I am starting a baby hat pattern for a newborn that calls for 84 stitches cast on to 3.75 mm round needles. The cable connecting them is 29 inches. Yes, I know about the magic loop method and have used it in making toddler hats without problem on my 29 inch cabled needles. The problem I am facing is not the length of the cable, but rather the length of the needles themselves. Casting on is fine, but then when I try to begin the actual knitting, there is not enough space to move the needles. The length of the cast on row is barely enough to cover the two needles when using the magic loop - the stitches don’t even go onto the cable. They are simply too small and too few. I have never encountered this problem before. Does anyone have any recommendations? If the needles themselves were shorter, there wouldn’t be a problem because then more of the stitches would fall on the cable, giving me the space and flexibility I need to move the needle tips together to knit. Anyway, I’m at a loss. I’ve looked online to see if others have had this problem and I have only found other threads where people had cables that were too long. I can make this pattern work with a long cable, but not long needles.
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Are you working with a light weight yarn, maybe fingering weight? It seems to me that the problem is still with the length of cable. Magic loop can be used for quite small diameter knitting, small toys for example. I’ve used it for as few as 6 stitches.
You should be able to get the space to use the needles by pulling or looping out the cable. The stitches don’t need to cover the length of the needles. Sometimes the sts may just cover the needle tips.
You can see in this video that the sts don’t cover the needles.
It may be that a longer cable would make this easier. @Jan_in_CA, what do you think?
I also think it’s a cable problem not a needle length problem. I make tiny things with magic loop all the time with standard length interchangeable needles. I do use a long cable though. 29" is way to short IMO. Some people are comfortable with doing a single loop, but I prefer the double loop of magic loop so I use a cable that is 40". I have two comfortable size loops and the stitches don’t get stretched.
I’ll admit that I’m not really understanding the problem. Could you post a picture of what you have? It does occur to me to ask, how long are the needle tips themselves? I ask about the length of the tips because they can be appr. 3.5", 4.5", or 5.5" and that does impact how they work out with different numbers of stitches.