How to Knit Socks with Circular Needles

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Knitting socks on a set of circular needles is moderately easy and requires some knowledge of knitting. This project is a simple tube sock that acquaints the knitter with knitting on two circular needles. The project includes how to measure for a pattern, determine the correct gauge and how to join rounds on two sets of circular needles.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 Circular needles, 24 inches long
  • Needle markers
  • Yarn
  • Tape measure
  • Yarn needle

Two sets of circular needles are like four double pointed needles except that there are only two joining edges and the non-working needle hangs down with the work in the middle. Stitches cannot slip off. Knit the stitches on the working needle; push them to the center of the circular needle. Pick up the other side at the joining and work that side. Push stitches to the center and go back to work on the other needle. This is how rounds are completed.

Measure length of foot from toe to heel. Measure from heel to where you want the sock to end on your ankle or calf. Measure around your toes. Measure around your instep. Draw a picture of a foot and write the measurements at each point.

Use only one circular needle and cast on 12 stitches. Knit 12 rows and cast off. Steam this swatch. Measure how many stitches equal 1 inch and how many rows equal 1 inch. This is your gauge. Write the number by your foot diagram and multiply width by stitch number and length by row number. This is how many stitches to cast on, where increase is required and how many rows to knit between the beginning and end of the tube sock.

This project uses seven stitches and increases from the toe to the width of the toes each row. Cast on seven stitches on working circular needle. Transfer four stitches to the other circular needle. Move all stitches to the other end of the needle to allow the lead yarn to be properly placed. The lead yarn is on the left side. Move the end stitch from the four right needle stitches over to the left needle and knit both together. Knit two stitches; place a marker. Complete row and move those stitches to the center of this circular needle.

Increases are made at the stitch markers. Move the stitches on the other needle into place and knit one stitch, place a marker and knit remaining stitches. You have two stitches, one marker, two stitches, one marker and two stitches. Begin on the other circular needle and knit moving the marker over. Pick up the stitch below the last knitted stitch and transfer it onto the left needle. Knit it. Repeat with next stitch making four stitches between the markers. Knit to the end of the row. Pick up the other circular needle and knit to the marker, move it over, pick up the stitch below, knit into place and just before the other marker, make another increase. There are six stitches between markers. Continue to increase until stitches equal gauge to match your foot measurement.

Continue increasing at the ankle or calf. Knit desired number of rows up to the cuff. Make the cuff by knitting two stitches, purling two stitches around the width for the number of rows necessary to complete a 3-inch cuff. Cast off. Steam the sock and stitch the toe opening shut. Repeat for second sock.

Tips & Warnings

  • These tube socks make excellent slippers. Finish the cuff with tassels. If these are for a baby, knit a 2-row cord and weave it in at the ankle and attach tassels so the sock cannot be kicked off.
  • Be careful not to twist the stitches in the initial rows. An easy way to avoid this is to knit the first row and purl the second row to identify the front from the back.

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