How to use 9" circular needles for any pattern!

You know I love my 9″ circular needles. I think they’re the easiest way to knit socks and sleeves.

But, because they’re fairly new, there aren’t a lot of patterns written specifically for the 9 inch needle. I’m often asked how to translate your favorite sock pattern into one that can be used on a 9″ circular.

Here’s how to do it! And good news, it’s easy!

How to translate any pattern to using 9" circular needles

In this blog post, I’m going to show you a simple little example of a piece of knitting with 10 stitches. The green string is our yarn!
yarn on 9 inch circular needle

Step 1: Place your End of Round marker

If you’re familiar with knitting on circular needles, then you are probably already doing this step. The end of round marker is an interestingly-colored marker (different from all the rest!) that tells you when you’ve hit the end of your round.

end of round stitch marker on a 9" needle

Place stitch markers where the double points would be

Now, here’s the real trick. You want to place stitch markers on your work to note where would have been between the double point needles (shown in the image as orange).
how to use stitch markers on a 9" circular

Using our little example, let’s say the pattern told you to cast 3 sts onto one double point, 3 sts onto another and 4 sts onto a third needle. You would place markers to section off 3, 3 and then 4 sts.

This trick works whether you’re instructed to use 3 or 4 double point needles.

If the pattern called for 2 needles (such as when you knit socks on 2 circular needles), then you can do the same trick, just using fewer markers!

That’s it! Now you can knit, and easily follow the instructions as they refer to double point needles. If you want a bit more help, you might want to find stitch markers that contain numbers (to remind you which ‘needle’ would have been which.

knitting on double point needles with freshstitches

You can now use 9″ circular needles on socks and sleeves… now that you know how to ‘translate’ the pattern! Happy knitting!

How to Prioritize like a Pro: Schedule your Hardest Tasks

I know this has happened to you: you have sincere plans to do insert important thing here. And then, you have a little spare block of time. But it’s not the right time to do that important thing. So time slips by and that thing never gets done.

How do I know? It used to happen to me!

basic sock pattern crazy colors

It happens a lot in life, but particularly with crafty projects. Like, you’re not making progress on your knitted sweater because you haven’t gotten past that pesky part where you separate the sleeves and really need to concentrate!

I’ll tell you my trick for managing my time more effectively!

Schedule the Hardest Parts

Most craft projects have some hard parts and then lots of mindless hours. Take knitting a sock for example: you have to pay attention for the heel and toe, but unless you’re doing a fancy pattern, most of the sock is just hours of knitting in plain stockinette.

knitting socks

The trick is that you want to make sure to line up the easy part of your knitting with when you have mindless knitting time… which means that you may need to schedule the tricky parts!

If you’re planning a trip, for example, do the cast on before you leave. Then, you’re set to work on the mindless part while you’re traveling (and maybe can’t concentrate so well).

It’s a little counter-intuitive because it means treating your hobby a little like work (put it in your calender), but you’ll be rewarded with making fast progress in your spare moments!

Seen in this post…

Learn How to Knit a Sock

Rainbow striped socks knit by FreshStitches

I love knitting socks. And I get a lot of questions about which resources I’d recommend for learning.

So, in today’s blog post, I’m going to give you a list of my favorite sources!

Your First Pair of Socks

Do you feel comfortable increasing and decreasing? Have you used double point needles? Great! Then you’re ready to knit your first pair of socks!

My Easy Peasy Sock Pattern is designed for the first-timer. It’s a pattern that’s easy to follow and gives you a nice (although thick) sock.

socks

Socks knit by mmeglet on Ravelry

If it’s your first time, then there are a few things you should know. First, ssk is a decrease, not simply slipping two stitches and knitting the next. If you’re not familiar with the stitch, then watch this video. Second, turning the heel requires working short rows. They aren’t scary, but they’re weird. If you follow my instructions to the letter, your heel will come out perfectly. Don’t overthink it.

If learning from a written pattern isn’t for you, then I highly recommend Donna Drachunas’s Knit Sock Workshop on Craftsy. It’s a video course, so you’ll learn everything you need to know!

If you used handwash-only yarn to knit your socks, you’ll want to learn how to hand wash your socks!

Your Second Pair of Socks

I designed my sock pattern to be the easiest to do… but it’s not the best-fitting sock. For your second sock, you’ll probably want to use fingering weight yarn and choose a different pattern. I adore the Basic Sock Pattern by Churchmouse.

neon knitted socks

I’ve knit 7 pairs of socks from this pattern. It’s easy to understand and contains lots of variations.

