EXACTLY where. I'm going to call the mall's management office as soon as I can talk to them without using phrases like, "ass hat," and "WTF," since those types of things rarely help. They do make for some fun one-sided conversations in my head, though.

I used the downtime to do some knitting, once I was able to spend time in a room other than the bathroom. I've started this blanket, and finished these *socks:

The socks are my own to-be-named pattern, which is to be written up. Sorry to be a slacker about it, but when my stomach doesn't work, neither does my brain.

I'm quite pleased with them. The yarn is Blue Moon STR light weight, on size zero circulars, which is why I had to start the blanket before I finished the socks--those zeros were kicking my butt and I needed the jumbo-ness of size five needles to keep my hands from falling off.

I can't remember the last pair of socks I knitted the old fashioned way on dpn's. Since I figured out how to do socks two-at-a-time (TAAT) on two circulars, that's been all she wrote, folks. I've turned into a sock knitting machine--I've averaged about a pair a month for almost two years now.

Here's a few tips for knitting socks on two circulars:

See how the working yarn in the photo above is outside of the circle formed by the needles? Keep it this way while knitting and you're less apt to get the skeins tangled up, which is an annoying thing and will make you swear.

Use two different lengths of needle tips to keep the sole stitches and the instep stitches on the correct needle. I use addi circulars, one 16" and one 24".  The 16" circular has a four inch needle tip and the 24" circular has a five inch needle tip. If you're day dreaming about sandy beaches and umbrella drinks while you're knitting and you accidentally pick up the wrong needle tip, keep reading.

Keep a dpn the same size as your circulars close by. No matter how hard you try, once in a while you will inadvertently pick up the wrong needle tip and knit a row before you catch yourself. Transfer the stitches to the dpn then onto the correct circular. I've tried moving them around in various ways and configurations using only the circulars, but this is the fastest way to deal with the situation. And if you're one of those people with a swear word jar, it can save you a lot of money, too. I'd tell you I haven't done this for a long time now, but I don't want to jinx myself.

Once you've finished a row, make sure the yarn leaves the stitch in the correct position for the type of stitch it's coming from, being careful not to wrap the yarn over the working needle. You don't want to end up with a sort of unintentional YO. Ask me how I found this out...

Separate the balls of yarn by keeping one on your right side and one on your left. When you complete a row on both socks, instead of turning your work around and around, flip it back and forth so that each working yarn leads back to its corresponding ball without being crossed over the other. This also helps to keep the yarn balls from tangling up. You just have to be mindful of not sitting on your balls. Of yarn. Ahem. 

You are either changing balls of yarn or changing needles, one or the other but never both at the same time. If you do, pour that glass of wine back into the bottle and leave your knitting for tomorrow.

My most important tip: check out this really great tutorial for knitting socks two-at-a-time on two circulars. Sheron Goldin, you rock!

*Extra points if you figured out the hairy legs belong to DH, my designated foot model.


  1. Knitting socks one at a time on DPNs works just fine for me.
    But when I was making my Scrappy Socks a few months ago I wanted to do them TAAT so they would match.
    Home, late at night, LYS closed... I ended up using one circ and a set of DPNs. So the socks were each split half on the circ, the other half over 2 dpns with the 5th dpn for knitting.
    Then it was like-to-like. Circ tip to circ tip, dpn to dnp. Less likely to get confused as with 2 circs.

  2. Ann--that's a really great solution for times when TAAT on 2 circs won't work (I'm thinking of certain fiddly patterns).

    I just really, really, really like finishing both socks at the same time, and knowing they will both be the same. I have a bad habit of improvising when I knit socks one at a time.

  3. TAAT- (and OAAT on C for that matter)-I have read books, tutorials, etc. And the same thing happened today. (totally not your fault) I start to read the words and my brain does the same thing that it does when someone gives me directions to a place. I hear/read the first three sentences then become a cloudy confused ignorer of words. I do however, look really cool when knitting with dpn- so there's that.

  4. I'm always impressed when I see someone knitting with dpns. I don't. Never have. Never will. I love my circs. OAAT. But I alternate - one toe, the other toe, one foot, the other foot, one heel .... you get the idea. Because I know me -- if I finished them one at a time, I'd only ever have one of a kind! And that looks pretty funny!! Love your design!

  5. Glad that you are feeling better. Congrats on the pretty socks!

    I've never knit socks with circs...often think I should at least give it a try, but I do love my dpn's :)

  6. omg, Gorgeous socks Susan!! Beautiful photographs, too <3

  7. Great socks!!!

    I did one pair of socks this way, two at a time, and never went back to it, which is dumb because it's really handy.

  8. Lovely colors in your socks!

    I love my dpns but I've been planning on learning two socks at a time for a while. Thanks for the tips! I'm bookmarking this page.

  9. I like the new look of your blog!

  10. TAAT - I didn't know what that meant - wow - thanks for the tip. I'd like to try that sometime as I battle second sockitis each time. Your socks are beautiful! What a beautiful pattern!

  11. I guess it would be best to keep the pattern pretty simple on my first pair of TAAT? I am very interested in trying this soon, but I have a few fair isle patterns coming up in my book and so I may have to hold off. Can you imagine all the strands of yarn? I'd likely knit myself to the chair or something. :)

  12. Love the blanket and bookmarked the TAAT site. I tried TAAT on 1 circ and couldn't get past the nasty ladders I was getting so I think I'll try this next. Love the sock pattern too!

  13. gorgeous socks, dahling. I'll have to give the TAAT stuff a shot.



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