I first came across this method of knitting from a craft book club to which I belong. I was looking through the book catalog before throwing it in the recycling bucket and a book called Knitting Circles Around Mittens and More by Antje Gillingham caught my eye.
I've knitted for years, having learned from my mother as a child, but my projects were mostly flat items, afghans, scarves and the like. The few times I attempted to knit mittens, they always came out way too big and were always different lengths and they had to be seamed up the side, since I could never get the hang of knitting with double pointed needles. The same was true for any hats I made. With this technique, the mittens or gloves come out the same length and size, since you work them both at the same time.
Knitting with two circular needles takes some getting used to. The book said to get two different length circular needles so that you can keep track of which needle you started on but I found that knitting with one 16" needle and one 24" needle didn't feel comfortable. I solved that problem by using two of the longer needles and placing a stitch marker at the beginning of the starting needle.
In this method you cast on your stitches onto one of the needles and split them between the two needles, making sure that the stitches don't get twisted in the process. I can't tell you how many times I had to start over because I hadn't realized that I had somehow gotten the stitches twisted. Once you have done this process for both mittens on the same two needles, you start to knit. At first this method can be quite confusing, at least I found it so. You have two needles, two balls of yarn, and two dangling bits from casting on your stitches. I had to start over a number of times because I either started knitting with the wrong ball of yarn or with the left over from casting on. As I stated in my first post about this method, it was like knitting with an uncooperative octopus and there were lots of expletives uttered and many times I got so frustrated that I threw the whole thing against the nearest wall.
But I am quite stubborn and don't like it when something appears to be getting the best of me and I finally mastered the technique. Well, maybe not mastered it. I still sometimes get confused with which piece of yarn I supposed to be knitting with but I've become more competent in this technique.
I'm planning to start on some more fingerless gloves soon, since horrors of horrors winter will be back far too soon. I've included some photos of some examples I have in my Wyvern Designs on Art Fire shop.
Purple Fingerless Gloves