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October 14, 2010



5" to 6" seem to work the best for me. But, I've switched to the magic loop method. You use a circular needle 40" long and knit half the sock on one side and pull the cable thru and knit the other half. There is a great book out there on it by Bev Galeskas called "Magic Loop Method".
It's especially great for traveling because you don't have to worry about losing a needle.


I agree. I was a devout double point sock knitter and am now a converted magic loop knitter. I find that I can knit with a 32" circular needle with no problem. The best part is never having to worry about pulling out a double point when pulling it out of a bag; pulling one out when taking off the double point guards that you can find. Highly recommend magic loop. It took a little "fiddling" with my first sock, but I haven't looked back since!

Judi Kennedy

5" to 6" works well. I've tried the Magic Loop method and don't like it as well. I knit snugly and I spend far too much time pulling the cable needle through. It's really a matter of personal preference. While you're still new at it would be the best time to try both methods and decide for yourself what works best. I've been knitting too long and while I'm interested in learning other methods, I tend to gravitate back to what's easiest.


When I started knitting socks I used 7 inch needles, but as I got better I find that the 6 inch needles are not in the way as much, but you have to watch your stitches at the end. I just bought the Kollage square needles and I'm looking forward to trying them with my Ghalactic Ghoul! Thanks for the enabling, Allison.


I am a Magic Loop sock knitter through and through. I used to do double points but I had ladders and I don't have that with Magic Loop. It also has made me a faster sock knitter. I encourage you to try the Magic Loop method..


I use the 4" dpn's for fingers and thumbs of gloves, they work beautifully then. I commonly use the 6" for a full sock or glove body cause that fits my hand well. The larger the needle, the longer feels more comfortable, like working the top of a hat. With all that said, the magic loop is a great technique and i use 40" for that.


When I started knitting socks, I purchased Crystal Palace 6" bamboo needles from SSYC. I have small hands so I agree 8" DPNs to knit socks would feel awkward unless I were knitting with heavier-than-sock-weight yarn and the project is not a sock.


I think the circulars are easier to handle myself (I prefer to knit on two 24" circs).

But doublepoints come in different lengths also because they aren't only used for socks, and tubes of different circumferences call for needles of different lengths.


I started knitting socks with 8" double points and switched to 6" ones. They were more comfortable.
Then I learned the magic loop method and frequently use a 40" AddiTurbo size 0. I've tried other brands and they don't bend as well. I find that this method is bus-rider friendly. My seatmates aren't as nervous or worried about being poked.
I've used 2 16" circs as well. As they are the only size 2's I have, I use them when I'm using a heavy fingering and size 0's are too small.
My advice - try them all and see what you like best.


I have tried all three and I always seem to go back to the DPN's. I prefer 6 inch but when I find 5 inch I like those too.

Jean Marie

Different sizes for different end products - as noted above in the earlier comments - shorter lengths for smaller items (i.e. 4" for glove fingers), longer lengths for larger items (8" might work well for hats, for example).

Try different methods - I find I prefer DPNs for socks, mittens, gloves, etc. - for me, that is faster than circulars - but I know how to use two circulars and how to magic loop - sometimes those methods are better suited to the item I am knitting!

I recently tried some very short circulars (12 inch; my LYS was nice and let me try on in the store so I didn't have to buy them, which was good since they made my hands cramp in just a round or two).

For socks I prefer dpns about 5 or 6 inches long (I think most of mine are 6 inch length) - 8 inches is too long, and 4 inches is too short...YMMV...


I have use the DPNs and Magic Loop. I sometimes have the Magic loop ladder and I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. I like both methods. I am using Hiya dpns on some christmas yarn socks and have fallen in love with them. I am hoping to buy the square needles here soon and try them...just can't decide on the size....Try all methods and see what works best for you and your pattern


As you've probably already gathered from the previous comments, it is largely a matter of personal choice. I've tried all methods & really fo like knitting with DPN's. My current faves are the Kollage Square needles in the 7" length. The only method that I have tried & truly dislike is using 2 circs. I only use a method other than DPN's when I want to knit 2 socks at once - which I usually do when knitting for my grands - a few rounds difference in length is so much more noticeable on those little feet. Using 2 circs is way too fiddly for me I do use Magic Loop (although it seems weird to me to call it that since I've been using it since the early 70's to knit 2 sleeves at once) & my favorite needles for that are also Kollage (hint, hint Allison). The Kollage circs have the most flexible cables around - way more flexible than Addi & I just find them very comfortable to knit with. The Kollage Square DPN's are the only metal DPN's I like. Carolyn - to avoid the ML ladder,, when starting the new section, put the right hand needle tip right next to the cable next to the just completed stitches & knit the first stitch snugly. I had the problem too & then realized that the solution was really the same as for DPN's - knit the first stitch on the new half rather snugly & make sure you form it right next to the previous stitch (which is on the other half of the needle.) It might seem almost too snug but will look just fine when you've knit a few more rounds.

Elizabeth D

And I have large hands -- so prefer the 8-inch dpn's. Two circs drives me nuts, and I'm happy with dpn's so haven't felt the need to switch. Will probably try magic loop sometime just for fun. 6-inch needles don't leave me enough room to rest the outside edge of my hand along, and 5-inch needles are too short -- stitches are in danger of escaping, and they stab the edge of my hand.

In other words, like many others said, it's entirely a personal choice. The good news is that you can use any of those methods, and any length needles, with pretty much any sock pattern. There may well be a few exceptions, but they're rare.

Mary A

Magic loop by all means, but I can work much faster with a 24 inch even two socks at a time. I ordered a bunch of 40 inch but they are just too long, too much yarn to move. I do all of my knitting on circular now except for I cord work on double needles.

Nathanne Verner

I like 7 inch double points because I like the Continental style of knitting when I make socks, where I hold the yarn in my left hand, and pick the stitches with the right needle. It goes much faster, and I can control the tension better. I am using some Lantern Moon dp's that are real nice, not too slippery, but smooth enough so the stitches move along easily. Kollage square dp's are another favorite. I have to go a size down for gauge with them. I get a lot of hand fatigue with circular needles unless they have an extra long tip to rest my hand on.

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