Borealis socks. Teal wool socks with cable detail running up the top of the foot and front of the leg.

How to: Magic loop

Today I have another tutorial for you which will come in handy for my latest pattern, the Borealis Socks or any other project that requires you to work a small circumference in the round. Ever since discovering magic loop I have never looked back. I now favour this method over using DPNs as I find it less fiddly (also I’m a lot less likely to sit on, and break, a needle!) so I thought I would share the love with you here.

Magic loop. Cast on stitches on the left hand needle.

1. Cast on the desired number of stitches as normal, using a 80 cm/ 32″ or longer circular needle.

Magic loop. Cable is folded in two with the stitches split between the top and the bottom of the cable.

2. Split the stitches in half by pulling the cable out to form a loop between the middle two stitches. You should now have half the stitches sitting on one needle and the same number of stitches sitting on the other.

Magic loop.  Join to work in the round. Needles held parallel with half the stitches on the top needle and half on the bottom needle.

3. Making sure that the cast-on edge isn’t twisted, move the first stitch you cast on from needle two (bottom in the picture) to needle one (top in the picture). Then move the last stitch you cast on (that has the working yarn) from needle one, over the stitch you have just moved, and on to needle two. Your work is now joined in the round.

Magic loop. Half of the stitches rest on the top needle while the bottom needle has been pulled through so those stitches now rest on the cable. The right hand needle prepares to knit the first stitch.

4. It’s now time to start knitting! Pull out needle two (with the working yarn attached) so that the stitches are sat on the cable, but so there is still a small loop of cable at the end of needle one. Knit the stiches on needle one as specified in the pattern, making sure to pull the first stitch a little tighter to avoid a ladder between the stitches on the needle and those on the cable.

Magic loop. Stitches have been rearranged so that the second half of the stitches now rest on the left needle ready to be knit. Those that have just been knit now rest on the cable.

5. When you reach the end of needle you need to rearrange your stitches. Pull needle one through so that the stitches are resting on the cable. Pull the cable through so that the stitches sit on needle two. Rotate your needles so that needle two is now on top. Your work should look like the picture.

Magic loop. Right needle is now inserted in to the first stitch ready to knit.

6. Knit the stitches from needle two as specified in the pattern, remembering to pull the first stitch a little tighter to avoid a ladder between that stitch and the stitch on the cable. Continue until all stitches on needle two have been worked. You have now knit one round.

Magic loop. All stitches have now been knit. Stitches rest on the right hand needle and the cable.

7.  With this method you should be working with the needle closest to you to avoid knitting the piece ‘inside out’. This is often easier to spot once you have knit a few rounds. It can also be beneficial to hang a lockable stitch marker from the last stitch to remind you where the end of the round is. I tried to use an ordinary stitch marker once and found it down the sofa months later!

As with anything it can take a little practice but once you find your rhythm with how you prefer to rearrange your stitches, you too could be converted to this way of knitting! I certainly find it a lot quicker than knitting with DPNs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s