In which I learn a new technique

And reject it out of hand.

I finished the body of the February Lady sweater, and it’s lovely. I’ve been knitting with Lantern Moon ebony circular needles, my favorite. I thought I’d try magic loop for the sleeves so I could continue using the same needles. I found some tutorials on the web and tried it. I’ve knit eight rounds of sleeve so far. I DON’T LIKE IT. There’s too much time spent dilly-dallying with scooting stitches around on the cable every half a round. Feh.

magic loop

There she is, sitting on the hammock, looking like some kind of crazed Mickey Mouse. See the loopy ears?

I briefly considered using two circulars (I have 26 and 40 inch cables), but that also involves the scoot. I knit fast enough that the half round comes around way to soon. No thanks.

So it’s back to the double points. My dpns are Brittany Birch. I do love these, too, especially the skinny ones for socks, because they’re so “grippy,” but I wonder if that grippiness will change my gauge? The ebony needles have been so smooth; the stitches slide right along. On the other hand, my gauge working in the round on the sleeve may be different than my gauge working flat on the body, anyway. I guess I should just go for it.

Option three is to buy ebony dpns! That would be extravagant on my part, since I do have workable options already…

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10 responses to “In which I learn a new technique

  1. I’m a big fan of 2 circs, but not a fan of magic looping. Even with a long, flexible cable, I hate the strain on the stitches at the halfway points.

    DPNs drive me batty because I have to readjust my needles and my hand positions 3 or 4 times, depending on how many I have in there. Plus, I’m clumsy and I always drop at least one of the needles during a round. When I’m on public transportation, trying to find a dropped DPN is next to impossible!

  2. Don’t you love how there are choices? :)

    I prefer the magic loop for sleeves and hats, but don’t care for it for socks. Still prefer DPNs there, with the occasional two circs thrown in for variety.

    Your sweater is looking gorgeous, no matter how you choose to finish the sleeves!

  3. I had the same reaction to magic loop when I tried it too. So much fiddling and twisting, I couldn’t get the hang of it. dpns will always be reliable!

  4. Amanda Ruzin

    I feel the same way about magic loop; it’s way too fiddly, and I find that I end up with trouble with laddering or stitches catching on joins. I’ll take dpns any day.

  5. I am a circular girl, but I am practicing with dpn’s. I am always nervous I am going to lose my stitches from them

    Have never tried magic loop though, by the sounds of it maybe I don’t even want to know.

  6. I use magic loop in some settings, dpns in others. I think in your situation I would use dpns, maybe try birch or bamboo of the same diameter and see if you can duplicate gauge. Something to consider, though–magic loop only really becomes a desirable option when using metal or nickel-plated needles with very flexible cables, and if you knit loosely enough that the stitches slide easily over the needles. With the right needle, and with practice, it is possible to do very quickly with only a brief tug required to move the stitches at each half-round. Wooden or plastic needles, or needles which have less flexible cables really make the technique a hassle.

  7. I don’t knit but your yarn choices are delicious. Makes me want to make (or just eat) blueberry gelato…

  8. I didn’t care for the time spent scooting on Magic Loop either but would never knit another sock without 2 circs again-even teeny baby socks. Once you get the hang of it the time spent scooting is no more than scooting on any other needle. Lemme know if you would like any how-to tips!

  9. I still have yet to try the Magic Loop method. I learned to knit in the round using the 2-circular needles method and was happily doing that for hats for the longest time, then for fingerless mitts last winter. But after doing itty bitty mitts using long circs, I think I’m ready to try DPNs. I remember you mentioning the nickel allergy with the nickel plated needles, so I think I’ll try wood instead.

    Of course this doesn’t help you with trying to justify a needle purchase, eh? Of course, you will knit happier with the ebony DPNs. Wouldn’t you rather knit happy? :-)

    Yes, that’s my excuse for justifying the purchase of DPNs when my 2-circ method works perfectly fine (except for the dangling needle ends that have started to bug me when I knit the fingerless mitts).

  10. I know this is an old post, but I’ve not been here before. I found you when I googled “I hate magic loop”. Goodness to gracious, I’m glad cuz I thought I was the only one who liked their dpn’s best, and not just because of tradition. Blast all that fiddling!
    I will now be wed (like a polygamist) to your blog.