Knitted socks, the idea is both daunting and irresistible. Though knitting socks is difficult at first, and you have to learn many skills while creating the project, trust me; it’s worth it.
At the time of writing, I’ve completed five sock projects, and have a pair as my current work in progress. The warnings were right. They’re certainly addictive!
Why not give it a try yourself?
What sock knitting needles are you supposed to choose? Selecting the right materials for the project can often be as daunting as the project itself. Don’t worry. Solving this problem is the exact point of this post.
For Those In A Hurry, here’s a quick rundown of the best sock knitting needles.
- Best DPNs - Knitter's Pride Karbonz Double Pointed Needles Socks Kit
- Best Circular Needles - HiyaHiya 40” Magic Loop Set
- Best Circular Needles Set - Addi Turbo Rockets
- Best 9inch Circulars - HiyaHiya 9
- Best Hybrid Needles - Addi Flexiflip Needles
Note: Clicking the above links will take you to further information, current prices, and customer reviews on Amazon.
Table Of Contents
- The Different Methods Of Knitting A Sock
- Remember This When Choosing Sock Knitting Needles
- Criteria To Look For In The Best
- The Best Double Pointed Sock Knitting Needles
- Knitter’s Pride Karbonz Double Pointed Needles Socks Kit
- Complete Sock Notion Kit From Knit Picks
- The Best Circular Sock Knitting Needles
- HiyaHiya 40” Magic Loop
- Addi Turbo Rockets
- HiyaHiya Steel Interchangeable Circular Needles
- HiyaHiya 9” Circulars
- Addi EasyKnit Knitting Needles
- ChiaoGoo 9” Circular Needles
- The Best Hybrid Sock Needles
- Addi Flexiflip Knitting Needles
- Neko Sock Curved Double-Pointed Knitting Needles
- Your Questions Answered
The Different Techniques
Did you know there are four different ways you can use? Each has its advantages and disadvantages and require different needles.
If you’re a beginner to sock knitting, it might be a good idea to experiment with each to see which fits you best.
When it comes to knitting with circular needles, there are several options to consider.
I find what suits me best is one circular needle with the magic loop method, so I knit two socks at a time and fit a large number of stitches on one cord.
But of course, it’s a matter of personal preferences.
Here’s a rundown of each procedure.
Double Point Needles (DPNs)
These are straight needles with dual points, so a top on each end. They’re by far the most common if you’re just starting as a sock knitter, and very popular in simple or beginner sock patterns.
Some sock knitters find doing the heel turn and side, and decreases are easier on double points. Even projects for on these, sometimes tell you to switch to this for the heel turn and later the toe.
Here is an excellent choice for sock knitting needle holders from Knit Picks.
Materials They’re Made Of – Wood, bamboo, metal, or plastic.
Common Lengths Available – 5″, 6″, 7″, and 8″.
- Lots of options on the market
- Most sock patterns are written to be made on these, so it’s beneficial to know how to use them
- Quite affordable and readily available
- If they’re quite skinny, they tend to break easily. To fix this, use something thicker, or read the reviews and make sure they’re made with durable materials.
- Most require 4-5 of these at a time, so trying to keep track of them is very tricky.
- The stitches can easily slide off, so you need to be careful where you put them when not knitting.
- If you’re not cautious, the annoying thing about laddering can happen. This is when you get a gap in the knitted project when you move from one DPN to the other.
Two Circular Knitting Needles
This is a method where sock knitters knit two socks at once using two separate ones, with the same size needle and same cord length.
If you use this procedure, it’s best to differentiate between the needles somehow, whether through different color ends or made of different materials.
Though some sock knitters struggle to wrap their heads around how to knit on circulars (circs for short), there are plenty of tutorials online to help you learn.
If you’re used to knitting with this type, it will be a lot easier to learn.
Materials They’re Made Of – Bamboo, metal, wood, and plastic.
Common Lengths Available – Usually 16″ to 36″, but sometimes longer or shorter.
- Less chance or laddering occurring, as there are fewer needles the stitches switch between when you’re using them.
