Dilapidated dpns

Colinette JitterBug, 100% merino wool, moss colorway (#75).

The stitch definition is absolutely remarkable. A tightly spun, cord like yarn will do that: knit itself into stacked columns of yarn beads. Does that mean the socks will be particularly long-wearing? They better be, considering knitting with this yarn occasionally pains my left hand and shoulder, just like when I knit with cotton or linen.

It looks and feels just like BMFA Socks That Rock lightweight. But I don’t think any colorway in the Socks That Rock family approaches the beauty of this moss. The variegation is subtle enough to support a very complicated stitch pattern (as we’ll see below). At the same time, the little bursts of red color keep the hands moving – what color will the next stitch be?


And it’s all somehow reminiscent of food! Rhubarb? Strawberry patch? Lettuce greens? Watermelon? What am I missing? Some other yummy?

The pattern is Belle Époque from the new book, 2-at-a-time socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. Longtime readers will cry bullshit at this purchase – if knitting one sock using Magic Loop ranks as my #1 most fiddly technique ever (more fiddly than intarsia!), knitting two socks simultaneously using this technique is… not even on the radar of acceptability!

But the patterns inside are good! Intriguing enough to make me open my wallet, despite having enough sock patterns in my library to last a lifetime! I figure, if the cover of the book proclaims “Revealed inside… the secret of knitting two at once on one circular needle. Works for any sock pattern!” then I can go ahead and knit their patterns, one at a time, using dilapidated dpns. Right?!? Right?!? 😉

And that’s exactly what I’m doing!


59 thoughts on “Dilapidated dpns

  1. Tana

    I am so with you! I can do all sorts of advanced knitting techniques, but two circulars are decidedly beyond my abilities (and I have tried them). Here’s to dpns!

  2. Sharon

    I love this yarn (& the socks look beautiful too)! Where did it come from? I checked out Colinette’s website, but they don’t list any stockists in the US. I’m also in the Boston area, so I’m wondering if there’s somewhere local that carries it. Thanks!

  3. Nadia Lewis

    That is a very nice colourway! I like it when the secondary colour occupies a much lower percent of the space than the primary colour to prevent competition for the eye. This 5% of a contrasting colour is enough for interest, but not enough to overwhelm or confuse. Perfect.

  4. Annika

    I was JUST digging through my stash looking for something appropriate for the Twilight socks from that book. Which I have every intention of knitting one at a time on DPNs.

  5. leslie

    I should have read that book somewhere before purchasing on-line because I have yet to the “the secret”; but then again, I’ve been two socks on magic loop person for a couple of years now…

    I really do like the little teases of rhubarb in that yarn.

  6. Tora Consolo

    Right on! Two socks on two circs is silly! I love my dbl points and would never give them up.

    BTW I love, love, love that colorway!

    Tora in Chagrin falls, Ohio

  7. Sally

    I looked at that book the other day and thought fiddly. I am so glad you said unacceptably fiddly. Thanks for saving me money!

  8. gannet

    You can order the colorway from anyone in the US who stocks Colinette. That’s how I got mine earlier this year. I adored knitting with it, too. 😀

  9. pia

    Good luck with this yarn! I fell in love with jitterbug, but the one pair of socks I knit with it have faded like CRAZY and I’m a pretty anal sock washer when it comes to gentle care. Hopefully, the popsicle colorway I had was a rare case!

  10. Kristy

    I love Jitterbug yarn! I’ve at least temporarily sworn off knitting it on size US1s, though, because it hurts my wrists. You’re right– they have such beautiful colors.

  11. yaiAnn

    Of course you can!! Why, I knit socks patterns written for dpns using magic loop ALL the time! 😉 And for the record, I love magic loop to death, but two socks at once on magic loops IS the most fiddly thing ever.

  12. maliarda

    What a magnificent colorway! And what beautiful work!

    I’m a newbie, and my summer project is learning how to knit socks. Your excellence is an inspiration.


