In my last blog post, I talked about learning the basic anatomy of a sock and how to knit from cuff to toe using a basic rib and stockinette stitch. In this blog, I am going to talk about which knitting needles to use.

Whether you knit a pair of socks using double pointed needles or on a circular knitting needle using the Magic Loop method, it's all a matter of personal preference.  Sometimes I start knitting my socks using the Magic Loop technique, then I switch to my double pointed needles when I am turning the heel and then switch back again when I start the instep.

Knitting Socks on Double Pointed Needles is a very common method and a good starting point for any beginner knitter.  The ideal length of double pointed needles is 6" unless making children's socks.  If the needles are too long, you end up jabbing yourself with the points and spend too much time moving the stitches along the needles.  When knitting socks on a set of 5 double pointed needles, you will divide your stitches over four of the needles and use the 5th needle to knit the stitches off one needle to another. Some knitters find it easier to use only 4 needles, but there is no hard and fast rule how many needles to use. 

Ginger double pointed needles in laminated birchwood

Knitting socks using The Magic Loop Method allows you to create a tube using one circular knitting needle.

Knitting socks using the magic loop with circular knitting needles

This technique was developed by Bev Galeskas and Sarah Hauschka in 2001 with their published book The Magic Loop.  Unfortunately, this book is hard to find in Canada, so the best way to see this technique is by watching a short three-minute video by Martingale: Knitting in the round: magic-loop method or reading this blog post by Knit Darling where the loveable magic loop is explained in clear step by step diagrams. The Magic Loop technique can be performed using a 32" circular needle or anything longer such as a 40", 47" or 60" length.

To get you started on your sock knitting journey, I created an easy sock knitting pattern for you to try. Email me at or if you already subscribe to my newsletter, then check your email for a link in the Feb 14th newsletter.

Happy Knitting ! Yvonne


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