- You can do two at once
- Fewer knitting needles to keep track of, so easier in that regard
- You might already have the needles required in your collection.
- If you don’t already have the circulars you need, it can be expensive to buy two of the same
- Very few projects are written to suit this technique, so you’ll have to adjust it to suit the needles, which is a learning curve.
One Circular Knitting Needle – (With The Magic Loop)
This is where you use a circular knitting needle with a small cord to serve as the sock’s tube. This is like using two, but instead, you have both socks on the 1 long circular needle.
Usually, the cord length is about 40″ long. Yes, you can have a very portable project and have to use fewer tools. It’s called the Magic Loop method for a good reason!
The technique you use to knit the socks is also very similar to the previous option. Sock knitters are somewhat divided on whether it’s better than DPNS.
Note: This is quite a learning curve, so it’s best to practice it several times before attempting the socks. Don’t worry. There are plenty of videos on youtube explaining how to knit with circular needles.
Materials They’re Made Of – Metal, plastic, wood, and bamboo.
Common Lengths Available – 40″
- If you would like to do it faster, with these, you can do two at once
- Your project is very easy to keep track of
- Cheap to buy as you only have to buy one
- Similar to the previous option, less chance of laddering is going to occur.
- Unless you knit lots of socks or shawls, you might hardly ever use this otherwise
- Another similarity with the previous method is not many patterns are written for this, so you’ll need to learn how to translate it to this.
- Can be quite confusing to master
A 9″ Circular Needle
This where you’re using a circular knitting needle with a small cord to serve as the tube of the sock. Sock knitters are divided on the difficulty. This is either the easiest way or the hardest. It depends.
Materials They’re Made Of – Bamboo, plastic, metal, and wood.
Common Lengths Available – 9″ only
- Only 1 needle you have to manage
- No chance of laddering occurring
- Portable and easy to travel with
- You need to switch to another technique to do the toe, as the amount of stitches is too small to fit around the cord of this knitting needle
- It’s very rare for projects to be written for this, so don’t expect too many
- An acquired taste, you either love it, or it doesn’t work for you at all.
- Can be very confusing and is very difficult to master
- The small size of the needle means it’s quite hard to find in products.
- If your hands are big, you’ll probably find this too difficult.
A Checklist To Consider When Choosing Them
If You’re Working From A Pattern, What Kind Of Needles Does The Pattern Call For? – This is important as it gives you a starting point on what sort you should buy!
My recommendations are divided into categories to help you with that.
What Needles Do You Have Experience With? – Sometimes it’s helpful to use something you’re more comfortable with when knitting.
Suppose you’re an advanced or experienced knitter. It might be helpfful or easier to translate what you’re working with to a style of tool you prefer or find easier to use.
Are You Going To Use The Magic Loop Method? – If so, you’ll need to use one pair of circulars.
Are The Socks You’re Going To Knit Toe-Up Or Cuff Down? – These are the two main procedures, and it’s all in a name. One, you start with the toe and work upwards, and the other, begin with the cuff and work downwards.
Which you find easier is a matter of personal preference, as each has its hard and easy parts. But the method you choose affects what knitting needles you’ll need to choose.
Criteria To Look For In The Best Knitting Needles
Do They Have Good Grip?
Are They Made From Durable Materials?
Do They Have A Warranty/Fair Return Policy?
If They’re Circular, Are The Joins Smooth To Prevent Snagging?
What Needles Are Best For Knitting Socks?
There are many different options to choose from, but hopefully, my review helps you select the right one. To make it easier, they’re divided by the different knitting needles used for the different methods used for sock knitting
The Best Double Pointed Sock Needles
Knitter’s Pride Karbonz DPNS Socks Kit
Called “Karbonz” because they’re made from strong, durable carbon fiber. These knitting needles are perfect for beginners and advanced sock knitters alike.
Available in a variety of different sizes, and very affordable too.
