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New circulars user. Time for magic loop?
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Feb 11, 2017 23:57:18   #
kelsogal
 
I have recently become comfortable using circulars, but hate using DPNS to finish the top of stocking hats. I knit 300-400 hats per year, most for donation.

1. Is it worth my time to learn magic loop?
2. If I use magic loop, is it necessary to use it for the whole hat or just switch when it is time to create the crown?

Thank you in advance for any responses. I have learned so much since coming to Paradise.
 
Feb 12, 2017 00:03:03   #
ellen_purls
 
yes it is worthwhile to learn magic loop, and not difficult to learn.

The choice is yours on whether to switch to magic loop part way through a project or use it right from the beginning. I think you might find it convenient to use it from the beginning and not switch from dpn to circular since you don't have to. One less opportunity to lose a stitch!
Feb 12, 2017 00:16:47   #
Jessica-Jean (a regular here)
 
ellen_purls wrote:
yes it is worthwhile to learn magic loop, and not difficult to learn.

The choice is yours on whether to switch to magic loop part way through a project or use it right from the beginning. I think you might find it convenient to use it from the beginning and not switch from dpn to circular since you don't have to. One less opportunity to lose a stitch!
Agreed! It really helps though to use the longest circular you can. I can do it with my 32" HiyaHiya 5mm needle, but only because it's got the thinnest and most flexible of cables. With all my other needles (interchangeables), I use a much longer cable, even if it seems like too much cable most of the time.

Actually, some folks have trouble beginning Magic Loop from the cast on. (I haven't even tried yet, since I'm doing 1898 Hats.) So, maybe for the first few times, just begin your hat as usual and switch to ML part way up, before the decreases begin.

Have fun retiring your double-pointed needles!
Feb 12, 2017 00:23:27   #
NJgardengal
 
Good advice.
Feb 12, 2017 00:35:17   #
knit4ES (a regular here)
 
When I first tried ML it didn't make sense, and then one day it gelled for me and I have hardly looked back.
As Jessica-Jean pointed out, you need a longer cable so you have room for the knitting and the loop... I generally use a 40" at least.
I do start my hats casting on and knitting at least one row, maybe two as if I were going to knit the whole thing flat.
Then I join in the round and take off. by doing those first rows flat, it is much easier to do the join without twisting it.
It is also easier to do the first division of stitches and pull the loop out as needed.
Since I would have a tail to weave in anyway, I make the tail just an inch or two longer and have plenty to close the hole of the beginning.
To be honest, I enjoy working with DPN's and do that some times.
Feb 12, 2017 01:36:58   #
Jessica-Jean (a regular here)
 
knit4ES wrote:
When I first tried ML it didn't make sense, and then one day it gelled for me and I have hardly looked back.
As Jessica-Jean pointed out, you need a longer cable so you have room for the knitting and the loop... I generally use a 40" at least.
I do start my hats casting on and knitting at least one row, maybe two as if I were going to knit the whole thing flat.
Then I join in the round and take off. by doing those first rows flat, it is much easier to do the join without twisting it.
It is also easier to do the first division of stitches and pull the loop out as needed.
Since I would have a tail to weave in anyway, I make the tail just an inch or two longer and have plenty to close the hole of the beginning.
To be honest, I enjoy working with DPN's and do that some times.
When I first tried ML it didn't make sense, and th... (show quote)
I like that idea of working a couple of rows flat first. Thanks!
When I first tried Magic Loop, I went crazy trying to cast on, and join and get the loopy-thing going all at once. I threw in the towel after much frustration. It didn't help that my cable was a stiff old one. Then came the day I wanted to knit on the same needles I'd begun my first 1898 Hat. My circular was too long - 32" - so I pulled out some slack in the cable and was doing what I called Travelling Loop - just one loop that began on my right and worked its way around to my left. OK. I switched to double-pointed needles when there were too few stitches to continue comfortably. Then, on the third or fourth 1898 Hat, I found I'd left the set of dpns home, and I really wanted to finish that hat and begin the next!! So, I tried Magic Loop again. And it worked like a charm! I never bothered putting the dpns back in the 1898 Hat project bag.

I still like dpns, but I dislike dropping the danged things in public spaces, and my fingers do drop the empty needle more often than of yore. Or maybe it's just harder for me to chase after it these days?
 
Feb 12, 2017 02:04:52   #
GrumpyGramma (a regular here)
 
I realize that this video is for casting on for two at a time. If you see how she does the first half then later comes back with the cable pulled through and does the second half, that's the part I'm wanting you to see. (Ignore the second cast on, please, it's irrelevant to my point.) See how she starts the second half of the stitches. I do that for any long tail circular cast on. Cast on half, pull the cable through and do the other half. It makes twisting the stitches less likely for me and having them already divided is easier too IMO.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCwfbiZd7dI&t=20s


I do my knitting in the round magic loop almost exclusively, from the cast on and first round to the bind off. Some people prefer two circs which also allows for the same needles start to finish.

Another thing I've found works for me: A twisted cast on makes joining without twisting easier because it makes just a little wider edge to the cast on.
Feb 12, 2017 07:21:39   #
sockyarn (a regular here)
 
I do both. It depends on the pattern. Some times I switch to DPNS to finish, but most of time I do the traveling loop when it gets to small for magic loop to use comfortable.
Feb 12, 2017 09:12:20   #
angelamouthouse
 
I also am not comfortable with dpns so learned to do magic loop for hats...very easy once you begin. Find a good YouTube tutorial
Feb 12, 2017 10:08:30   #
BailaC
 
I don't like magic loop (know how to do it, but find it fiddly). When I get to the top of a hat, at the point that one would switch to dps, I knit half the stitches on to a second circ of the same size (we won't discuss how many circs and ICs I have, so I always have another of the same needle size) and finish the hat using the two circ method.
Feb 12, 2017 10:32:11   #
nonak
 
i love magic loop. Once you get the hang of it - it becomes much easier than DPN's.
 
Feb 12, 2017 12:00:46   #
knitnanny (a regular here)
 
I tried it but didn't enjoy it. I use two circulars..
Feb 12, 2017 12:10:50   #
chickkie (a regular here)
 
I use magic loop for everything. BUT you need to have very flexible needles in order for it to be a smooth process. Non of the heavy box store needles will work well. I see no need to do the first few rows flat either, as it is easy to join the work, and if it is twisted you will know it by the time you get to the end of the first round and can fix it then.
Feb 12, 2017 16:35:37   #
Nownow
 
Yes, it would be useful to learn magic loop. It is not necessary to use it for the whole hat, unless you just want to. I use magic loop mostly for the decreasing part of the hat. I can use dpn's and a 9 inch circular to decrease, but it is easier for me to use a 40 inch length needle and do magic loop.
Feb 12, 2017 17:39:48   #
IndigoSpinner (a regular here)
 
I know it's not what you asked, but it is additional info on the same subject.

There's more than one way to knit small circular stuff like mitts, socks and the tops of hats.

You can use DP needles, which I'm sure you already knew, but I'm including for completeness. There's magic loop, which you already know about. But you can also do traveling loop, work with two circulars, or use a really short circular.

Everybody's different, and you should know all the options, so here they are. Using two circulars is what's easiest for me, but you might like a different method.
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