  13. Mari

    Love the green/red photo sequel! And knitting patterns written for magic loop with dpns. I’m totally with you. I’ll neve give up my dpns! Evah.

  14. kmkat

    I have a pair of socks OTN in almost that exact yarn — mine is Colinette Jitterbug, but I don’t remember the name of the color. The background is the same mossy tannish-green, but the bursts of color are red and blue and yellow and forest green. It is truly yummy stuff.

    Magic Loop is my preferred method, but I bought that 2-at-a-time book when the author was in Minneapolis for the Knit & Crochet Out at the Mall of America in February. After trying her method I decided it was too fiddly, and since second sock syndrome has never been a problem of mine, I donated the book to the library. To each her own.

  15. michele

    pia, I regret to inform you that your fading experience is typical for Jitterbug. I’ve knitted a couple of pairs from it, and while I loved making them, the colors ran like crazy when washed. Oh, and they fuzzed up mightily too. And they’re awfully short yardage. But I forgive Jitterbug because their colors in the skein are just so dreamy.

  16. Julia

    I made Socks of Kindness from the same colorway back in March. I love the way it turned out! Your pattern choice looks great, too. Wish Jitterbug was a bit more cost friendly…

  17. sue Treiber

    beautiful colorway & pattern!

    I think I’m not coordinated enough to do the 2 circs. I feel like I have 2 left hands!

  18. Kristin

    That yarn sounds a lot like Koigu PPM which I made mittens with last year. They are wearing very well. I love the colourway.

  19. Becky

    I have the same book with no intention of using one long circular ever! DPN’s are the way to go!

  20. Janet

    I’m totally in agreement on the two socks on one long circular and also using 2 circs, while we’re at it. Dpns forever for me, but I do have 2 sets of each size and knit both socks at the same time. It takes longer, but when done with one, I just catch up the other and presto – no second sock syndrome.

  21. Nancy

    Yeah, I tried the magic loop method once, and then promptly swapped away my long circs for yarn! I just couldn’t deal with pulling that loop out all the time! Once I accidently pulled my stitches off the needle, and that did it for me.

    Now, give me 2 circs and I’ll knit all the socks you want 2-at-a-time. (But not for multi-color patterns — I tried that too; not fun.) I guess I’ll try anything once.

  22. Rebecca

    Very nice! Makes me want to pull out the Colinette in my stash and knit a pair of socks. My colorway is ‘Blue Jay’ and it is lovely!

  23. Deb

    Swiss Chard. The red kind. (though rhubarb is close enough). Beautiful looking yarn.

    And I would much rather knit 2 socks on one circular needle than have to fiddle with all the DPNs. Then I am a clumsy knitter…

  24. Shanna

    Gorgeous yarn! My stash is screaming for that colorway now. I knit with Jitterbug once and loved it but it’s a little short on yardage. I have women’s 8 1/2 feet and I had to finish the second toe with some old Socks That Rock from my stash. It’s not even close to the same color but I actually find it a little endearing to have my fraternal socks. 🙂

  25. Nora

    Beautiful colour and pattern. I wish you luck with the Jitterbug. Unfortunately, I had the same experience as Pia and Michele – fading and fuzzing!

  26. Claire

    I have that book, haven’t tried it yet, but FYI, there is some errata for the actual technique of 2-at-a-time (should you ever try it). There’s an errata page available (email the publisher) and a ravelry group for the book.

  27. Cindy

    Absolutely!! I think the circs are way too fiddly for socks. BTW, great score on the sewing machine.

  28. denise

    i’m in the process of completing my first pair of 2-at-a-time socks. while i do find using the circ a bit fiddly, after about the first 3 inches, it gets much easier. i’ve turned the heel and am currently working the gusset decreases. as a socknitter who lubs her dpns, the allure of finishing both socks at once was just too much. would i use this technique for colorwork? hell no, just can’t see it. that would reallly get confusing for me. perhaps mindless knitting with a variegated or striped yarn or interesting knit/purl/twisted/simple lace stitch patterns. but i’m glad i tried it and have this technique in my knitting arsenal. btw, many responders are confusing the technique: its one long circ…not two.

