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I've just finished my first pair of magic loop socks! I struggled on and off for months to "get" magic loop and sat down about a week ago to make another try and for some reason, things just clicked this time! I make a practice piece about 6 inches long just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. But sure enough, I finally got it! I've been following Sarah Hauschka & Bev Galeska's The Magic Loop booklet, which is really very good. Then I decided to go on and try the winter sock pattern in the booklet. They're a worsted weight top down sock using a beaded rib pattern for the cuff and instep. It's nice and stretchy. I'll definitely use it again. All was well until I got to the gusset and then all the stitch repositioning made me feel I was chasing my tail. Knit Purl Hunter to the rescue! The videos on her website are absolutely wonderful! I watched her magic loop gusset video twice and was off to the races! Then I ran into trouble with the toe decreases, and Liat Gat's magic loop pattern directions saved me! The internet is full of knitting saviors!

Now a few question for you veteran Magic Loopers. I've used both WEBS and Knit Picks circs and the cables, as far a flexibility goes, are similar. But both seem to get kinked up and seem a bit stiff. Do they get more flexible with use? Is there another brand worth trying specifically for Magic Loop? What are your favorite stitch markers to use for ML? I find the ring-type ones keep falling off. Ditto for loops of yarn. So far, I have found that the simple patterns I've made with both ML and DPNs can be done without markers, but one day I hope to graduate to something a bit more challenging and figure I'll need them for sure.
 

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I think I will stick to my dons. I have circular needles that want to curl up,I can't imagine magic loop curling that would drive me insane. The only circular needles that I find don't curl are Addie turbo,I love them. I don't know if they have a magic loop needle. I make socks with dons.
 

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Knitter forever said:
I think I will stick to my dons. I have circular needles that want to curl up,I can't imagine magic loop curling that would drive me insane. The only circular needles that I find don't curl are Addie turbo,I love them. I don't know if they have a magic loop needle. I make socks with dons.
I'm with you. My friend is teaching toe up socks with magic loop, but tried that once awhile ago, and put it back on my 9" circulars and dpn's
 

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I'd like the answer to these questions too. It is my NY resolution to learn to make socks. I want to learn the magic loop and have watched the videos but I think I need a tutor just to have that one on one learning experience.
 

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The Boye fixed circulars work better for me as far as kinking goes...way more flexible than the Boye interchangeable cable ones... I'll never go back to one at a time socks now!
 

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For the stitch markers, you might try the ones that can be hooked around a stitch and removed later... they won't fall off...There are different kinds ..some are called split ring markers others look like little safety pins made out of plastic..
 

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I use Magic Loop for almost everything in the round. I find that the suggested 40 in cable for socks is too long for me. I personally like the 32 in cable. I only make one at at a time. I only have Knitpicks and Webs needles and I love the flexibility of their cables. I gave all my other circs away. They curl on themselves, but I adjust often to keep them more equal and I find the slightly shorter cable helps. Whatever works I guess, but I think I would fool around with what I have before I would buy other needles.
 

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nascargranny48jj said:
I'd like the answer to these questions too. It is my NY resolution to learn to make socks. I want to learn the magic loop and have watched the videos but I think I need a tutor just to have that one on one learning experience.
I have wanted to try socks but have never tried DPN's which scare me to death! I was looking thru the Mary Maxim catalog last night and saw a book that I bought. It is called Strick-ly Socks. I read several reviews on Amazon (thinking it might be cheaper there, nope) which were very optimistic. The woman that wrote the book, knits the toe and heel flat on 2 needles and says the socks have no seams. I imagine she uses DPNs for the rest but I'm anxious to see her instructions. Maybe there is hope for an old dog to learn a new trick yet.
 

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The ones I have are 36" and I'm able to do 2 at a time...I especially like the toe up method so I can try them on for fit and use the yarn as far up the leg as I can without worrying about running out of yarn...
 

