Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) is often spoken about by those that like to knit or crochet socks. One sock gets finished and the second half of the pair waits in the project bag for ages sometimes to never be seen again. Today I’m going to share my cure for SSS and how to finish 2 at a time in crochet, whether it is socks, mitts, slippers or sleeves.
Making 2 identical objects is always a challenge for me. Being I seem to have been born with the designer gene I tend to “fiddle” with patterns. Unfortunately, if you don’t write down the fiddling bits when doing the first object, you are a bit sunk when making the second one. Sometimes my pairs are more like fraternal twins than identical and a few times it was questionable as to if they were even from the same family.
Along comes the idea of making 2-at-a-time. Quite popular with my sock knitting friends it seemed a good idea for me when crocheting fingerless mitts. Especially as I was doing the original designing bit. You can find the free pattern for the above design at the RedHeart.com website here.
I worked all the samples for my mitts in my “Texting Mitts” book using this method (You can purchase an electronic version or paperback version of my book on the Leisure Arts website here). The great thing is you get to the end of the pattern and you have 2 mitts all done!
What you will need:
2 balls of yarn
At least 2 locking stitch markers, more if your pattern calls for them.
Pattern for pairs: Either mittens, gloves, slippers or socks (or the sleeve section of a sweater pattern).
I recommend 2 balls of yarn. Some folks use the 2 opposite ends of the same ball. I find that to be a bit tricky and tangly. If I already have 2 balls of the color I want to use, I just go with them. If not, I weigh the yarn and do a quick calculation of yards/per grams(or ounces) then use my 2 yard niddy noddy to measure out half of the yarn.
Pop that onto my swift and wind it up into another ball (I generally wind the other half remaining in the original ball too as it gives me a tidier ball to work with and is less likely to tangle…I hate tangles).
Now you need the pattern. Any crochet pair pattern could be worked similarly. No matter what pattern you are using I highly recommend that you work the foundation/start in the same sitting if at all possible.
I am sharing this from a sad experience. I was making myself a set of mitts and thought I would work the palm bit then return to the foundation and work the palm bit of the 2nd mitt. Unfortunately, I was a few rows into the palm of the 2nd mitt and discovered my gauge was too different in my foundation round.
The real trick to working 2 at a time in crochet is the locking stitch markers. One of the wonderful things about crochet is that you have only one “live” loop at a time. The locking stitch marker placed in that loop means you can run off with the hook to work on the 2nd object or even a completely different project and your stitches will not unravel.
As you work back and forth between your 2 items you place the stitch marker in the working loop of the “resting” item. I use 2 different colors to keep track of which 1 of the 2 I’m working on. These were the start of some fingerless mitts I made using one of my patterns from my “Texting Mitts” book a few years back.
I crocheted the foundations for each mitt, placing the locking stitch marker in my working loop as I finished the foundation. Then I worked 2 rounds of the first mitt, placed the stitch marker in the working loop, removed the stitch marker from the working loop in my 2nd mitt, inserted my hook and crocheted 2 rounds of the 2nd mitt.
There are other methods for securing your working loop, but I like the stitch markers because you don’t need to make the working loop super large to keep it from getting pulled out. That allows me to be fairly speedy in my crochet work and that helps me with deadlines.
When I am designing my mitt or other pair patterns, I crochet 1 round at a time noting any design changes and switching back and forth between the 2 objects. Sometimes I will pin the 2 objects together to make it easier to switch back and forth. Just pin them so that you don’t obstruct the area you need to crochet into.
Now dear readers, it’s your turn to tackle some pairs. Hopefully you will end up with 2 of a kind.