Pinwheel blanket: when is Magic Loop too small?

After making a number of 3-foot-square car blankets on circular needles, I started this 5-way pinwheel blanket:

It is nowhere near as big as a dinner plate yet and I’m feeling crowded on a 40-inch circular needle! This is weird to me because I easily handled the middle row (220 stitches) on my 5-skein blankets, on a 36-inch needle…

Is it normal to have to switch to 2 circs so early in the pattern?

Also, I found I needed to rip this pattern out about 10 times before I figured out I was reading it wrong – row 4 should be K3, *yf, k4, rep to last, yf, K1 – in other words the sum of the last stitch and the first stitches should be the same sizes as the middle segments, because, hey, need the same size! Doh.

I think

Eunie Jang’s cast-on for odd numbers (use Techknitter’s for even) is a much better idea than Emily Ocker’s cast-on, and I wonder if alternating yo could be used instead of trying to knit into the front and back of each of the original 5 stitches (too hard for me!)

Ain’t surfing great? I’d never even heard of any of this before this project!

Approximately what row are you on and how many sts do you have on the needle? You should be increaseing 5sts per round.
What weight yarn are you using?

100 stitches, 20 per section, so I guess I’m on round 20.
Needles are size 8, weight is normal worsted (the usual
craft-store size for inexpensive acrylics) It is not heavy,
nor baby weight (I’m going to go through a bunch of
different skeins from my ‘gee, this is pretty, maybe I’ll
use it someday’ bag.)

That sounds right. If you can’t continue magic loop, what about going to a 24 inch circular and working in the round or using 2 circulars?

I assume the square blankets were knit flat using circular needles to just go back and forth? That’s why you fit more on. With magic loop, you need a good bit of extra cord at each end so you can turn your right needle back towards the work without pulling the cord all the way through. With that much on though, I’d just knit in the round without magic loop like salmonmac suggested.

Thanks! I’ll go to 2 circs (in hopes that I’ll get past 24" really really soon) …I just thought it was odd that I could only fit 1/2 the stitches compared to knitting diagonally flat. I wondered if I was doing something wrong.

Another option is single or traveling loop to transition between ML and not enough sts for a 24". I’m on a computer that doesn’t have my links, but if you Google you’ll find a few pages that show how to do it. Basically spread all your sts out on the L needle, then just loop the R one like you do for ML.

I kind-of wondered why I could not do that all along instead of splitting the stitches.

Really, what is the difference between traveling loop and huge I-cord?

But now that I’m on 2 circs and have torn out two rounds and re-knitted them to make up for dropping a stitch during transfer, I am disinclined to move anything ever again. For all time.

It turns out that knitting outside in a heat wave makes the yarn catch on my hands.

You can start a flat circular item with a couple rows of I cord, then do the incs and take out the first rows after you’re done. You can also start them with the sts on only 2 dpns and use a 3rd to knit with, then add more needles as you increase the sts. I use 2 circs to begin, putting the sts on only 1 of them at the ends of that and use the 2nd one to knit and then go to ML for a while. But after you get about 30 sts or so, sometimes you can do the single loop.