I’ve been on a sock knitting binge lately. It’s a slow binge, but it’s going none the less. While working on them I thought that I was one kind of knitter. I thought I knew what tools I loved to use. After all, I’ve been knitting for 6 years—I have to know something? Right?!
Welp, nope. Apparently I don’t know myself as well as I thought.
I’ve made my first pair of socks a long time ago. The very first pair I made was for my husband. I was so proud of them too, but it took longer than I expected.
I couldn’t see why people enjoyed making socks so much, if it took so much time. Okay, granted I only knitted during nap time and I had to be really quiet cause my baby at the time was a light sleeper, but still it took some time.
This time, I got the bright idea to kit all my kids socks. I picked out cute yarn for them, and then decided to have a go.
The first two and a half pairs were made on DPNs (double pointed needles). Then something happened, one of my wooden needles broke in my knitting bag. It was my first needle casualty.
I wanted to finish the third sock so I decided to make them on the magic loop. I figured it was the same, but nope—my gauge was off. I found that by lining the socks up and my magic loop sock was very tight.
While I knew gauge can be different across the different kind of tools you use (metal, plastic, wooden), I didn’t realize that gauge would be different with circumference.
Here are a few pros and cons to help you choose which method is right for you.
DPNs— Double pointed needles. These are my go-to for small circumferences. To me they are just simple—knit to the end of the needle and use the now empty needle to continue knitting. While I love these, there are drawbacks. You can pull the wrong needle out leaving your stitches live. There is a lot of changing needles for a round. Other than that, I have nothing. I love these and have plenty in the home.
9” circular— These are not like your regular circular needles. These are much smaller and shorter. To use these you have to get used to not having your whole hand on the project, as the circumference is way smaller. That is the only downside. People have complained about fingers cramping, but you just have to relax and take your time.
What I love about these is that you can knit the whole sock on this. You can do the heel flap picking up stitches, heel turn—everything on it. You would just have to switch to DPNs when you have to do the decrease for the toe.
Magic Loop — One long circular needle, witch stitches divided. Normally I really don’t have anything against it. You never have to switch to double pointed needles for any decreases. You can leave half the stitches on the needle for the heel flap and turn. In practice, there really isn’t anything to say bad about this method.
However, this is my least favorite one. I really don’t like the fussiness of pulling the needle out and polishing it back in to work on the other side. It’s simple enough, but this is just not cup of tea.
No matter which one you choose, or you are unsure, try each of them to find no out which one works for you. The point is, one method is not better than the other, it’s all about preferences. Knitting is all about preferences.
Just a word of advice, try not to break you needles 😭