A knitting confession

I don’t like Magic Loop. There, I’ve said it. 

Before you wonderful knitters reply to share your love of this knitting-in-the-round technique, I know. I know. You love it…for so many reasons.

It’s not as fiddly as using DPNs. One never has to worry about dropping a needle. Perhaps I’m just not doing it properly or maybe haven’t given it enough time.

But I have — at least, I’ve given it as much time as I’m going to. As my children will attest, I’m a big advocate of not giving up, of accepting the challenge of something new, of not permitting the misguided belief that perfection is a goal get in the way of actual doing. “Done is good” is one of my mantras.

brim and part of knitted hat in dark grey, light grey, and red yarn on circular needle

The good folks at Modern Daily Knitting offered a fabulous “Ask Patty” tutorial on avoiding common mistakes with magic loop knitting. Go ahead and check it out; definitely worth your time. I found it very helpful but didn’t end up loving the technique any more.

I came to this realization while making the Slip Stash Hat by Carolyn Little for her LYS, Knit on Pearl in Jackson, WY. Slipped stitches are a clever and simple way to add variety to your colored knitting while only knitting with one yarn per round — no carrying another yarn behind your work as in stranded knitting.

I love how the hat looks; I’m just not enjoying the process. And I’m a BIG fan of process. 

knitted brim and about 1.5 inches of hat in dark and light grey and red yarns

Now that I’ve decided to move to another technique, the question is: do I switch to four double-pointed needles (DPNs) or to a single, 16″ cable needle? 

Comments and advice always welcome! 

5 thoughts on “A knitting confession

  1. Magic loop is not for me, either. I love that circular needles allow me to do big knits without dropping stitches, but I don’t like how stiff they are. I dislike how moving the cable to move the loop stretches the knitting. I’d much rather use DPNs when I can.

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  2. I’ve been using dpns for about 50 years. I tried magic loop. I found it fiddly and it took longer. I tried 2 circulars. I kept losing track. I tried the 9 inch circular. Nope. Not for me. Many years ago, I realized that knitting an extra stitch or two from the next needle took care of the ladders and I seldom dropped a needle.

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    1. “Fiddly” is exactly the word I used to describe magic loop to a friend. Of course, I realize that loads of people find DPNs fiddly. It just depends what feels right and comfortable. As my mama would say, “it’s easy if you know how.” Thanks for reading!

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