Some people like knitting socks on double-pointed needles, but for other knitters they are annoying, intimidating or just plain uncomfortable to use. The good news is there are plenty of other ways to get socks on your feet, and they might even be faster because you can knit two socks at a time if you like. Antje Gillingham shares one method for knitting two socks at a time in her book Knitting Circles around Socks: Knit Two at a Time on Circular Needles.
Two Needles, Two Socks
Gillingham's method involves using two circular needles to knit in the round, and it's a method that works just as well for knitting a single circular object without using double-pointed needles as it does for knitting two socks at once. If you've ever used two circulars instead of double-pointed needles for knititng in the round, then you know the basics of how this method works. For those who haven't used a similar technique before, there is a basic woman's stockinette sock pattern that walks readers through each step of working two socks on two circulars and includes tons of pictures and tips that will help you successfully complete the project.
The book includes eight additional patterns, all sized to fit women, beyond the instructional sock. The patterns include a chunky ribbed cotton sock, a Stockinette sock knit in self-striping yarn, short socks with beaded embellishments, a cabled sock, a pair with ruffled cuffs and two lace socks. Most of the patterns are easy enough for new sock knitters, and only the lace socks rank intermediate on the book's skill level scale. A knitter who is completely new to socks but who thinks this method might be easier than having to keep track of four or five needles at once would do fine with this book.
If you don't want to knit socks for a woman, there's a chart indicating different sizes for men and children, but you'll have to do the math to convert the patterns to different sizes.
The book also includes information on how to convert patterns written for double-pointed needles to work on circular needles, which basically involves understanding that one needle holds the top of the foot while the other needle holds the heel.
This book provides an easy way to learn a different method for knitting socks for those who don't like or don't want to use double-pointed needles. The patterns are pretty simple and don't provide a lot of variety, but you'll have the method down after knitting only a couple of projects from this book. --Sarah E. White, About.com Guide
Antje uses two circular needles to complete both socks at once. She walks you through with a basic stockinette sock pattern, including lots of pictures and tips. There are eight more patterns (all of the patterns in the book are women's sizes), including cabled, ruffled cuff, lace, ribbed, self-striping yarn and beaded embellishments. Her second book, new this year, adds to her methods and includes new patterns. --Peggy McMullen, The Oregonian