Winding and Organizing Yarn for Two at a Time Socks

It’s easiest to knit two at a time (TAAT) socks if you first divide the yarn into two smaller cakes or balls. There are also ways of organizing the yarn in a knitting bag that help it from getting tangled while knitting. Armed with these tips, you’ll be ready to knit two at a time socks! A video showing how to do all these steps is below.

Winding the Yarn

If your yarn isn’t already divided into two skeins, that’s your first step. Some knitters suggest you can use both ends of one skein to knit two socks at once (the end that pulls from the center of the ball and the one that wraps around the outside.) I find that method twists the yarns into knots so prefer to take time at the beginning to set the yarn up for more foolproof success, which for me means two separate skeins.

I prefer to wind my cakes with a yarn winder and swift, although I demonstrate several ways of winding yarn in this post. To create two balls of yarn, start by placing the hank of yarn on the swift, then count how many individual pieces of yarn there are. Tie a scrap of yarn on one of the arms of the swift as shown in the photo below. As you begin winding the yarn, count each time the scrap yarn passes by the marked arm so you can count how many strands of yarn have been wrapped into the cake. Stop when half the yarn has been wound, then wind the second cake with the rest of the yarn.


Separating the Yarn in Your Bag

I like to take each ball of yarn and place it in a plastic bag, as shown at the top of this page.

Then place each of those in a knitting project bag, one on each side. Pull the yarn from the center of the cake for each and lift them out of the bag without crossing the yarn. Use a safety pin to close the two sides of the bag so one yarn is coming out of the left and one out of the right. The plastic bags and pin in the center of the project bag keep the two skeins from getting tangled. The bag should look like this:

Project bag with yarn set up to knit two at a time socks

Project Bag Pattern

This is the pattern I used to sew my knitting project bags (like the one above.) I have them in various sizes. The one I use to knit socks is about 12” across and 8” tall. The yarn fits in the big pocket and the little pockets around the sides are great for holding things like stitch markers, row counters, small pairs of scissors, a tape measure, and a crochet hook for easily picking up dropped stitches. 

Turn the Bag When You Turn Your Work

As you’re knitting two at a time socks using magic loop, every time you turn your work, simply turn the bag the same way (clockwise or counter-clockwise) so the yarn for the left sock is coming out of the left side of the bag and the yarn for the right sock is coming out of the right side of the bag. It’s quick and easy to do, and this method means you never have any trouble with the yarn getting tangled or confused. 

Video Tutorial

The following video shows how to do all of these steps to set up your yarn and project bag for knitting two at a time socks:

Want to Give it a Try?

Now that you know how to set up your yarn, you’re ready to start knitting! Check out the following to get started:

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