Advent calendar: 18. Magic loop knitting

Knitting in the round (such as for socks) is usually done on double pointed needles. This involves four or five short needles with points on both ends, with your stitches split into three or four sections. I suck at this kind of knitting. I poke myself (or anyone within a six foot radius) in the eye, generally get confused about what direction I’m knitting in or where each row begins, and inevitably drop one of the needles on the floor, ruining the whole thing in my inept fumbling to fix it.

If you’re lucky enough to be knitting something big enough, you can use a circular needle instead. This is also technically double pointed, but has a long cable or wire between the two rigid points, linking them together. This is likely to be used for things like jumpers, but you can use them instead of normal needles if you turn it round at the end of each row. This is what I do with my favorite lovely knit picks interchangeable needles. They are pretty and they grip the yarn so nicely they are a joy to knit with. Given the choice I’d knit everything in them.

So, when I discovered magic loop knitting, I was very excited. This is a technique using a long circular needle which replicates the results of the spiky chaos of double pointed needles. I used magic loop knitting this week to knit some leg warmers for Polly, to match her fantastic double bobble hat.

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It worked really well (in my opinion), and most importantly, it was easy. Even telling which end is the start of the round was easy in this little project, because of the tail left when I cast on.

This is the YouTube video which showed me what to do. It’s actually by the company that make my lovely needles!

At the start of each section, I pulled the yarn tight. This pulled the loop of the last stitch tight into the cable, shrinking it considerably from the 12mm gauge of the needle tips I used. I think this was the reason it worked so well. This is my attempt using double knitting yarn on 4mm needle tips:

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It’s a bit uneven because there’s a looseness in the joining edge. There’s obviously a knack to this, which, like with double pointed needles, I just don’t have.

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One Response to Advent calendar: 18. Magic loop knitting

  1. Pingback: Advent calendar: 19. Polly’s leg warmers | impeus.com

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