One of the biggest problems that plagues some sock knitters is known as second sock syndrome. By the time the first sock is knit, you just don't have the energy to knit another one exactly the same way.
Another potential problem with knitting one sock after the other is ending up with one sock that's a bit longer than the other.
Both of these problems can be remedied by knitting both socks at the same time using one long circular needle. If this sounds impossible, 2-At-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes will put this skill in your grasp.
Knitting in Double Time
Melissa Morgan-Oakes taught herself how to knit two socks at once using one long circular needle, so you might find her technique slightly different from others out there.
She explains her technique through the use of a sample pair of socks, which she suggests people new to the two-at-once world knit in two different colors so they don't get confused which yarn goes with which sock.
These small-scale socks will guide you through the basics of casting on, getting the socks set up to work in the round, knitting and going through all the necessary steps to make a pair of socks.
Once you have the basics down, you can move on to the patterns, of which there are 17 in this book. Even if you find you don't like knitting two socks at once, the patterns in the book are still lovely and could easily be knit one at a time if you prefer.
Another highlight of the book is its spiral binding, which holds the book open so you can easily read the instructions and knit at the same time.
These 17 patterns are for a range of foot sizes, though most of the patterns are for women. Five of the socks include sizes for men, while four are sized for children.
The patterns range from a basic Stockinette sock for a child and an easy classic ribbed sock for men to a chunky cabled sock for women (and other for children) and patterns incorporating basic lace, stripes and stranded knitting.
There are many patterns that would be perfect for people who are new to sock knitting, as most of the socks incorporate pretty simple pattern stitches that will not distract much from either learning the two-at-a-time technique or the basics of sock construction.
The patterns are spelled out in great detail and make it very clear which instructions are for which size of socks. Pattern stitches are illustrated in text where possible and/or as a chart, which can confuse some knitters, but most of the charts are not too difficult.
The back of the book includes information on standard foot lengths (the patterns are sized by foot circumference), basic techniques and abbreviations.
The bottom line is that this book is full of classic, mostly easy to knit designs that you'll enjoy whether you want to knit two socks at a time or just one. While I wouldn't recommend this technique to someone knitting their first pair of socks, it is pretty easy to get the hang of and will lead to socks flying off your needles in no time.
Corrections: Available for download from Storey
Publication date: December 2007