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I also use a 36" in Clover brand Bamboo circular and do 2 at a time toe-up. I haven't had a any problems with kinking or stiffness. When I first started one book suggested 48", but that was much too long and the cable just kept getting in the way. If you are doing 2 at a time try 36" or 40". I haven't had to use stitch markers yet, but have the ones that hook around the stitch as well as the round circle markers.
 

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I tie bits of contrasting scrap yarn on my needles for markers. They don't fall off or travel under the stitches, getting your stitch count off. My Addis kinked like crazy. I spent more time unkinking them than knitting. I don't have that problem with the Knitpicks cable. As for the gussets, I'd suggest putting stitch markers in the work so you know where the decreases are going to be. A simple but cheap marker is either small safety pins or bobby pins. You don't have to have your stitches evenly distributed on the two needles. You can have all of your instep stitches resting on the cable while you do the heel flap and gusset stitches all on the one. One of my favorite ribs is a k2p2 rib. If I have 36 cast on stitches, that's 18 on each needle which isn't divisible by 4. I'll put 16 on one needle and 20 on another for the rib. You just have to remember to even them out when you're done with the cuff so your decreases are even. It's perfectly acceptable to adapt to suit you.
 

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I use two 16" circulars more often than the magic loop. The shorter circulars are sufficient to hold both socks and with so short a cable the needles do not curl.

I do the toe up two at a time using Judy Becker's "magic cast on". There is a you tube video showing how to do the cast on. I have done a few different kinds of short row heels, but plan to try Cat Bordhi's "sweet tomato heel" on the next pair. I watched her video tutorial, and it looks brilliant. I tried Jeny's "surprisingly stretchy bind off" at the cuff and found that brilliant as well.

I love doing both socks at once so I don't have to keep measuring the second one, or counting rows, to make sure they are even. And I don't give up after one sock is done.
 

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OMG, marilynknits - you could be me! (I am also Marilyn). Only difference is I prefer 24" cables for doing 2 at a time w/2 circs.

As soon as I finish the toes of my current socks, I'm trying a toe up sock using the sweet tomato heel. Can't wait to start it.
 

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Knitter forever said:
I think I will stick to my dons. I have circular needles that want to curl up,I can't imagine magic loop curling that would drive me insane. The only circular needles that I find don't curl are Addie turbo,I love them. I don't know if they have a magic loop needle. I make socks with dons.
I recommend the Addi Lace. The only thing different about a MAGIC LOOP needle and a regular circular is the LENGTH of the needle and the softness of the cable. A stiff cable wouldn't work; it has to be long enough over to hold the stitches in your project with enough left to pull out sizable loops on each side of the knitting.

Liat Gat recommends 47 inches! Someone on KP said she likes 40 " for socks. I've tried both lengths and I like 47".

For one thing, 47" will be enough to handle ANY size magic loop project you want to do....like two sleeves at a time......

I ordered 47" fixed circulars in sock size diameters from Addi Lace and they are perfect. You'll love the pointier tips for the little stitches, too!

Virginia
 

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While Addie lace needles seem the creme de la creme, my steel cable HiyaHiyas work very well. I also like my very cheap chinese steel cables found on ebay so no name on them.

Traveling loop better than Magic loop, toe-up terrific but several top downers. Love the Super stretchy Co as well as BO on my socks. I see we all rely on the same people. There is a S. American woman who has great videos but they are in Spanish. Still love to watch them and listen to her. Can learn a bit of Sp, too.

I don't really like to plastic cable altho have a few and they work when needed. Play a lot with DPN's. They are great for swatching. Am doing a baby mitered square baby sweater now and the dpn's are great for this.
 

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Addi Lace are a subset of addi Turbos. The differences are the Lace needles are shorter and are more pointed than the regular Turbos.

I have used Boye fixed and interchangeable. I cannot recommend either one for Magic Loop. Length and flexibility are not the only considerations. The spots where the needles join the cables must be smooth. Boye aren't. They have pressure points in the plastic of the cables. Addi's are very flexible, smooth, and, unlike aluminum, not cold in the morning. I have not problem using very long circs. for Magic Loop or traveling loop.
 
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