My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Socks on Two Circulars

Once upon a time, if you had suggested to me that I might want to try knitting a sock on two circular needles, I would have cheerfully told you that I’d rather gouge out my own eyes with red hot Addi Turbos.

Given that every last sock I have knit so far in the Summer of Socks is knit on two circulars, I think it is safe to assume that I have changed my position on socks on two circs.

It was a bumpy start, though. The first attempt I made at the two circs technique was with needles with a longer cord — 32 inches. I found that I spent way too much time pulling the working needle into position and not enough time knitting.

But then I discovered Knitpicks 16-inch circulars. For me, these are the ultimate sock knitting needles. The cords are short enough so that I can whip them into position very quickly, and they are flexible enough so that the short cords don’t impede my knitting progress. The tips of the needles are very nicely pointy and the needle portion is neither too long nor too short. In the parlance of the Three Bears, I pronounce them ju-u-u-ust right.

(I know that right now L-B is just shaking her head and wondering who I am and what did I do with Wendy.)

New Sock!

Here’s the new sock on the needles.

Southwestern Sock 072507

Southwestern Sock 072507

Another view:

Southwestern Sock A 072507

Southwestern Sock A 072507

I’m calling this design “Southwestern Socks.” Just because. While the name is influenced quite a bit by the colorway of the yarn, I have a fancy that the simple lace pattern I’m knitting into them sorta has a cactus-like quality. (Just smile and nod and humor me, okay?)

The yarn is Fiesta Boomerang, in the Mochachino colorway. I purchased it from my favorite yarn pusher, The Loopy Ewe.

Knitting it on 2.75mm needles, it knits up to my sportweight gauge of 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to the inch. So it zips along very quickly. And it’s a lovely soft yarn — very pleasant to knit.

Roseann asked if it was similar to Colinette Jitterbug, so I got out the lone skein of Jitterbug that I possess (I think I should get extra credit for being able to find it quickly in the stash room), and set the two side by side.

Jitterbug and Boomerang A 072507

Jitterbug and Boomerang A 072507

The Boomerang seems to be a much thicker yarn.

Jitterbug and Boomerang 072507

Jitterbug and Boomerang 072507

The Jitterbug is the one on the top.

The Jitterbug specs: 289 yards per 100g skein, gauge: 7 stitches/inch on a 3.25mm needle.

The Boomerang specs: 320 yards per 5 oz skein, the gauge given is for worsted weight, which it really is, but I’m getting 6.5 stitches/inch on a 2.75mm needle.

This is making a nice thick and incredibly soft sock. I can see these socks becoming favorites next winter when the weather is cold and miserable.

Lucy Sez

Lucy 072507

Lucy 072507

I don’t need knitted socks — I have widdle fur tassles between my widdle toesies!

(Yes, I know that was a bit over-the-top in the nauseatingly cutesy department. Too bad. I feel crappy so I get to.)


  1. Lucy Toes!

    Oh, and the socks are cool, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Yes, of course you get to. Those socks look great–what a perfect name for them! So glad you’ve come over to our side of the camp. Well, mostly–you’re still only knitting one at a time, aren’t you? I love being done when I’m done!

  3. Heather says:

    Hello Wendy! I very much like your Southwestern socks, and once I clicked on the picture to enlarge the pattern I saw what you meant. The lacey pattern reminds me of the Aloe plants I used to grow in my garden when I lived in a high-desert climate in CA. I don’t know if they are officially succulent cacti, but they sure did poke me. Hope you feel better soon, best wishes from Germany ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I doubt you could do two at once on 16″ needles but you might want to get some 24’s and give it a whirl. Once the toes are long enough to hold the yarn there really is no more hassle that way than doing one at a time. Of course, then you could try magic loop too (I’m a ML afficianada) just to see.

    I noticed Lucy’s tufts the other day – the are sooo gloriously long! You can tell the girl is an indoor only kittie – she could slide on hard wood floors with those “slippers” ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Isn’t the Boomerang nice? I got a…um…couple of skeins from Loopyewe and it’s so smoooooooshy ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Teh yarn looks wonderful! I may have to try some… I love the KnitPicks needles. I use the 24″ and knit two at once. It was the only way I could manage to get two socks that looked alike :). And when they’re done I get to move on to something new without repeating myself on a second sock. I like that.

  7. That looks like an interesting heel you’ve got going there (but I can’t quite tell which heel). Maybe when you post more photos of the sips (socks-in-progress) you’ll show a detail?

