How to Knit Two-at-a-Time

How to knit 2-at-a-time

Have you ever knit a pair of socks or mittens and one turned out bigger than the other? Knitting two-a-time will prevent that.

I don’t find knitting two-at-a-time faster than knitting one-at-a-time, but I like the fact that I get both pieces done at the same time and they are more likely to be identical. 

Knitting 2-at-a-time

In this video, I’ll show you how to knit two-at-a-time on one long circular needle using the magic loop method and the cable cast on. Click here to learn how to do the cable cast on.

This method of knitting 2-at-a-time works with other cast ons as well.

The Importance of a BOR Marker

Place a beginning of round (BOR) marker at the beginning of the round of your first item only. Pin it to the fabric; otherwise it’s prone to fall off the needle. Every time you reach this marker, you’ve completed 1 round of both items.

It might seem logical to place a BOR marker for your 2nd item. DO NOT DO THIS! By only placing one marker, you will always be able to tell which is your first item and which is your 2nd item. This has 2 benefits:

  1. Sometimes both items are knit the same, but not always. In cases such as mitts, where the left mitt is knit slightly differently from the right mitt, it is imperative to know which is which.
  2. It’s easier to figure out where you are in the round if you lay your knitting down mid-round.

Figuring Out Where to Pick Up if You’ve Stopped Mid-Round

One of the hardest things about knitting 2-at-a-time is figuring out where you stopped if you get interrupted mid-round. 

Regardless of where you are in the round, ALWAYS hold the needle with the working yarn in your right hand. (If it’s not right, it’s wrong!) If the working yarn is on the cord, it should still be on the right so the stitches you are knitting are always on the needle in your left hand.

These photos will help you identify where to pick up your knitting if you put it down mid-round (Note my green BOR marker. Click on any image to open it larger in another tab.):

Beginning of the round, item 1

  • The beginning of the round (BOR) marker is at the needle tips
  • The working yarn for the first item is at the needle tips
  • Start knitting the first half of the first item
Two-at-a-time BOR

Beginning of the round, item 2

  • The BOR marker is in one of the cord loops
  • The working yarn for the first item is at the needle tip because you just finished knitting the first half of the round for it (you know it’s the first item because the BOR marker is attached to it)
  • The working yarn for the 2nd item is on the cord. This is the working yarn you need to knit with.
  • Start knitting the first half of the 2nd item
BOR 2nd item

2nd Half of the Round, item 2

  • The BOR marker is in the ONLY cord loop
  • The working yarn for the 2nd item is at the needle tips
  • Start knitting the last half of the 2nd item
2nd half of round, 2nd item

2nd Half of the Round, item 1

  • The BOR marker is in one of the cord loops
  • The working yarn for the 2nd item is at the needle tip because you’ve just finished knitting it (you know it’s the 2nd item because the BOR marker is attached to the other one)
  • The working yarn for the 1st item is on the cord. This is the working yarn you need to knit with.
  • Start knitting the last half of the 1st item
2-at-a-time, 2nd half of round, 1st item

Want to Practice Knitting 2-at-a-Time?

This tutorial is a small sample of what you will find in the lessons of the Goat Whisperers Cabled Fingerless Mitts KAL in the Knit Along Club. It is a great project for practicing knitting 2-at-a-time!

Check it out at http://www.knitalongclub.com to learn how we can help you become a better, more confident knitter.

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