Tilly Cardigan

Hi, just about to start this lovely pattern (by Mrs Moon) and have fallen at the 1st hurdle! Perhaps am overthinking it.

I am going to use circular needles as recommended, however pattern says ‘knitted from the top down… as it limits the amount of sewing up you need to do’.

Does that mean I need to do magic loop method?

Thanks for your help.


Magic loop is a method of circular knitting which uses a long circular needle to knit in the round. You’re going to be knitting this cardigan back and forth on the needles, not joining to knit in the round. When you knit the cardigan, turn at the end of the row to knit back and forth. No magic loop needed.

Darling cardigan!

Many thanks.

As soon as I had asked the question, I realised!

Sometimes worth saying out loud, and perhaps not always pushing the send button!



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We’re always happy to hear about your latest project. Tilly is a winner.

Just one thought… the pattern states 80 cm circulars.

Is this rather long if not doing magic loop (co 73 st).


Someone else who needs to know the same thing might see your question and they’ll get it answered. When I first started knitting flat on circs I would forget to turn and then had to tink back and turn my work. Am I the only one who ever did that? I think probably not. I thought I would mention it so you’ll be aware it can happen and not feel like you’ve invented a new way to do it wrong if it does. When I did I was sure I was the only one who ever made that mistake.

Enjoy knitting this lovely little sweater!

The main cardigan is back and forth, knit flat but the sleeves are knit in the round. The notes on ravelry give the option of using double pointed needles for the sleeves. I would say that the long cable will be to magic loop on the sleeves so that there is plenty of movement between the needles to get them around the small circumference of the sleeve.

I have really struggled with small in the round pieces as I feel like the needle shaft is too long and can see that in certain circumstances some knitters may get along better with double pointed rather than a circular.

You could use a slightly shorter cable for the main body. But for the sleeves in the round, magic loop may be a good solution but you could consider a longer cable for that. As an alternative, two circulars or dpns would work depending on your preference.

Interesting! I am sure I’ve done that, rather I’ve made some interesting mistakes with circa, all a rich learning experience!

Thanks Salmonac, I was just confused because it gave instructions for circular, yet that cable is too long.

Before I buy more circs, I wanted to get the cable length right.

Me and DPNs don’t have a good history together!

Lot’s of knitters agree about dpns but two circs can often work. I certainly understand getting the cable length correct for magic loop. There’s a bit more leeway with cable length when knitting back and forth.
Unfortunately, a small circular like the ones used for hats isn’t going to be small enough for the sleeves.

Thanks Salmonac. I think I’m confusing you now. I realise the body is worked with straight needles?

Am comfortable working the sleeves on the 80cm length for magic loop.

Thank you for your attentiveness!

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OK, good. Straights will certainly do it. Looking forward to seeing your finished cardi!

I’ll be sure to post!

The advantage of the longer circular is that you can make more than one loop. Infact, just too magic loops in a long circular is enough to knit an I cord. It is the thinner cord diameter on circulars that relieves the binding of stitches.

I prefer using two circular needles for smaller diameter knits. I have made a sizable collection of winter knit hats for myself.

I have two 24 inch interchangeable circular cords for knitting. One cord is green and one red.


Yes I’ve used magic loop with 2 loops. My difficulty has been where there is no way to spread stitches so that there are some on each needle shaft and some on the cord. The number of stitches just do not spread far enough. Maybe its just me. Fighting to knit one stitch does not make for a fun time or even tension.

I recently bought a set of circulars with a shorter shaft, interchangeable chords but the main point being the shorter shaft which I think could help me work some pieces in the round which would previously not been possible. The shorter shaft is actually not very comfortable for me though (my style of knitting, i throw but don’t drop the right needle to throw) but better suited for continental which I can do - although really I’d like a yarn in each hand for colour.
I actually can’t remember now the projects where I’ve been knotted up in the circular problem… not hats, must be something smaller.