Thursday, February 12 / 2:45 AM

Knitting on two circular needles
Those of you who already know how can skip this post. I'm not giving detailed instructions, because those can be found here. Despite that helpful site and the instructions in Interweave Knits (Summer 2003), I was still confused as all hell before starting. I didn't get the concept of knitting in the round on two circs. I think part of the problem was that I had used double-pointed needles to knit in the round already, and assumed it would be kinda the same thing. But it's not!

When you knit with double-pointed needles, you divide the stitches so that a quarter of them sit on a different needle, forming a square, and then knit the stitches on the first needle onto a fifth needle. Once the stitches are gone from the first needle, the stitches from the second needle are knit onto it, and so on.

Doing it with two circs is another story. Hmmm, how to explain this. Okay, pick up some form a fabric tube. A sock would be good. Doesn't have to be handknit. Alright, open up the top part and form it into a circle. So far so good. It's a circle. Now fold it flat again. Now it's more like two flat halves, a front and a back. When you knit on two circulars, you knit happily along on one half while the other half, sitting on the cord section, bends to accomodate your knitting.

Confused? Time to break out the photos.

Okay, here's the sock, just sitting on the circular cords, garishly Photoshopped because clear cords don't show up so well in photos. The stitches for the front half are on the 'green' needle, and the stitches for the back half are on the 'yellow' needle.

Now here's a photo of the sock, mid-way through knitting a row. See how I'm knitting the front with the green needle, just as I would knit flat knitting, as if the back half doesn't exist? The back half sits on the yellow cord behind the action. Click the photo to enlarge.

And here's a closeup. Realistically speaking, the yellow (back half) cord should be underneath/behind the working needle, but I don't have three hands! This lets you see how the half you're not working on curves to allow you to knit the other half.

If ANY of this is unclear, please leave questions in the comments! I'm trying to help people learn from the many frustrations I've suffered while learning to knit.

P.S. the socks are called "Merino Lace Socks" (creative, eh?) and they're from the Summer '03 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm making them for my mom, who loves weird socks.

"The telling of any story involves the suppression of other stories that might be told just as well [and be just as true]."
-- I picked this up in some random article in some random historical journal, and think it's a great nugget to help explain postmodernism.

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