  8. Would you be hurt if I said the pattern reminds me more of the red rock formations in Sedona, Arizona, than cactus.

    We have a kitty (well, she lives with my daughter now) with tassles between her toes. We call her the Hobbit Kitty (her name is Sophia, or Sophie, but she mainly goes by Fifi LaPlume because of her tail). She is fluffy, like your Lucy.

    My daughter blogs about her at

  9. Wendy- I think they should make cat-toe cereal, so you could have them for breakfast. Pussy toes are so darned cute.

    And don’t get me started on the tufts- the tufts are the best!

  10. Marji has a point about the socks resembling the rocks near Sedona. They also sort of remind me of some of the desert critters that I used to see growing up in southern AZ. Any way you slice it, that yarn is aptly named!

    Ooh, I do love Lucy’s tassled toes! Our big white fluff monster has some impressive toe tufties but Lucy’s are more elegant.

  11. Well, widdle kitty-toe fur tassles are worth getting nauseatingly cutesy about. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love the Southwestern Socks! Can you stand another similarity question? Is the Boomerang similar to Knitpicks Memories? That’s my favorite sock yarn, because it’s soft and squishy and very pleasant to work with, very much how you described Boomerang.

  12. Awww, cute little kitty feet they are, too! I’m sorry you feel bad and I hope it’s better soon. I really like the Knit Picks needles, but haven’t tried my new 16″ circs for socks yet. Soon, very soon….

  13. Way, WAY over the top…
    gagging as I type

    love the socks, though, and will be dropping in to visit Sheri as soon as I’m done here…

  14. I’ve been wanting to try it just to try it, but I have trouble believing the technique will replace my dpns. (I’ve been known to make adult sized hats in dpns.)

  15. I wonder how Lucy would take to having little kitty-sized knitted socks put on her feet.

  16. *smiling and nodding* Lovely Southwestern Sock. ‘I’m sorry you feel crappy, but I personally think when it comes to Lucy, nothing is nauseatingly cute. She rocks.

  17. Do you have the instructions for knitting toes-up socks on two circular needles posted somewhere…oh, maybe it’s in the new Loopy Ewe pattern that I downloaded??? I’ve just now absolutely mastered the toes-up with my own gusset and eye of partridge heel. Not sure I’m ready to try something new…although I said that about toes-up when I first read your book…and now look at me. I thought for sure I was one of those “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” kind of people.

    I’m currently knitting long…and I do mean long…Harry Potterish sport socks for my 18 year old grandson for snowboarding. He asked if I couldn’t make him some wild ones using up all the little balls of yarn that are left over from knitting socks for shorter people with small feet. They ARE adorable…I’m sure all the kids are going to want them. I’ll have to recruit people who want to get rid of leftover yarn or search out thrift shops maybe? Any ideas?

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.


  18. Catherine says:

    I think I mentioned this a few days ago, but because you raved about the KnitPicks 16″ circs, I gave the two circ technqiue another whirl and from there, well, I’m now knitting exclusively on one circ, using the Magic Loop method. Fantastic. I’ve learned so much from you and tune in every day to learn more!

    LOVE the pictures of Lucy . . . my Aunt has a Golden Retriever by the same name and she two is fluffy like your Lucy! ;D

  19. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling so great today, I can only imagine how arduous this healing process will be.
    Thank you for comparing Jitterbug to Boomerang. I had this strange idea that there are only so many kinds of undyed sock yarns and that each company uses the same yarns but dyes them differently. Clearly, this is not the case with Jitterbug and Boomerang.
    Your Southwestern Sock is very nice and isn’t it great to try it on while it is still on the circular needles? (I have broken a dpn trying to do this before I used the magic loop.)

  20. Alice in Richmond says:

    Oh that L-B, I think that she will understand!

  21. I’m using KnitPicks 24″ circulars to do Magic Loop. LOVE them!

  22. I see so many patterns for socks, but they are all for knitting them with dpns. Can you explain how you convert these wonderful patterns to work on 2 circular needles?


    Your summer of socks is very inspiring to us non sock knitters. Maybe we should give it a try-on circs?

  23. Just take my advice and never try to knit two socks at once on 2 circs. It is a sure way to insanity!! And Lucy’s widdle tassles are adorable. We love them! Smooches.

  24. Do you think you could count these as socks for the Summer of Socks?

  25. The Southwest Sock is very striking! There is some very nice striping action.

    Well wishes from Wisconsin.

  26. Just reinforces the never say never saying ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the new socks and litty tassels are always a welcome cuteness. We have those too! Not me, Linus ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Love the new sock.