- Made of carbon fiber, so very durable construction
- Needle are plated with nickel for smooth knitting
- Made in India
- 5 DPNs, each is 6″ or 15cm long
- Stitches move smoothly across the needle
- Strong construction, guaranteed to last
- Comes in a convenient zip carry case
- Works with all sorts of yarns
- Needle sizes inscribed on the needle may wear off after a few uses
- Some of the joins between the shaft and the needles aren’t so smooth
- Smaller sizes may bend and break if not used gently
Complete Sock Notion Kit From Knit Picks
Start with a quality set of nickel-plated double-pointed needles, and add some beneficial tools. You get this fantastic bundle with useful notions and helpful guides, made of quality materials.
Note: This is a kit, and it includes everything you need to get started with a sock project, except a project and wool.
This Kit Contains:
- Nickel-Plated DPN Set 6″
- Silver DPN case
- Wooden Sock Stitch Markers
- Kitchener Mini Tool
- Small Cedar Box
- Darning Egg
- Sock Knitting Needle Holder
- Premium Chart Keeper
- Sock it to Me reference card
- Plenty of helpful tools to make sock knitting much easier
- Because you’re buying in a bundle, it’s discounted
- Cheaper than buying the items individually
- Doesn’t include wool
- It only includes one size length of DPNs, so you’ll need to find a pattern/project and yarn to suit it exactly.
The Best Circular Sock Knitting Needles
HiyaHiya 40” Magic Loop Set
A perfect collection of four long needles for sock knitting with the magic loop method. Made of stainless steel and durable materials, they’re made with care and guaranteed to last for many pairs of socks.
- A set of 4 40 inch circular needles.
- It comes in the US needle size of 1, 1.5, 2, and 2.5.
- It comes in a nifty organized carry case, available in a variety of colors.
- Made of durable stainless steel
- The cords are made of strong nylon
- Sharp tips for intricate and easy sock knitting
- Smooth but not too smooth finish
- Fast shipping
- Cords are flexible
- No snagging
- The join between the cord and needle can sometimes fray
- Cables are sometimes almost too flexible
Addi Turbo Rockets
These are variants of the Addi Turbo needles, designed explicitly for knitting 2 socks at a time.
Created to make sock knitting fast and a breeze, the sharp tips and unique design of the needle make it much easier to do sock and intricate knitting.
- Strong, specially manufactured 40″ blue cords
- Designed for sock knitting and intricate designs with tapered knitting needles and a sharp needle tip
- Created by Addi, you can expect an excellent standard of quality from this company
- Available in a wide variety of sizes
- The needle tips are made of smooth brass and are nickel plated
- Lifetime warranty
- Easy and fair return policy
- Very rare, but sometimes the nickel plating can flake
- Sometimes the yarn can catch at the join
HiyaHiya Steel Interchangeable Circular Needles Sock Set
For added flexibility in knitting two socks at a time on one or 2 circulars at once, this is the perfect collection to get you started with both these methods.
It comes in a handy carry case with a few other notions to make knitting your sock pattern easier.
Note: The Sock Interchangeable Needle Tip adapters included in the set are designed to allow you to use other HiyaHiya interchangeable tips with the included sock cables.
- 3 5″ needle ends – US size 0, 1, and 1.5
- Two 4″ needle tips – United States size 2 and 2.5
- Interchangeable cords included – 2 x 24″, 1 x 32″, 1 x x 40″
- Other notions included – 1 Set of Sock Interchangeable Needle Tip Adapters, Needle Grips, and 1 Interchangeable Tool, (to help you swap out the cables and needle tips.)
- The tips don’t accidentally unscrew from the cord
- Comes with a key to help you attach and tighten the connection between the two parts
- One of the only interchangeable knitting sets specifically designed for socks
- Smooth joins to prevent snagging
- You have to be careful as the knitting needles are very sharp
- Sometimes the lat that keeps the case closed can break
HiyaHiya 9” Circular Needles
Made by the same company as the above listing, this is a single set of circular needles with a 9″ long cable. Designed for the fourth and least standard method of sock knitting.
You can expect the same excellent quality and reasons to buy them as with any other needle for sock knitting from HiyaHiya.