  29. Kim

    Okay, I have to say, I LOVE THAT DANG book of Melissa Oakes. I have a stinkin’ STACK of single socks. I have major second sock syndrome. I bought this book, bought the long needle, and made a PAIR of socks in about a week. Normally it takes me, uh, oh….. yeah. I never get to the second sock. In 3 weeks I’ve made two PAIRS of socks using this method. To each his own, I say. It’s a total piece of cake to do and I love whipping out socks in this method. I didn’t think I’d like it because of the long cord, but I was determined not to quit and after about 2 inches on the needles, I was sold. Love your belle epoque’s too. . .

  30. melissaknits

    You can knit them any way you want, so long as you’re knitting them. And you’re not alone – it’s a love or hate thing with the 2-at-a-Time thing. I love. Many love. And a lot don’t, and that’s all cool with me – there’s still 16 patterns in there. or was it 17? I forget. Anyway – have at it! Those are BEAUTIFUL Belle Epoques!

  31. Jackie

    I made a pair of socks in the same yarn and same color way. They machine wash and dry without shrinking. Or any that’s noticeable. I knit my socks on 6 inch circulars then do the heel and toes in dpns for tighter stitches.

  32. NinaB

    You can buy Colinette Jitterbug at Loopyewe.com or at Jimmybeanswool.com. I’ve also seen it in a few LYS here in the Bay Area, CA-Noe Knits for one. Love the socks! I just finished a pair in that yarn and I found it very springy and fun to work with.

  33. Kate

    I can’t stand magic looping. It’s so fiddly, it ruins my ythm, and then knitting takes longer and is less fun.

    Most of my friends look at me askance when I say this. Most of them because they have no idea what I am talking about! ;P But the knitting ones, they think I’m nuts. But I love my DPNs.

  34. Sarah

    I’m loving the sock nad DPNs too. Jitterbug colours are very hard to beat but I have had a lot of dye leach out at the washing stage. Another similar yarn in wonderful colours which I think holds dye and maybe wears better is the Shibui sock, love that stuff best (at the moment!)

  35. Beth S.

    What a glorious colorway! I wish there were more “barely-variegateds” like this one on the market.

    I once tried to knit a 2-circ pattern on DPNs, but it was just too frustrating. I had to keep rearranging the stitches due to the way that particular pattern increased and decreased, and eventually I got sick of it and ripped the whole thing out. I hope you have an easier time of it!

  36. beth

    I love Collinette Jitterbug. It washes up nice too. I think I made a pair of socks using that color too.

    Yours are lovely!

  37. beth

    I love Collinette Jitterbug. It washes up nice too. I think I made a pair of socks using that color also.

    Yours are lovely!

  38. JulieM

    Your sock is looking good! I agree with you about the DPNs. I still think they are the best way to knit a sock! One at a time.

  39. Lillie

    Thank you for commenting on the fiddliness of knitting two socks at a time. I started a pair using the 2 circular needle method, and I hate it. I was going to perservere til the end, but I feel like you just gave me permission to move those babies onto dpns!

  40. jen

    I was very very sad on the day that my jitterbug sock (just one of them) wound up in the wash by accident. It felted! correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that supposed to be superwash? I am so sad. it was an embossed leaves sock, my first patterned sock, in a gorgeous plum. Though the color had faded badly, despite being hand-washed from day one.

  41. Debbie

    Love Colinette Jitterbug. I’m a double point girl, myself! I am a nervous wreck when I tried the circulars. Blaghh. Not for me. The colorway you used is awesome!

  42. Leslie

    I’m always borrowing books from the library because they normally only have one or two patterns in them that I would ever make. Like you I actually shelled out the dinero to buy this one. Unlike you, I actually really liked the magic loop, two at a time method. Give it a try people!

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