I also adore The Simple Collection by Tin Can Knits. I haven’t knit them yet, but I have no doubt that Rye is a fabulous sock to knit as one of your first.

You also might be prepared to ditch your double point needles. My favorite way to knit socks is with a 9″ Circular Needle. Read this post to see why I love them!

Toe-up socks knitting

And more…

My second favorite technique is to use two circular needles. You can even knit two socks at a time! I highly recommend Antje Gillingham’s book for learning the technique.

two at a time on two circulars

Socks can become a lifelong addiction… they’re portable and fun to make. As you make more socks, you might get interested in more complicated patterns and designs. I have the book Sock Knitting Master Class: Innovative Techniques + Patterns From Top Designers, and it really gets your sock juices flowing. Check out this really interesting toe shaping I learned to do:

toe up socks

You might want to have a listen to my recent Coffee with Stacey episode about knitting socks– I chat all about yarns, caring for your socks and different techniques!

Ready to Cast on?

Are you already a sock knitter? Or want to start? I hope you love these resources!

pile of hand knit socks

Self-Striping Sock Yarn

If you watched my most recent Coffee with Stacey, you’ll know that I absolutely love knitting socks from self-striping yarn.

Rainbow striped socks knit by FreshStitches

My go-to sock yarn, Knit Picks Felici (shown above), has been discontinued. Self-striping yarn is hard to find… it’s difficult to dye and some beautiful ones (like Freia Handpaints) are stunning but not suitable for socks.

So I thought it would be fun to post a list of delicious self-striping sock yarn!

Can you tell I’m shopping?

Knit Picks Felici socks

Have you tried any of these?

Or have a favorite to recommend? I want to hear it!

If you love beautiful rainbow-y socks, you’ll probably also want to follow Susan B. Anderson’s blog… she does lots of lovely knitting!

Coffee with Stacey: knitted socks

Hi there! I’m excited that fall is here and I’ve gotten a moment of spare time to record a new chat with you!

I got carried away with talking, and so my camera cut me off in the middle… so it’s recorded in two parts. I hope you don’t mind!


Links you may enjoy:

Here are some links to things I chat about during the episode!

Let me know what you think!

Do you have any comments about what we chatted about? I want to hear them!

Stacey in Abalone sweater

Do you knit two at a time?

Have you ever knit two at a time?

I originally learned to knit two socks at a time using Antje Gillingham’s book Knitting Circles around Socks: Knit Two at a Time on Circular Needles… but now I use the technique for all kinds of things!

gillingham two at a time socks

What does it mean to knit two at a time?

It’s just what it sounds like! Using two separate balls of yarn, you’ll knit round one of the first sock, then round one of the second sock. Then, you’ll move onto round two of the second sock…

It’s a great technique for ensuring that two pieces are exactly the same!

Once I got the hang of socks, I moved onto knitting other pieces this way, like these monster arms:

knitting monster arms two at a time

And now…

Do you remember when I told you I’d started knitting a Charleston Tee?

When it came time to knit the sleeves, I thought, ‘hey! I should do them both at once!’

knitting sleeves two at a time

(I apologize for the late-at-night photo… I’m busy knitting!)

This way, the sleeves would be exactly identical, and I’d only have to read through the directions once! Hooray!

Because the sleeves are knitted flat (instead of in the round), I only need one needle instead of two.

It’s almost finished… fingers crossed it’s ready for me to wear at Stitches East!

That’s what I’ve been up to this week… how about you? I hope you have an awesome Wednesday, and get some great knitting/crocheting done this week!

If you want to check out more Work-In-Progress posts, please check out Tami’s Ami’s Blog, who’s been organizing a great WIP Wednesday blog theme! And, don’t forget to come back for FO (Finished Object) Friday!

Do you have an emergency project?

I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before.

It was Saturday, and we were headed out to a football game (perfect knitting time!). BUT, my Charleston Tee required complicated shaping and just wasn’t a good football-watching project. Ack! What do you do?

The need for an emergency project

Fortunately, I always have an emergency project.

I have memorized the Churchmouse Basic Sock pattern, and I always have a pair of Size 1, 9″ Circulars and some sock yarn at the ready:

Knit Picks Socks

This is Knit Picks Felici Sock yarn… and I cast on at the game!

Phew!

Do you have an emergency project at the ready?

reading

This week, I’m reading From Hardtack to Homefries: An Uncommon History of American Cooks and Meals… and it’s really interesting!

I love both food and American history, so this book is a great combo!

That’s what I’ve been up to this week… how about you? I hope you have an awesome Wednesday, and get some great knitting/crocheting done this week!

