Knit socks two at a time on circular needles WITHOUT ever re-arranging the stitches!
This tutorial is designed for those who already know how to knit socks on either double pointed needles or circular needles. You should use your own basic sock pattern the first time you try two socks at once and then you can convert any pattern you like to this method.
Use whatever sock yarn and size needles you like. I used worsted weight yarn and size 6 needles for the purpose of demonstration. You will need two circular needles and two double pointed needles of the same size. You can use a third circular needle instead of the double pointed needles but it gets a bit overwhelming.
1. Cast on like normal on one of the needles. I used the longer needle.
2. Take the second needle and transfer half of your cast on stitches to it. I have marked the end of each of the needles with blue so you can more easily see what I have done.
3. Slide all the stitches onto the wire portion of the needle.
4. Now cast on the stitches for the second sock with a new ball of yarn (or work your skein from both ends) onto the same blue marked end of the longer needle. This is the same needle you cast on for the first sock.
5. Take the blue marked end of the shorter needle and transfer half the stitches over to it. This is the exact same process you did for the first sock cast on.
6. When you slide the stitches onto the wire they should be in the same orientation. The working yarn should be in the same place for both socks.
7. Now you begin working in the round. If you have not worked socks on circular needles before you ALWAYS use the other end of the same needle to knit with. You move the stitches onto the needle parallel to the working yarn. This is the same now as you would do it on double pointed needles. Use the working yarn to knit across closing your sock into a circle.
8. When you finish all the stitches for the first sock, you drop that working yarn and pick up the next one and do the same thing on the other sock.
10-12. Keep working around the sock in ribbing turning the entire thing over after each row to begin the other side. Keep sliding the stitches over as you go. I use addie turbo needles when I do socks because they slide over the stitches easier then other types of needles.
13. Work until you have the desired amount of ribbing. I only did a tiny bit for demonstration purposes.
14-16. When you are ready to start the heel flap you switch to a double pointed needles and knit across in heel flap pattern. I did this one in stockinette so it would be faster. Work the heel flap for only one sock at at time. I have switched to green yarn so you can see it better.
17. Work heel flap on one sock only with the double pointed needles only. The rest of the stitches just hang out of your way on the circular needles.
18. Work heel turn for the first sock only staying on the double pointed needles.
19. Finish heel flap. Change back to the circular needle. Working on right side of work, knit across heel flap stitches (I have switched to orange yarn here). You are done with the double pointed needles for this sock now.
20-21. Using the same needle pick up stitches along the one side of the heel flap that you are at.
21. Repeat all the steps (14-20) to make a heel flap/heel turn/pick up stitches on the second sock.
This is what it will look like on the back (heel side). You can see there are still stitches to pick up on the other side of the heel flap.
23. Work across the front of the socks with the other needle (the opposite one that than heel stitches are on).
24-27. Turn work. With heel needle pick up the remaining heel stitches and continue to knit across that entire row. All the back stitches will be on one needle and all the front stitches will be on the other needle.
28. Repeat steps 24-27 on second sock. It will look like this on the back side when all of the stitches are picked up.
29. This is what the front side will look like.
Now continue working in the round decreasing for the gusset at either end of each sock as pictured. Once you are back to your original stitch count continue in the round until it is time to start the toe. You just work the toe with the stitches divided evenly as they are already. Decrease at each end of each sock on both sides every other row as usual. Finish the sock as you normally do.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask! I know how confusing it can be the first time.