Ch. 5 Intro to Magic Loop
You can now use Magic Loop to knit anything you want in the round. But you’ll need to practice before you move on. I want to make sure you feel really comfortable using Magic Loop, and so I’ve designed this section to cover any hiccups you might run into, as well as to challenge you a little bit.
Work out the kinks on your sample tube using the videos that follow, and then you can put your new skills to the test on any simple round project you want – I’ll give you a basic hat pattern at the end of this course.
Why Magic Loop?
Magic Loop solves all the problems inherent in other forms of round knitting, plus, it’s easier, faster, and more fun. In all my experience knitting and teaching, Magic Loop is the best and easiest way to learn to knit in the round.
Try On As You Go
With Magic Loop, you can try on anything you knit as you go, whether it be socks or gloves, and never worry about losing stitches off the ends of your DPNs, or being stabbed by the ninja star of death.
Being able to try on your knitting as you go is a big time-saver: discovering that what you are making is too small or too big before you are done is one easy way to save yourself hours and hours of re-knitting.
With Magic Loop, the frustrating problem of laddering disappears.
Even beginners just trying the method notice after their first few rounds that their tube is seamless and even, all the way around. Hooray! As my student Dianne says…
“The Magic Loop! No more ladders in my socks, yay. It’s definitely the most useful technique I’ve learned and I use it all the time. Thanks Liat :)” -Dianne D.
This is a boring but succinct way to say you don’t have to spend so much money on needles.
You just have to buy one length of needle, in whatever size your project (or gauge swatch) calls for, and that’s it. Knit the biggest sweater to the tiniest novelty toy on one length of needle.
You also won’t have to carry so many different needles with you when you travel.
Never Use DPNs Again
I almost forgot this one. This is a main selling point of Magic Loop to some of my students, who have become so frustrated with using DPNs that they give up knitting in the round until they discover the joy of Magic Loop.
But you don’t have to hate DPNs, or give them up, to appreciate what Magic Loop can do in your life. Just think, you’ll never have to stop at a knit shop when traveling to buy a set of DPNs that you already have at home, just because you got to the top of your hat faster than you thought you would.
With Magic Loop, you’ve already got all the needles you’ll ever need. Now you can stop at that knit shop just because you feel like it.
Never Lose The Other Needle
No more losing needles in car doors, down the aisle of an airplane, or just in the cavernous depths of your knitting bag. You simply can’t – they’re attached to each other.
One huge advantage to using Magic Loop is that is opens the door to knitting things two-at-a-time.
We’ll explore the wonders of knitting two-at-a-time in the Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time Socks course, in which I trick you into learning the two-at-a-time method without even trying. But for now, let me just say the words, “No more Second Sock Syndrome.”
Supplies You’ll Need For Magic Loop
All you need to begin learning Magic Loop is a 40- to 47-inch-long circular needle in a medium size, say, US size 7 or 8, and about 50 yards of worsted-weight yarn (for help with buying yarn and distinguishing yarn weights, see Chapter 14: Choosing the right yarn for your project).
If you don’t already own a circular needle and you need to buy one, purchase a 47-inch-long needle, as you will be able to use this length for any project, including two-at-a-time.
36 inches is the shortest length of needle that can be used for Magic Loop, so if you already have this length at home, that’s fine, but if you are buying new needles, the longer, the better (up to 47 inches).
What Brand of Needles?
You have a few choices when shopping for needles.
Common brands you will find at your LYS will be Clover bamboo circular needles, as well as Addi Turbo and Lace needles. You can also find Clover circulars at Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics, but I don’t recommend them.
You may be used to knitting on bamboo needles, but bamboo circulars can have an inflexible cable and can have a rough join (the place where the cable is connected to the needle tips), causing snags and frustration as you try to move your knitting along. I don’t recommend them.
If you like the security of a bamboo needle, I recommend you try a pair of Addi Lace needles.
Addi Lace needles have a slightly rougher surface than the super-slick Addi Turbos, and they also have a pointier tip. This translates into more dexterity while you are knitting, and the ability to knit complicated stitches with ease.
Ask any LYS employee and they will rave about Addi Lace. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the techniques, Addi Turbos are a great choice for making quick progress on your projects. They have a blunt tip and a smooth finish, helping you speed along like a Knitting Superstar.
Addi also has a fun option, called Addi Click, a set of interchangeable needles and cables. With one purchase, you’ll have most of the needles you’ll ever need. You can buy other cables and needle-tips separately. As of this writing, the Clicks are only available in the Turbo style, but they are working hard on a Lace version.
The set of Addi Clicks is pricey, but compared to buying each Addi needle individually, it’s a steal.
KnitPicks, an online knit shop, has a popular and inexpensive set of interchangeable circular needles as well. They come in wood and metal, and the gorgeous multicolored wooden ones have a nice sharp point similar to the Addi Lace.
The cables are very flexible (and purple!), and the price is the lowest available for this type of product. A set of these makes a great gift for any knitter. HiyaHiya interchangeable needles have also been coming on to the scene recently, and are worth a look.
This list wouldn’t be complete without the cream of the crop, Signature NeedleArts, the finest knitting tools money can buy. Made in a factory that machines airline parts, these precision aluminum needles now come in circulars as well. At $40 per pair of needles, these are a real treat for any Magic Looper in your life. Good thing they have a wish list on their site.
My opinion If you want me to pick for you, support your LYS and buy a pair of 47″ Addi Lace in size 7. I know you’ll be very pleased.
You’re ready. Grab your 47-inch, circular needle, a scrap of worsted-weight yarn, and follow along with the next video.