2 circulars vs Magic Loop for socks

i’m trying to figure out which is the way to go. i wa leaning towards ML just because it’d be cheaper (1 addi’s in each gage, vs 2 addi’s in each gage)
but, i’m thinking it might be easier to do on 2 circulars instead of one large one. seems like it’d be easier to wrap my head around the 2 circulars and convert patterns with that method then it would for the ML.

so, if you have done both, which do you prefer? and why?

I’ve done both and I prefer magic loop. There are only 2 needle ends to keep track of and there’s no doubt about which needle gets used to knit with next - unlike 2 circs in which if you’re not paying close attention it is easy to accidentally knit with the wrong needle end.

I see what you’re saying about using only 1 Addi vs. 2 Addis, but the thing is with magic loop you need a nice long circ (40" is best, in my opinion) which you likely wouldn’t use for much else besides magic loop. With 2 circs, yeah you’d need 2 needles of the same size BUT you can get say a 24" length one and a 32" length one, use those 2 for knitting with 2 circs but you are also very likely to use the two needles seperately for other large diameter circular projects.

i prefer magic loop, it doesn’t seem as messy to keep track of for me

IMHO - I love magic loop! I couldn’t get my brain around the 2 circ method - but magic loop is so nice. A small warning, the first couple of rounds are a bit awkward, especially if you are knitting a toe-up sock. But once you get a little bit of weight on there to balance out the size of the needle - its wonderful.

What everyone else said. I like ML, but have used 2 circs too. They’re really quite similar. Are you stuck on Addis? I really the KP Classic circs for socks. (And KP Options for heavier socks.) They’re super cheap. You could get one set in 32", and try ML, and if you don’t like it, you can get another set in a different length to do the 2 circ method. (And it’ll still be cheaper than just one set of Addis.)

Curious. What is a Magic Loop? Is it an easier way to make socks? I want to learn socks this year.


Magic Loop is a technique for knitting small diameter projects in the round. Yes, it’s great for socks.

There is a video here:


I’m intrigued by the magic loop method. Can any sock pattern be used with this method? If yes, how does one go about modifying the pattern?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

It is just another method to get to the same end result. Any sock pattern can be done using magic loop. For that reason you will find VERY few patterns actually written for magic loop.

that’s actually a good idea. i’ll look into it!

I learned to knit socks using magic loop – I learned from a booklet I purchased from a LYS. However, for my next sock pattern I went to DPNS because so many patterns are written that way. I picked up the book, Sensational Knitted Socks (highly recommend it, BTW!), and they have directions for DPNS and 2 circs. For Xmas, I rec’d Cat Bordhi’s book, Socks Soar on 2 Circs, and was planning on purchasing Knit Picks circs to try that method. The Knit Picks circs are very inexpensive – around $5 each, I believe. I have heard people say that it is easier to get ladders when using 2 circs, but I really like the idea of being able to try on your sock as you go!

Now that I’ve done more than one sock, I’m starting to better understand sock construction and I think I could more easily understand using magic loop w/ a pattern not written specifically for magic loop. I really don’t mind DPNS (I use wood), but I’d like to compare using 2 circs and see if it really is much faster. I don’t know that I was faster using magic loop over DPNS, but it was my first sock project.

Have fun!


Thanks for posting that info. I am teaching myself and using DPN’s for my first sock and knitting project. I am really learning a lot from my mistakes, but then thats usually the best way. I will look for the books you mention as well.