This method of working in the round is well suited to working small tubes such as socks and sleeves
The Magic Loop technique
MANY OF us will have learnt to knit small diameter tubes in the round - such as socks or sleeves - on double-pointed needles, working with three or four needles at a time. However, an increasingly popular method of working small circumferences is the Magic Loop technique. Some knitters love it when they try it, while others prefer to stick with their trusty DPNs - but it’s well worth giving Magic Loop a go to see if it suits you better! It’s worked on just one set of circular needles, which must be at least 80cm (32in) long.
MAGIC LOOP: HOW TO DO IT
1 Cast on your required number of stitches plus one extra stitch onto a set of long circular needles, at least 80cm long. Push the stitches to the centre of the wire ( 2) and then, bending the wire slightly in half, pull a loop of wire out, from between the two central stitches ( 3).
You will now have two sets of stitches, each about half a row/round.
4 Push these two sets of stitches along the wire until half your stitches are on each needle, near the tips, with the last stitch cast on sitting on the tip end of the BACK needle, and the first stitch cast on sitting on the tip end of the FRONT needle. Now, holding your needles parallel, with the tips to the right, pull the needle tip at the FRONT to the right until the stitches at the FRONT are now on the wire.
5 Catch the first stitch on the BACK needle and slip it as if to knit, onto the FRONT needle. The last and first stitches you cast on should now be sitting next to each other ( 6).
7 Push the FRONT needle to the left again, so that the stitches move back onto it.
8 Now, again holding your needles parallel, with the tips to the right, pull the needle tip at the BACK to the right until the stitches at the BACK are now on the wire. 9 Place a stitch marker on this needle. Insert the tip into the first two stitches on the FRONT needle, and knit or purl them together. You will see a loop of wire at either end of the double row of stitches. This is where the name Magic Loop comes from.
**Continue to knit until you have worked all stitches on the needle facing you ( ). Turn your work through 180 degrees horizontally, so that the unworked row of stitches is now facing you.
Now, again holding your needles parallel, with the tips to the right, pull the needle tip at the BACK to the right until the stitches at the BACK are now on the wire.
Push the FRONT needle to the left again so that the stitches move back onto it.
Insert the tip of the BACK needle into the first of the FRONT stitches. Knit the first stitch as you would normally. Repeat from ** to the end of the second needle.
You have now worked one full round and have a stitch marker at the beginning of your round.
Continue to work as set.
This is where larger gaps than normal form between stitches where you switch between circular needles, caused by the fabric stretching at these points. If you experience laddering in fabric made with circular needles, particularly when using Magic Loop method, stop a few stitches short of the end of the needle and pull the FRONT needle ‘out’ to the right, so that these stitches slip onto the wire between the points ( ), then begin working again as normal. By changing the meeting point between the two needles you should eliminate the ladders