Knitting with Magic Loop

When we talked about the Snow Speckled Hat yesterday, it made me think about how we knit hats. Getting down to the nuts and bolts of knitting, you have to knit a hat in the round (unless you’re seaming up one side). When the circular needles fit all the way through, it’s amazing, but when you start doing decreases there are a couple techniques you can use. This is a great time to talk about one technique, the Magic Loop method.

All the stitches straining to get around one small circular needle. It’s time to try something new!

The Magic Loop involves using one long circular needle, 32″ or 48″ are best. If you’re knitting a hat for instance, a short circular needle, as in 16″, will be fine for the body of the hat, but as you decrease near the top the stitches will be more and more difficult to knit with short circulars.

This is a great time to switch over to the Magic Loop needle. One of my favorite ways to switch over is to use interchangeable needles and connect one needle tip to your new cable, and use a stopper on the other end. This way you can knit the stitches from your short cable needle to your longer cable needle. If you don’t have interchangeable needles, don’t worry, you can just use a longer circular needle of the same size.

Switching from one needle to the other. The original needles are a red color while the larger cable needles are a green color. You can knit one right over to the other.

Now, in order for your needle ends to line up, fold the garment over and pull out the cable approximately halfway through. You’ll see now that the garment is folded in half and there’s a large amount of cable sticking out of one and the needles are out the other end. When working along that top row of stitches, pull the cable out the other side.

All the stitches are on one needle and ready to knit in the round.

Many people chose this option over doing double pointed needles because there are a lot less moving parts. I prefer double pointed needles because it feels seamless to me, but I know they’re not for everyone.

If you’ve been trying to figure out double pointed needles and it just isn’t working, give the Magic Loop method a try and see how it works for you!

While you’re actually knitting with it, there are large loops out to either side of your knitting. This is the whole trick to Magic Loop knitting.

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Knitting snowflakes into a hat

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