    Lucy, I love your little toes the way that they are.

    Just blame the crazyness on the medication. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Oh I am sooooo addicted to the KP circs. They are my favorite!

  29. I like the looks of the Boomerang. I have the Rhubarb colorway and can’t wait to knit it up. Thanks for the needle size info.

  30. I’m starting to worry.

  31. Though I will never look back from the two circular needle technique, I’m still not quite sure about two socks at a time; that is, not sure if the game is worth the candle. I’ve tried it twice, and I love the fact that the socks Will Match, and that there is no SSS! But for my take a sock and go lifestyle, like your commuter socks, I find it harder to pick up and knit a row, put down, repeat, because the two balls of yarn need to be set up just right to avoid repeated tangling and untangling. Once you’re set up with one ball of yarn on each side of you, it’s fairly easy to avoid the tangle. But that’s not always practical when you’re in a grocery store line!
    Tassel love here.
    (And I’m not going to argue with a woman on drugs about cute widdle toes or cactus stitches or anything else! Believe me!)

  32. kelly in new mexico says:

    I’m from the southwest ….New Mexico, and you aptly named your socks correctly. Where I live we are surrounded by Native American reservations and the colorway reminds me of the native blankets and rugs. I also love wendys needles and i also found the same thing out with the 2 circs. You did good!!

  33. Maybe i should try one sock with two circs. When I tried two socks on two circs, all I got was a tangle, and headed straight back to the DPNS.

  34. Thanks to you I tried the KP circulars. I had never ordered from them before. When the needles came in the mail, it took me a while to figure out how to knit with two circulars. But then I found a demo video on and finally I understood! I guess I’m a visual learner. I switched from my dpns and now I’m hooked. I like this method very much; its better for my while-waiting-for the-red-light-to-change knitting. But this is my first pair of tiny needle socks and my, they take a long time!

  35. Maybe it’s the universe seeking balance – my friend CJ, a hardcore 2-circ gal, has done her last few socks on DPNs. Something had to shift, and apparently it was you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. Funny thing about the Jitterbug is that it gets a lot looser after you wash it. By some miracle I knit and washed a swatch with it, which I never do for socks, and was glad I did! They’re crazy to suggest knitting it with 3.25mm needles.

  37. Aaaaawww, sweet widdle Lucy!

    PS: Nice socks Wendy.

  38. DebbieB says:

    Lucy, our kitties call ’em “snowshoes”!

  39. I’d noticed the two circulars a while ago and was wondering about that. I’ve enjoyed using the two circs myself. Thanks for the thoughts on needle length, it makes a lot of sense.

  40. Kitty toesies!

    In the same vein, my favorite kitty poem:

    Love to eat them mousies,
    Mousies what I love to eat.
    Bite they little heads off,
    Nibble on they tiny feet.

    Sandra Boynton

    Oh, and nice socks (although the kitty is cuter).

  41. Robin Pearce says:

    Perhaps you have answered this question before, but I was wondering, what is going to happen to all these wonderful socks? Christmas gifts, or will you have the most colorful (and beautiful) sock drawer in the world?

  42. Widdle toe-tufts! Wuv dem…(((huggles))) Lucy!
    (see…you’re not the only one who can be that way, Wendy!)

    Love the socks….not sure I want to go down your two-circs path, but when my sock-knitting heroine does it, it’s awfully hard to resist…
    And I need to start another Knitpicks order, anyway … hmmm (you enabler, you!)
    So sorry to hear you’re STILL having troubles in the “feeling-good” department…

  43. LeslieJ says:

    I too am curious what you do with all those socks, and how do you manage to make them so fast?
    I just tried 2 circ’s for socks and I LOVE IT! I am using KP size 1 16″, I’ll be ordering more.

  44. You’re so helpful. I had been staring at my brand-new pastel-blend Boomerang and wondering what to make with it, having done the Monkey socks on my Jitterbug. I love, love, love the way the Boomerang looks and feels. It seems to get a bit thicker and thinner in spots, and IS different–not that same base yarn all the other dyers use.

    I really like the Knitpicks needles, too–use 32″ ones in size 0 for most socks, using Magic Loop (I am good at converting patterns, as most of us magic loopers are).

    My feather and fan socks from your pattern, in Tofutsie are coming out great. Thanks for sharing!

  45. Not over the top at all. Lucy deserves all praise and there is no such thing as “over the top” when it comes to Lucy. Just ask her!! She is just too cute. Glad you like the 2 circs for socks. It is how I learned to knit socks and I adore the method.

