This is not exactly a pattern but more a way to use your favourite sock pattern and turn it into a project that can be knit on a single circular needle.
As you can see from the picture, it is a bit of an odd looking way of knitting socks, or any other project whose circumference is smaller than the length of your circular needle, but it's easy and with a little patience, you may be hooked on this method that never has you worrying about double pointed needles falling from your project.
To achieve the same results with this method there are probably many different ways to hold your needles, to get the stitches around the needle, to work your project to its successful completion, but this is the way that I find the easiest... Give it a try for the fun of it.
- A sock pattern,
-appropriate yarn for your pattern,
-circular needles at least 32" (80cm) long of the same size that the pattern calls for.
NOTE: I strongly recommend using Addi Turbo needles (lace or regular) or any other premium needles with soft, flexible wires.
-2 stitch markers of different colours.
Warning! As with any knitting project, it's usually the first 1% of the whole darn thing that is the hardest, so don't worry if you are having difficulty the first time you try this method. You can do it on a smaller number of stitches at first (at least 24) using chunky yarn and 5mm needles, just to get the hang of what's going on. And above all, do not use new circular needles with curly wires. Always straighten them out by using a warm hair dryer or by pouring very hot water over them and picking them up to dry and cool with a fork.
-Using the circular needle cast on 1/2 the number of stitches that you require using the knit-on or cable cast on method.
-Place a marker to indicate the centre of the round of stitches (CM), and cast on the rest of the required number of stitches.
-Slide all of the stitches so that they are all on the wire part of the needle and fold the wire at the CM.
-Gently pull the wire between the stitches at the CM and create a loop of wire with 1/2 of the stitches on one side of the wire and 1/2 on the other side of the wire.
-Slide the first 1/2 of the stitches (the part that has the cast-on tail) back on to a working end of the needle. If it makes it easier, you can tie a gentle knot using the cast on tail and the working yarn to hold this first row together making sure that the stitches are not twisted around the needle. (If it is against all of your principles of knitting to leave a knot in your work, you can tie a bow and undo it later when it's time to weave your ends in. )
-Slide the second 1/2 of the stitches (the ones that have the working yarn attached to them) as far on the wire as they will comfortably go without pulling the wire at the CM back into the work. (the CM is there for you to catch the wire and pull it back out should this happen.)
-Place a marker of a different colour at the end where the working yarn is to indicate the end of each round (EM).
-With the working needle full of stitches in your left hand and the driver needle without stitches in your right hand begin to knit as usual, creating a loop with the wire at the EM. (You may want to hold this wire out of your way with the thumb of your left hand.)
-Work across the first 1/2 of the stitches according to your pattern.
-Pull the wire loop at the EM so that the second 1/2 of the stitches are just at the base of the working end of the needle.
-Slide the stitches that have just been worked back on to the wire, emptying the right hand needle and place the CM on to the right hand needle, and work the 2nd set of stitches as usual, using your left thumb to keep the loop of wire out of your way.
(NOTE: When making the switch between the 2 sets of stitches, be careful not to pick up the yarn from under the driver needle, which will wrap it around creating a yarn over stitch, which will be as irritating as all get out!)
-When you reach the EM, line the 2 sets of stitches up side by side, to make double sure that they are not twisted around the needles.
The second row and beyond
-Slide the first set of stitches to the base of the empty needle and place it in your left hand.
-Slide the second set of stitches that have just been worked back on the wire emptying that needle for your right hand. Then slide the first set all the way on to the working needle in your left hand, in position to be knit.
-Place the EM on the right hand needle and work across this first set of stitches as usual to the CM.
-Slide the next set of stitches to be worked to the base of the working needle and slide the set that has just been knitted back on to the wire emptying the right hand needle.
-Then slide the stitches to be worked on to the working needle in your left hand and move the CM to the empty right hand needle. Work across this set of stitches as usual to the EM.
Repeat this "second row" method until the leg is the required length.
As the heel is usually worked on 1/2 of the stitches, the needles are already set up for you to begin as soon as you arrive at the EM.
Remove both markers and keep for later.
Working back and forth using both working ends of the needle on the first 1/2 of the stitches only, work the heel flap and turning of the heel according to your pattern directions.
End the heel turning rows on a right side row.
-Drop the left hand needle.
-Holding the left side of the heel flap in your left hand and using the heel needle in you right hand, pick up and knit the required number of stitches.
-Slide the stitches from the sock that have not been part of the heel to the base of the left hand needle. Slide the stitches from the heel on to the wire and place the EM on the right hand needle.
-Work across this instep stitches and slide these on to the wire, emptying the right hand needle. -Place the CM on the right hand needle.
-Holding the right side of the heel flap in your left hand, pick up and knit the required number of stitches, leaving a wire loop at the CM and the EM.
-When you come to the end of the heel flap stitches, work across the stitches from the bottom of the heel and down the other side to the CM. (NOTE: It may be a bit awkward getting all of the heel stitches onto the working ends of the needle, but persist. Soon when the decreases begin it will become easier.)
-Work the gusset decreases as indicated placing the SSK or PSSO decreases after the CM and the K2tog decreases before the EM. Remember to knit a round between each set of decreases.
-Work the foot as with the leg, to the desired length.
-Decrease as given in your pattern placing the SSK or PSSO decreases at the beginning of each of the needles and the K2tog decreases at the end of each of the needles.
Bind off or graft the toe as you would normally do, sliding both sets of stitches to the tips of the working needles.
THE MAGIC SECRET TO AVOID "LADDERS" WHERE THE NEEDLES MEET:
For those of you who have persisted to the end of this post, your patience and persistence will be rewarded as I share the secret of eliminating those nasty "ladders" that sometimes show up when you join your needles, whether in 3 needle knitting or circular knitting. The whole trick is to give a gentle but firm tug on the SECOND stitch of each needle - not the 1st one, which ironically and irritatingly seems to worsen the problem. Try it! It really works well.