If you want to check out more Work-In-Progress posts, please check out Tami’s Ami’s Blog, who’s been organizing a great WIP Wednesday blog theme! And, don’t forget to come back for FO (Finished Object) Friday!

The Crazy Socks have Landed!

I may not have had a lot of work in progress to show you on Wednesday… but that’s because I’ve been finishing things!

Wild Hare Socks

Remember when I bought a skein of fabulous (and crazy) yarn from Wild Hare Fibers? And then started knitting some socks?

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve finished the pair!

neon knitted socks

Aren’t the colors amazing?!? And check out the toes:

knitted socks toes neon colors

I just adore the patterning and crazy colors! And I have about 1/3 of the skein left… wristwarmers, maybe?

Embroidery

I’m signed up the Wild Olive Summer Stitching club… I haven’t done much embroidering before, so I thought it’d be a great chance to expand my skills!

We received our first pattern this week, and I did it!

wild olive embroidery sunglasses

I’m so proud of myself! I mean… the pattern is adorable, and Mollie (Miss Wild Olive) gets total credit for that… but I executed it! Hooray!

I’m embroidering the designs (there are 12 total) on the edges of tea towels. I thought they’d make great kitchen accessories!

Sloth Pin

Apparently, sloths are in right now. Who knew?

Well, okay… it seems that everyone on twitter knew. Except me. But now I know, and I’m getting into them!

To ‘get down with the sloth’, I sewed a little felt sloth pin:

cute sloth felt pin

Do you like him?

reading

I finished a lot this week… even a book!

I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. It was recommended to me by the same friend that recommended the Geraldine Brooks books (which I adore), so I trust her judgement!

This was a really interesting book. Although it’s fiction, it’s written as a non-fiction story from the perspective of an autistic 15-year-old boy in England. The guise is that it’s about solving the murder mystery of a dog that was killed, but it’s really about the boy discovering the life that’s going on around him.

It was a super-quick read, and fun!

And… as if I haven’t chatted enough today, it’s the last day of the Adoption Event!

handmade stuffed animals for sale

All of the remaining animals are 30% off! So grab them while they’re available!

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

If you want to see more great finished items… make sure to visit Tami’s Amis blog, the organizer of this great FO Friday theme!

I hope you have an awesome and craft-filled weekend!

Tomorrow, I’m going to show you how I make pizza on the grill… it’s been a highly requested topic!

Knitting and Crochet Blog week: what's your knitting style?

I’m so excited to be taking part in Eskimimi’s 4th Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!

4th Annual knitting and crochet blog week

If you’re interested to see what I had to say in previous years, check out my posts for 2012 and 2011.

This year’s theme

Eskimimi always comes up with clever topics, and this year’s theme revolves around chatting about your knitting/crochet style.

I crochet as a profession, but I also knit & crochet for fun… so I’m going to focus this week’s posts on my ‘fun knitting/crochet’. I hope you enjoy the peek at my more personal side!

The House Cup

Today’s topic is: of the various ‘Houses’ that characterize knitters, which one are you?

I, ladies and gentleman, am in the House of Manatee!

house of manatee 4kcbwday1

Manatees are calm and cuddly, and focus on comfort in their knitting. That’s me for sure!

When I knit for fun at the end of the day, I’m looking to unwind and relax. I’m a very skilled knitter: I can cable and bead and follow complicated charts… but these sorts of projects rarely sneak into my knitting queue.

I like a pattern that’s easy to memorize and that I can knit without too much thinking. People often think Manatees are unskilled or lazy knitters, but I don’t think that’s really fair. We’re just folks who use knitting as a form of meditation… a calm, low-stress activity!

I also like to knit items that are functional: so I can be warm and cuddly in my daily life. I love clothing that mixes and matches easily, so I’m not drawn to cute-but-unpractical knitting projects. A knitted poncho? Sure, I like the look… but if I can’t wear it everyday with what I already own, I’m not going to put the effort into knitting it.

knitted socks

So, my favorite projects are socks and simple shawls. I can wear them with anything (socks don’t have to match what you’re wearing!) and they’re patterns that are fairly mindless. Ahh… relaxing!

How about you?

What’s your knitting style? Do you knit to learn techniques? Are you drawn to shiny sparkles?

I have to admit, I’ve wanted to be a Monkey: those folks who get a thrill from a super-challenging project. And while I like to learn new things, I just can’t get jazzed about a double-sided lace chart at 8pm. And I’ve accepted that.

The secret to happiness is knowing yourself, right?