Learn about the Magical Art of Magic Loop Knitting

Circular knitting gets magical with these tutorials for Magic Loop Knitting

Let’s talk, briefly, about one of the more frustrating things about knitting in the round: dealing with wayward needles.

For instance, when you knit in the round with DPNs, it’s easy to drop a needle or–worse–lose a needle.

When you knit with circular needles the “usual” way–that is, by knitting around and around with the needles staying relatively stationary–you may struggle to match the needle length to the knitting width.

Or, you may struggle with getting the stitches to move smoothly along the needle. (That’s my biggest issue!)

Knit with two circular needles, and you may accidentally use the wrong needle tips. Far too often I’ve done this, and as a result, my knitting got all bunched in a circle and I was left with a needle with no stitches on it.

How would you like a circular knitting method that avoids all of these issues?

Why Magic Loop Knitting Rocks

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Magic Loop method!

Magic Loop is my favorite way to knit in the round. It is, of course, a great way to knit socks and mittens, and that’s how most Magic Loopers use the method. But I use it for literally everything I need to knit in the round! I knit hats and even some stuffed animals using Magic Loop.

This is the first thing I love about Magic Loop: it isn’t just for small-diameter knitting. If you have a long enough circular needle, you can knit just about everything in the round using this method. I even knitted a sweater for my husband using Magic Loop!

Another thing I love about it is that you can knit items two-at-a-time. In fact, it is now the only way I knit either socks or mittens. (I have always had trouble knitting socks and mittens one at a time and making them match. Two at a time eliminates that problem!)

Socks knit Magic Loop two-at-a-time

The third thing I love is that I need to find just one circular needle to get started. That is probably just me, though. I think I may have to start calling myself The Absent-Minded Knitter.

The final thing I enjoy about Magic Loop knitting: it’s fun. When I get to the end of one half of knitting and tug the cable out so I can begin the other half, it feels like I’m performing a magic trick. Perhaps that’s why it’s called “Magic” Loop? (Gosh, I’m so smart. 🤓)

And, of course, Magic Loop also offers these benefits over DPNs:

  • no lost or dropped needles
  • no “porcupines”
  • fewer if not no ladders
  • the ability to try on as you knit.

And unlike using two circular needles, you have only one pair of needle tips, so there’s no confusion over which tip to knit with.

So now you know what makes Magic Loop so special. Ready for some tutorials?

Magic Loop Illustrated & Video Tutorials

Magic Loop Knitting for Magical Projects: This Interweave tutorial hits everything you need to know about Magic Loop knitting. It offers nice, clear photos and even a series of patterns at the end in which you can try your Magic Looping skills.

Yes You Can! Knitting Small Round Items without Double Pointed Needles: From the Trish Knits blog, this is another very well-illustrated text-based guide to Magic Loop knitting.

Liat Gat’s Magic Loop Tutorials: Liat Gat is a woman after my own heart when it comes to Magic Looping! Her tutorials are some of the best I’ve seen.

Not only does she explain how to start the process, but she also gives great assistance for dealing with some of the issues that sometimes crop up in relation to Magic Loop.

Most issues with Magic Loop crop up because circular patterns are usually not written expressly for Magic Loop. However, if you have a problem with Magic Loop and can’t figure out a solution, chances are that Liat has already figured it out for you.

Basic Magic Loop: This video is perhaps the best I’ve seen in showing and explaining the basics of Magic Loop. You’ll find this invaluable when you sit down to attempt the method for the first time.

Magic Loop 2.0: This article will help you transition from learning Magic Loop to mastering it. I’ve been Magic Looping for years, and I learned some valuable advice from this article myself! Included here is advice about adapting patterns to Magic Loop and purling.

Liat’s Limitless Cast-on for Two-at-a-Time Anything: I mentioned above that you can knit two-at-a-time anything thanks to Magic Loop. Again, I’ve done that for a couple of years now, but my way was rather convoluted.

Then I found Liat’s way and was simply amazed. Her way is much easier! I highly recommend you give her method a try. It’s ingenious.

The Magic Loop Collection: Here’s a search page where you’ll find all the Magic Loop links on Liat’s website. If you’re having a problem with Magic Loop, start here. Chances are good she’s addressed the problem in one of these links.

(Some of the items on this page are premium–that is, not free–but most of them are free.)

Looking for knitting patterns written expressly for two circular needles or Magic Loop? Check out this collection here!

Traveling Loop aka Half Magic Loop

Traveling Loop, sometimes called Half Magic Loop, is a method I discovered accidentally while knitting a hat on circular needles the “normal” way.

These tutorials may help you if you find Magic Loop doesn’t really unkink your cable needle. (That’s just an expression I made up on the spot. … I know, I know, I’ll work on it.)

Magic Loop Magic: Here is a handy illustrated guide that shows you Half Magic Loop as well as how to tweak Half Magic Loop for Fair Isle knitting.

Learn to Knit – Traveling Loop: If photos don’t quite allow you to get the hang of this technique, try this fantastic video.

These Magic Loop tutorials should have you Magic Looping like a pro. Why don’t you dive in and get started?

Magic Loop knitting

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