Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Magic Loop Tutorial Part 1

***Warning: Picture heavy post!***

Many of you wanted more info about the Magic Loop method for knitting socks, and Magic Loop two at a time.  Before we tackle Magic Loop two at a time, let's make sure we are all familiar with magic loop.  You experts out there feel free to chime in!

Magic Loop Tutorial (Part 1)

***I'm assuming you are somewhat familiar with how to knit socks.  If you aren't and need more info let me know and I will be happy to direct you to some super websites for that info***

1.  First off you need the right tools.  For magic loop you need one long circular needle in the desired size.  

I'm not sure how long is ideal, mine here is 40 inches tip to tip.  Some use shorter others longer.  I find this size just right for me!  My needles are Addi Turbos (only brand I've used for this method)  Ideally you want needles that have a flexible cord because it will be bended and you want the joins (where the cord and needles meet) to be fairly smooth so your work won't snag.

2.  Now we are ready to get started!  Cast on your desired stitches onto the one needle.

3.  Divide the stitches in two equal amounts.  You are going to be pulling a loop of your cord out between the two halves.  Here is that in pictures:

Stick needle between the two halves (note: cast on stitches should be on the cord, not needle part of your circular needles for this step)

Pull the cord through the stitches

Keep going until you have a nice size loop.  As you can see my stitches get a little stretched in this process.  No worries!  When you start knitting make sure to give a little tug when you switch needles (just like with DPN to prevent ladders)

4.  Now we are ready to join so we can knit in the round.   Move your stitches to the needles part of your circular needle.  You will want to keep the wrong sides of your sock (purls) facing each other on the inside at all times!  Here my stitches are moved to the needles.

On the front needle are the stitches I want to knit next (the ones I first cast on)  Pull the back needle out moving the back stitches onto the cord, leaving the stitches on the front needle alone.

Pick up the back needle and begin knitting!  Knit all the front stitches in desired pattern.

5.  Now that you have joined your stitches in the round, you are ready to go.  After knitting the front stitches as shown

Turn your work making the back stitches the ones you just knit and the front stitches the ones you need to knit next.  Remember the wrong sides should be facing each other on the inside.

Move the front stitches to the end of the needle (I think of this as home position!)

Now pull the back needle out moving the back stitches to the cord.  You are ready to knit the front stitches!  

Continue until you are ready to do your heel flap (that is part 2)

Summary:  (after you have got started!)
1. Have your work in home position
2. Pull the back needle out 
3. Knit the fronts
4. Turn work
5. Move the front stitches to the needle (now you should be in home position ready to repeat)

Now, what questions do you have?  I'm sure others out there have them and are too shy to ask, so please don't hesitate!


Davene McBride said...

Indeed you are a teacher! I'm sticking with the DPN's for now- they are challenge enough :)
Love you!

Marissa said...

Nice job on the tutorial. I've done 2 pr of socks this way, and I could follow your instructions without question. I am in the middle of a 3rd pair, which I'm attempting 2-at-a-time. When I got to the heel(s), I had to split onto 2 separate circs, my brain couldn't compute how to do both at the same time. I just got past the heel(s) last night, and will put both back on one needle today to finish. I'm looking forward to the 'rest of the story' to see if I could have continued on one needle. Thanks!!

Awesome Mom said...

I am fascinated to see pics of the two at a time. I have been having a hard time imagining it.

Stacy Kraus McDonald said...

I've been contemplating some sock knitting.... I'm even more intrigued now. I love learning new knitting skills.

Tracy Batchelder said...

Great job on the tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Great job on the tutorial. I learned how to magic loop on the Sea Socks Cruise this year. It is still not my preferred sock knitting method but I feel way better equipped to knit anything when I just have my circs with me.

Rebecca Jo said...

I'm going to try this when I get power at home & can pull out my knitting stuff....I WANT TO LEARN THIS!!!!! I WILL learn this!!!

Abigail said...

Great job! A round of applause to you.

Personaly, I dislike the method but I have used it a few times when a need arises. For example: Fair Isle on DPN's is not fun so I employed the good old Magic Loop and it was much eaiser to do.

It pays to have a variety of skills.

Aunt Kathy said...

I am still nervous, can you come to NY and watch me, just to make sure I understand

Anonymous said...

Uh-oh, Leah!! I've had the Harmonies 40" a size 2 for months, waiting to actually try AND Mr. David be upset if I try to learn this! But I REALLY want to---really really badly!

Maybe I could learn this--you make it look easy although it sounds impossible!

Ally Jay said...

Great instructions

LizzieK8 said...

Super duper! I'm a recent ML convert but still do the heel flap on DPNs, so am looking forward to the next installment!

Unknown said...

This looks good! I haven't tried it yet, but I think I'll have time this weekend to give it a whirl. =)

sock knitter said...

Hi, I really enjoyed the lesson. I have a question. I got my needles from knit picks size 2 circulars. I,m wondering if my cord is too long, as I spend more time pulling on the cord than I do knitting. I did get the heel made, but just to had to give up . Couls anyone tell me is there a trick to get them to slide smoother? They seem like really nice needles. Carole in Nova Scotia

desertlocs said...

I'm so confused! Do you have a video that can walk me through it?
Thank you so much!

Unknown said...

Leah, I finally did this, and it's awesome! Great tutorial! =)

clayhoney said...


My name is Ramani, I was curious do you give instrucion on toe up socks. I have yet to come across sock instrucion so simple!! But u my dear r the BEST!!! U go GIRL!!

Rosellainoz said...

Like Trina said, In spite of many comments saying great tutorial it makes no sense at all to me. Back needle? Front needle? I can't see how to knit leaving on the same needle if that is what you mean. Just too confusing.

sidekick! said...

Very nice!! I was looking for a non-video tutorial, and yours was perfect. I am now happily knitting away with magic loop. Thanks! :)