Knit socks two at a time for double the fun

Knit and Crochet at Stitch This!

I take my knitting with me whenever I can, and I’m not shy about knitting in public. Knitting can spark the most interesting conversations, don’t you think? The most bewildered looks and curious questions come when I’m knitting two-at-a-time socks on two circular needles, a technique I learned from Antje Gillingham’s book Knitting Circles around Socks. The project-in-process can appear baffling, but once you understand the logic behind the technique, it’s a breeze to learn.

Fixation on Lace knitted socks
“Fixation on Lace” from
Knitting Circles around Socks

For me, knitting with two circular needles was the key to successful sock knitting. Either dropping needles or poking myself, I was a disaster with double-pointed needles, and even with a circular needle I couldn’t seem to finish a second sock. But two at a time? It didn’t take long to convince me this was the way to go, and it’s become one of my favorite knitting techniques.

In Antje’s second book, Knitting More Circles around Socks, she introduced her technique for two-at-a-time, toe-up socks, and I was over the moon. This is now my favorite sock-knitting method: I can try the socks on as I go and I don’t have yarn left over.

Women's basic toe-up socks
“Women’s Basic Toe-Up Sock” from
Knitting More Circles around Socks
spacer 10px deep

Mary's basic toe-up socks
My first toe-up socks, made from
Knitting More Circles around Socks


Is it a row or is it a round? According to Antje, this is the question her students struggle with most. Here, she explains the basic concept for knitting two-at-a-time on two circular needles.
spacer 10px deep

Knitting row or round?

“Is it a row or is it a round? Well, it’s both! Each sock is divided into two halves, with half the stitches on each needle. When you begin to knit, you’ll work two halves on one needle, which is a row. When you get to the end of the second sock on one needle, you turn your work (this is one half of the round) and knit the other two halves, once again in a row. At the end, you’ve completed two rows, which equal one complete round.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s all there is to it.

Want more two-at-a-time fun? Think mittens, leg warmers, and fingerless mitts.

Knitting Circles around Socks Knitting More Circles around Socks Knitting Circles around Mittens and More

You can even use the same two-needle concept to knit hats and anything else that’s round; I’ve even used it to make the arms and legs of stuffies for my grandchildren.

Buy the eBook versions of any of Antje’s books and you can start learning the two-at-a-time technique just minutes from now!

What’s your favorite sock-knitting technique? Tell us in the comments!

7 Comments (leave a comment)

  • Have not learned how to make socks yet. Will do that some day.

    —Patricia D. Roberts on July 29, 2015
  • Have knitted and crocheted for years, but have never attempted socks. Love the concept of this method. While I have used double-pointed needles, I personally find them awkward so the two circular needles would be perfect for me. Now will have to search for just the right wool!

    —Kate on July 29, 2015
  • I have always made socks on 4 or 5 circular needles. But it’s true that when I finish the first sock I dread the thought of doing another one. It’s not that I don’t enjoy knitting socks but I am now on to the next project (at least in my mind I am). I want to try this new technique, especially the toe up. I hate trying to guess the length. Thanks for always bringing us new books and kits that increase our skills.

    —ann deery on July 29, 2015
  • I love to knit socks. My husband always asks how many pairs am I up to now. I just tell him is doesn’t matter since I do wear them. My usually use double-pointed but short length. I have tried a version of toe-up but didn’t like the result.

    —Cindy on July 29, 2015
  • I love the magic loop knitting. I never have to pick up needles off the floor or out from under the seat of my daughter’s car. I even have two socks started on one looong needle. I also prefer two up, but I’m stuck on one pair with a Japanese heel.

    —Sharon Howell on July 29, 2015
  • Crochet! Please a sock crochet book or two??

    Lynne-we have two books on crocheted socks:

    Crocheted Socks (eBook format only)

    More Crocheted Socks (Print AND eBook)

    I hope this helps! ~Cornelia/Customer Service

    —Lynne on July 29, 2015
  • I learned to make socks on dpns but my friend told me about Knitting Circles Around Socks and I really love the method! I made 4 or 5 pairs of socks this way, then stopped to learn Fair Isle using yarn in both hands at the same time. I worked on this for a while and when I went back to 2aat on circulars I found I lost my mojo on turning the heel!..I need to recover my sock mojo. So for now, I am knitting one sock at a time on 2 circulars, but I will get back to 2aat. Antje Gillingham’s book is definitely indispensable. I recommend it to everyone!

    —Berni on January 1, 2020

Leave a comment

*Indicates required field