How to Knit Socks With 2 Circular Needles

  • 01 of 07

    Why Knit on 2 Circular Needles?

    A pair of newly knitted blue socks with knitting needles and thread nearby.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    Have you tried knitting socks on two circular needles? It's possible and could be easier if you don't like working with double-pointed needles (or DPNs). It's also a nice option for those sock patterns that don't match any of your DPNs.

    This method makes the knitter feel a little more in control of the socks. It is a good intermediate step between working with double-pointed needles and working two socks at a time on two circular needles (if you love to knit socks, that's extremely efficient).

    You do need to make sure that your needles are the same size or at least very close. For instance, you can probably get away with a U.S. size 7 and 8, but not necessarily a 7 and 9. You may need to do a swatch to test it out.

    This is a quick pattern that's perfect for trying out the two-needle method.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Casting on and Dividing the Stitches

    A pair of circular needles with blue yarn
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    To begin, cast on the number of stitches needed onto one of the circular needles.

    Just as you would if you were knitting with DPNs, you now need to divide your stitches onto the two needles you are using.

    • Put half the stitches onto the second needle by slipping them as if to purl.
    • If you have a particular method you like for joining stitches in the round, you can use it now, or begin knitting.

    You can place a stitch marker in the last stitch or between the second to last and last stitches on the needle to mark the end of the round. If your needles don't match, you can probably remember which one is the second part of the round.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Starting the Sock

    Needles with blue yarn in mid-crochet.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    Now that you have stitches on both needles, you can begin knitting. The key point to remember when knitting anything in the round on two circular needles is that the stitches on the needle are always worked with the same needle.

    For example, if you have a white needle and a blue needle, you will work all stitches on the white needle with the other end of the white needle. Once those stitches are worked, work the stitches from the blue needle, using the other end of that needle.

    If you can remember that you're always working with only one needle at a time, things will be very easy for you.

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Working the Heel

    A formed crochet blue sock with needles connecting.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    Once you have the basics of knitting in the round with two circular needles down, continue in that manner for the length of the leg of your sock.

    When it's time to work the heel flap, you'll simply let half of the stitches hang out on the cable of their circular needle while working the heel flap and heel turn on the other needle, working back and forth.

    Once that has been accomplished, the last tricky bit has to do with getting the stitches properly distributed for working the gusset and the foot.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Starting the Gusset

    Forming the gusset of a blue crochet sock.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    To begin with, once your heel turning is complete, work across these stitches one more time. Using the same needle, pick up, and knit stitches along the heel flap in the number suggested in your pattern.

    Next, you want to place a stitch marker. This is where you would change needles in a pattern written for double-pointed needles, so you can use the marker to note where your decreases go.

    Then, knit half of the stitches for the top of the foot (which have been hanging all the time you were working on the heel) onto this needle.

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Pick up the Other Side of the Gusset

    Forming the other end of the gusset using blue yarn and needles.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    Do the same thing on the other side with the second needle. Knit across the remaining leg/cuff stitches, place another stitch marker (this would be the end of a needle if you were using double-points), and pick up stitches along this side of the heel flap.

    Because the round typically ends at the middle-back of the heel, knit half your heel stitches onto this needle. That will be the end of your round, and you should have half of the stitches on each needle.

    Now you can begin your gusset decreases, working the same as you were before. If you're using a pattern written for double-pointed needles, remember that the stitch markers indicate where the ends of the needles would be, so that's where your decreases go.

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Continue Knitting According to the Pattern

    Completing the toe of the blue knitted sock.
    The Spruce / Leah Jubara

    From here, knitting a sock on circular needles is just like we established in knitting the cuff.

    Remember these two points:

    • You're working each section of stitches with both ends of the same needle.
    • The stitch markers indicate where your needles would end if you were knitting with double-pointed needles.

    Just keep going down the gusset, foot, and toe as you normally would in any other sock knitting method. When you're ready for grafting, your stitches should be evenly divided between the two needles already, so you're ready to stitch up the end and go.