Question for Jan, mostly, about magic loop

In a previous post, I read this: > Magic loop!! Or two circulars. I use circular needles for flat knitting and most circular knitting. The only thing I use DPNs for are very small things. For hats I always use magic loop (which is done on one long circular) so I don’t have to switch to another method to close the top

Jan, can you tell me more about this? As a beginner, I have been watching videos about magic loop and I have yet to be brave enough to try it. If you are making a hat and you start to decrease, how do you switch to magic loop in the middle of the project? I’d love to try it on the next hat I make but right now I don’t know enough about it.

Hi Pauline,

If you’ve started the hat with magic loop you don’t need to switch to any other needles. That’s the beauty of the method. You cast on, knit, then decrease and close all with the same needles.

The “loop” in magic loop is created from the extra cable loop that is on both ends. I personally prefer a 40" cable for magic loop on hats so I can get a larger double loop. Some people prefer 32". Here’s a \video.

As you can see she’s knitting on the “outside” of the tube which is the best way to learn and do. Occasionally someone knits on the inside and if that happens you can flip it inside out later, but learn the other way if possible because it makes it easier to follow patterns that expect it. The cast and join is probably the hardest part, but there are tricks for that when you decided to try it.

Thank you, Jan. I am book marking this one, for sure. I plan to make some more hats in the round. Hope I can figure it out!

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One more question: I usually make a hat using a 24 or 26 inch cable needle. Would that mean I would have to change to longer needles when I began the magic loop for the decrease?

Just start with the longer cable and magic loop then you don’t need to change needles.

Okay, just use a longer one and cast on like the instructions, which, I guess will give me lots of play in the cable? Guess I’ll have to try it to really understand it!

Watch the video I posted up thread. I’ll see if I can find anything else that will make it easier. If all else fails I’ll have my husband video over my shoulder as I show you. :slight_smile:

I found a few good videos! Just remember new techniques take practice and can seem complicated at first. This may seem fiddly with moving stitches and making sure not to drop stitches or lose one of the loops, but trust me it’s not the end of the world. I’ve done it many times and it’s easy to fix. The second video shows you how to start magic looping from the beginning.

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Thanks! :blush:

My first magic loop!

I found the light coloured bulky yarn easier to work with.
Also made sure I bought a 40" circular needle. It is pointy so easy to go into st in awkward moments with the loop.
It is Knitters Pride Nova Cubics Platena.

So thank you Jan and to all who helped me.

You’re welcome! That’s a beautiful color!

That yarn and color are irresistible! The magic loop looks great.

I love the Charisma. First time using it when Michael’s had a sale.
Got some for my dil in different colours at xmas too.

Fingers crossed it turns into a hat. Thanks!

A post was split to a new topic: How to knit circularly

I just discovered a problem with learning to knit magic loop. I went through my hat patterns and of course none of them say anything about the magic loop. They usually say to change to dpn’s . So what should I do if I want to try the magic loop? Just ignore the pattern and keep knitting like I was? Ignore all decrease steps and decrease stitches on my own? Or should I just try to find a pattern that used the loop? So many questions! :thinking:

You can ignore the part that says to switch to DPNs. Continue with the pattern decreases, if it’s using DPNs as markers you could add markers where needed.

You’ll be doing everything the pattern says to do except switch needles. The numbers can all remain the same. What weight yarn are you going to use? I can find another pattern that does use magic loop if it’s easier.

Thanks for both of these great answers! Jan, I have to finish the neck warmer I’m doing before I start this. So I don’t know the yarn weight and I’d love to see a pattern if you find one. That sounds like a great idea, using a pattern for my first try.

Well phooey. Can’t find a specific hat. It’s really just a technique which is probably why I can’t find a good pattern. So really once you learn you can use it for anything knit in the round whether it’s socks, hats, pullovers, cup cozies, etc. When you’re ready we’ll deal with it.

As Jan says, this is a technique so you can use it for most patterns knit in the round. You’ll see patterns that say, “work in magic loop or with 2 circs or with dpns, as you prefer…” I was looking for a video tutorial but there is this from Liat that may help.