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A Sock Knitter Magic Loop Plea

hanging embroidered circular knitting needle holder

Dear Addi Turbo and Knit Picks,

You both make wonderful, long circular needles with coils ever so pliable. If you can make a 2.00mm and a 2.5mm and a 3.00mm, why can’t you make a 2.25 mm and 2.75mm?

I realize there might be some confusion in the naming scheme of things. Trust me, I’d adjust. Call it a size 0++. It doesn’t matter to me.

When I’m trying to make gauge, the difference in diameter between your size 0 and 1 is 25%. Size 1 to 2 is 20%. That is a huge leap.

Going from your size 3 (3.25 mm) to a 4 (3.5 mm) is less than an 8% increase. The smaller needles beg for the same consideration.

Now, I could use two circulars or even double points to fix my gauge woes. I don’t want to.

Have you ever tried to find a double point after it has fallen between the window seat and the fuselage of a plane? On my last trip, since I was paranoid my Addi’s would be confiscated as weapons, I lost the same double point 4 times from Seattle to D.C.

Magic loop stays wonderfully in place. I never have to worry about a dropped needle. I never have to worry if I’ve grabbed the right circular to complete the round. I can quickly stuff my project away and not worry if my needles will pull out. And if I do happen to go temporarily senile and lose one of my 40" darlings, I only have to buy one circular to replace it . I love magic loop.

P.S. to Knit Picks – I also love coordinating my needles with the yarn of a current project. I could easily be persuaded to buy lots of coils if they came in a range of colors – especially if they were 40" long. 32" is kind of short for magic loop.

*as of April 2008, Knitpicks now offers 2.25mm and 2.75mm in 40 inch lengths!


how to do magic loop with a circular knitting needle step 1The technique of using one long circular to knit a continuous loop has been around for awhile. The internet offers numerous resources to get you started. You can:

watch a movie
read a book
download instructions with pictures
knit a basic toe up sock
try two socks at once
exchange starting stitches
knit four fingers of a glove

My small contribution is a cheap way to pull your initial loop without making the dreaded permanent coil kink.

how to do magic loop with a circular knitting needle step 2

Pulling a loop with my fingers doesn’t work for me. I usually end up pinching too hard and damaging my cable. Not good.

Since I’m mainly a sock knitter, using the 3.00 mm needle point or smaller runs the same risk.

My solution was to take a lone size 13 wooden needle and have my husband cut it down and sharpen it to a fine point. A pencil would work as well.

I can easily poke the tip between the half way point of even the tiniest of stitches and slide it through, gently lifting a loop as it enters.

The loop formed is easily pulled by the dowel whose thickness prevents kinks. The tool doubles as a yarn gauge by marking off a 1" section for wraps.

how to do magic loop with a circular knitting needle step 3

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October 19, 2006


1 Zafaran { 01.26.10 at 12:23 pm }

Well, from well down the timeline from when this was originally posted (it’s now January 2010) Addi, Knitpicks/KnitPro, and Hiya-Hiya all have the needles in the quarter millimeter sizing now. And where KP-US still doesn’t have the Options interchangeable needles with any size below a Size 4/3.50mm, the KnitPro licensee for the rest of the world has the needles tips in European Size 2/3.00mm as well as Size 3/3.25mm. In fact, I’ve currently got an order in for these tips from my KnitPro dealer in the UK that I use: p2toguk. Alison has a shop on ebay, and I’m ordering parts from her that get to me in the US in about 4 to five days. About the same amount of time it takes me to get Addi’s from Nancy at Addi Needle Shop which is on the West Coast and I’m in North Carolina.

It’s been a year since I got my first Addi Lace 2.25mm and 2.75mm needles from Nancy in 47″/120cm to try two socks on one needle. That was a pain–literally considering the state of my spine, and I’ve found it’s faster to knit the two socks on matching needles instead and just rotate which sock is in my hands so the progress matches and the pair finishes at the same time. I’ve since gotten some more Addi Lace in 40″/100cm in the 2.75mm which is more comfortable for me with a single sock on it. They’re what I use for Sport-weight socks as well as Cascade 220 Superwash. Technically, 220 is a worsted-weight yarn, but the way the yarn is spun and plied means that with enough tension when I knit, I can make gauge of 7 stitches per inch and 7 rows per inch on the 2.75mm Lace, and I can use a 56 stitch pattern that was originally designed on DK weight yarn. Gauge on sport-weight on the same needles is 8 spi and needs a 64 stitch pattern. (My normal sock pattern is Size 0/2.00mm needle with 80 stitches making 10+ spi using Cascade Heritage or sock yarn of similar size.)

Pat in North Carolina

2 Shirley brown { 06.08.10 at 6:44 am }

I am trying to find a Beginners Magic Loop Sock Video.















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