  46. I find 16 inch circulars to short. They are a bit hard on my wrists. I personally find 24 inch circulars very comfortable. But welcome to the 2 circ club. (I may have to break donw and order some Knit Picks circulars just to try them. You can never have too many size 0s.)

    And what you think winters around here are cold and miserable? Oh, wait this winter might be. I have my fingers crossed for a cold winter since we didn’t really have one last year. And this summer is turning out to be fairly mild except for the lack of rain.

    And Mimi said to tell Lucy that you might like the little furry bits between her toes too but they might not allow her to use her “thumb”. But she does think Lucy has the right idea and it is time for a nap. Naps are just as important as food in the kitty world.

  47. You could find one skein of yarn in that monster stash? Wow, I’m impressed. Or did Lucy help?

    Love the pattern, and it does remind me of cactuses and the desert . . .

  48. ok, i have not gotten into circ socks. i do just fine on dps. but i have been hearing a lot about knitpicks and wonder — for sock knitters, how many of each tip do you have?

    and, on a different bent, i first heard of zelda bags from this blog. wendy, how do you like yours? do you use it much? for just knitting — or a purse and knitting together? i am trying to decide whether to invest. can never have too many bags…

  49. It’s not possible to be too cutesy! And besides, you have the bestest excuse….Lucy!

  50. Packet has huge tootsie tassels. I love them. Sometimes while she’s napping I snip them, and she hates that.

    I love what the toe-up gusset heels did to the colorway on these socks. It’s a very unusual color pattern, and it’s nifty as hell.

    Keep getting better.

  51. Love the colors in the SouthWest socks. But I can’t get on the bandwagon about the socks on circs thing. I know you’ve converted Roseann, but it’s not gonna happen to me. Nope. Not gonna happen. And Lucy is my witness.

  52. Mary Lou says:

    I have a question for you since you are my guru of sock-knitting….do you always block your new socks on sock-blockers? Is it necessary to do this? Do the socks keep their blocked shapes after they are washed or must they be re-blocked? I am waiting on a set of blockers and inquiring minds need to know! Thanks so much.

  53. Yes, I am smiling and nodding obediently.

    I followed a van home from work last night. Its registration was K90 ARC

    Took me a while to work out why I was suddenly thinking of you ……

  54. Lucy toes are just too precious!!! She is such a beautiful baby and I know she knows it!!

    Wendy, have you tried Lantern Moon’s Sox Sticks? Can’t decide if I am drooling over the silk bag, the gorgeous wood the needles are made from, or the petite length of the needles which seem to be a good idea for dpn for socks.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  55. Theresa in Italy says:

    Oh good lord, Lizl. The mousie poem from S. Boynton. That takes me back….

    Even as hot as it is here, those Boomerang socks look tempting, so they must be something special. Another pattern to look forward to.

    Sorry you are feeling crappy, hope it passes soon.

  56. Sherilan says:

    Hmmmm. I knit socks magic loop but am now wondering if two short circs might avoid the sometimes awkward antics of the loop. Thanks.

  57. Hey Sock Lady! Since you are my heroine also, I’m just wondering if you ever give Magic Loop a thought? Could be a “widdle” more fiddley than 2 circs. You are such an influence on me, I may be forced to order the KPs to give it a try. Certainly will be a reasonable expense…unlike experimenting with sock yarn, huh? Also, please make the River Run pattern available for sale soon. Highest hopes for better health days for you. Luv to Lucy, too.

  58. Wendy using 2 circs! Yay! That helps the scars fade that were inflicted upon me from your loyal readers a couple years ago when I commented about using 2 circs and was bloggly tarred and feathered! Obviously I did heal, in fact I left the 2 circs behind and use magic loop whenever possible. Socks, hats, a sweater takes 2- 32″ sets(one for body gauge, one for finished edge). Makes shopping for needles easy. The 2 circs method gets used for some child items. I like the downsizing of equipment. And you’re creating some lovely socks there lady!

  59. I can’t stand it! Maybe someone has already asked. If you end the Summer of Socks with X pairs of socks and Y single socks, does that count as X + Y/2 pairs, or just X pairs and the single socks are just left lying about without being included in the count?

  60. Rosalia says:

    Hi Wendy,
    In looking over Cara’s Moth Shawl and yours, I was wondering what the difference was between your edging finish and Cara’s? Would love to hear about the difference. I do have this pattern and want to make sure I know how to get the different edgings. Thanks a bunch!