- Made in China
- Multiple needle sizes available
- Needles are 1.75 inches long
- Made of high-quality stainless steel
- Lifetime Warranty
- Smooth, snagless joins
- Flexible cables
- The cord is made of durable plastic
- The thread glides easily over the needles and cable.
- Those with big hands may struggle to use these needles
- Knitting with these can be a challenge
- The short tips might be difficult for some to use
Addi EasyKnit Needles
Created for sock knitters who knit two socks at a time on two different circulars, these have the right cord length to suit your needs.
Smooth, quick, and effortless knitting, the needles for sock knitting are lightweight without being slippery.
- Available in a wide variety of sizes
- The cord length is 10″ or 25 cm
- Specifically designed for sock knitting
- Made in Germany
- Smooth and lightweight
- You can be rest assured any of their products are excellently made.
- Very smooth joins, low risk of snagging
- Designed for easy, effortless sock knitting
- One tip is slightly longer than the other to help make it easier.
- Very comfortable to use
- If you have hand pain or strain these might be hard to knit with
ChiaoGoo 9” Circular Needles
Another option for those looking for 9 inch long circular needles, these are special because they’re bundled together with a bonus stitch holder. Perfect for keeping the first sock work in progress while you work on the second.
Chiaogoo makes excellent products, and these are no exception.
- Comes with a bonus stitch holder
- Needle size is etched on the needle for a handy reference
- The cable is also made from steel, but it’s nylon-coated
- Made from quality stainless steel
- Smooth, snag-free joins
- Lightweight and easy to knit with
- Yarn slides along easily
- Pointy tips make it easy to get into stitches without splitting the wool.
- May take a while getting used to knitting like this
- The small cable may be uncomfortable for some to use
The Best Hybrid Needles
Addi Flexiflip Needles
These may look slightly strange, two DPNs stuck together with a short cable. They’re a unique hybrid of double pointed needles and circular needles that combine the best of both worlds.
You cast on in the round, but the stitches are distributed over two needles, and you knit with the third, meaning there are only two needle changes. Less chance of laddering due to this feature.
One flexiflip has both a turbo and a rocket tip, for added versatility.
- Designed for sock knitting, or for projects that need a combination of DPNs and circular needles. Such as mittens, hats, cowls, sweater sleeves, etc.
- Comes in a pack of two, (four needle tips on two needles)
- Comes with a handy storage tube
- Many different sizes available
- Smooth joins
- Flexible cable
- Much faster sock knitting compared to using DPNs
- It requires a bit of practice to start using them, but it’s not too complicated.
- Best to buy two packs if you’re doing larger projects
- Might not be useful for some people
Neko Sock Curved Double-Pointed Needles
These may look like DPNs that someone sat on but didn’t entirely break, but they’re meant to look like that!
These are curved DPns, designed to make it easier to knit, prevent so much risk of laddering, and make it easier to keep track of the needles by having less of them.
These are especially great if you have a pattern that calls for DPNs. You don’t have to change the it to suit the needle!
- Comes in a pack of 3
- Two needles hold the stitches while you knit them with the third
- Made from durable plastic
- Easier than knitting with DPNs
- Only need to use 3 needles instead of 4 or 5
- Makes sock knitting faster and much more comfortable
- Quite a learning curve when it comes to using these needles, but with practice, it becomes easier.
- Sometimes they are prone to breaking after lots of use.
Your Questions Answered
Can I Knit Socks On Circular Needles?
Yes, of course! You can use one of 3 methods, two separate circular needles, one for both, and one 9″ circular needle. There are many helpful tutorials to teach you how to do all these three.
What Size Needles For Socks?
It depends on the yarn weight and thickness. The label should tell you which one is best suited to it.
How Do You Make Socks With 4 Needles?
That’s the most common method of knitting socks, knitting them on DPNs, or double-pointed needles.
Hopefully, this gave you some insight into finding the best sock knitting needles, tools, and methods.
Happy sock knitting, and may you discover and learn new things on your journey. It will be a proud moment when you get to wear them for the first time. It’s a great feeling 🙂
If you’re starting a project, or have any questions about sock knitting needles, I’d love to see your work-in-progress or help you out. Leave a comment below.