View Full Version : different ways of knitting socks?

05-14-2008, 04:36 PM
I have only made a few pairs of socks, all of them top down on DPNs.

I think the airline i am flying with in July allows knitting needles, so i want to take a sock project with me (30 hrs of travel including transfers, i need any diversion i can get!). I think that a circular needle might be more aeroplane friendly but all the patterns i see using circulars (be it magic loop or two circulars) are toe-up.

What are the benefits/differences for toe up versus top down?

Can you knit top down socks using a circular needle method?

thank you in advance.

05-14-2008, 04:45 PM
I learned to knit socks from top to toe on circular needles. Everyone else in the class used double points and I used two circular needles. Cat Bordhi has a book about it and the one I prefer is Knitting Circles Around Socks by Antje Gillingham. Her explanations and pictures are really clear and I had no problems following her and she even show you how to do both socks at the same time!!!! I like doing both at the same time and not one then doing the other one. Some people do magic loop but I prefer the two circular needle and both socks at the same time method.:cheering:

05-14-2008, 05:05 PM
I still like to use my dpns but Magic loop is used more :teehee:

You can do toe up socks or cuff down socks on all the methods...I like ML 'cause with 2circs the circ hanging annoyed me, but I prolly just didn't give it enough time to get comfy with...

I like doing socks either way...I know some like toe up so they can try them on...but to me it doesn't matter :thumbsup:

I would suggest though if you do Cuff down to add a st at the end and then place on the needle with the first sts that will be knit...do a K2tog at the beg of the rnd...this closes up the gap that I seem to get when starting out with ML :happydance:

05-15-2008, 06:41 AM
I make 2 socks at once on 2 circs. I've mostly done top down but you can just as easily go toe up.

Any pattern can be worked in any of the needle methods (dbl pts, 2 circs, magic loop). Once you're familiar with sock construction it is easy to take any pattern and use the needles you want.

A lot of people claim a toe up advantage is that it's easy to try on as you go, but I have no problem trying on as I go with top down - that would be harder w/dbl pts I guess, but since the cables are flexible you can try them on easily.

I do think an advanage of toe up is that you can knit until you run out of yarn - handy if you are in doubt of having enough yarn.

Lisa R.
05-15-2008, 08:24 AM
I've only knit socks on two circulars, and only top down. (I've only actually done 3 socks, so I'm not exactly an expert!:)) I have the Cat Bordhi book, "Socks Soar on Two Circulars" which has some good information about converting a pattern written for dpns to work on two circ. I also have "Sensational Knitted Socks" in which all the patterns are written for 4 dpns, 5 dpns, or two circs. I like that because it tells you exactly what to do with the stitches on each needle, which is easier for me than telling me how to figure it out for myself. :-D

But yes, you can most definitely do top down socks on two circs.

05-15-2008, 04:44 PM
I just bought a book called "2-at-a-time socks" and itīs two socks done on one circular. I haven`t had a chance to try it yet, but itīs full of pix and seems rather straight forward.


05-15-2008, 09:28 PM
I have only done top-up socks on two circulars. I really want to learn to do two at a time!

of troy
05-16-2008, 10:41 AM
there are endless ways to knit socks:

1--top down
--1 A to F (top down, various Flap/turned/gusseted heels)
--1-F got K (top down OTHER styles of heels)
2--toe up
--2-- A to D (toe up-various flap/turned/gusseted heels)
--2-E to I (toe up various OTHER styles of heels)
3-Tube socks
4--Other-- a list of at least a dozen--six options to start:
Sidewinders -(Nona Knits)
Better Mouse trap socks (Debbie New)
EZ's moccasin (replaceable soles/heels and toes)
socks with double layer soles,
seamed socks
splits (start at heel knit down/then pick up stitches from heel and knit up)

almost ever style 1, 2, and 3 socks can be knit:
on a set of 5 DPN's
on a set of 4 DPN's
on a set of 2 circ's (one sock at a time, or 2 socks at a time)
on a single long circ, Magic Loop style (1 at a time or 2 at a time)

What are the benefits of one style over the other?
Every style has some particular benefit. You have to decide for yourself what is best for you!

the Tsock Tsarina (http://www.tsocktsarina.com/blog/) has even designed a "pair" of one sock toe up, one sock top down! (and at a glance, or even a quicky study, they look identical!)

Until you try out a few styles, its hard to know which is best for you.

05-16-2008, 11:01 AM
You can do them top down if you want. Even if the pattern calls for DPNs you can still do it on circs.

05-16-2008, 11:23 AM
All you need to do to switch from dpn's to circs or ml is to divide the stitches by two. It's easy, easy, easy with either method, and you don't have to handle all those little needles.(Some people love them, but they make my hands ache.)

Silver(Kristen) has some great instructions here:


05-21-2008, 01:05 AM
Yes, I've seen patterns for socks knit cuff-down on circulars. I don't use them, myself .... I always substitute dpns for them. I dislike attempting to deal with the darn cable sticking way out somewhere on my sock and (at least my head) making a wide hole in my pattern wherever it is sticking out.

Before you plan on doing this, I'd suggest you double-check with your airline about it. As far as I know, none of them allow anything that might, in any way, be used as a weapon ... and small pointy objects are high on their list of no-nos. I wasn't even allowed to have embroidery shears (and come on, give me a break, they are all of what? 2" long from end to end???)