Friday, September 28, 2007

Magic Loop Tutorial!

At the request of a dear reader (*waves to La Cabeza Grande*), I'm posting a quick and dirty tutorial on the Magic Loop method of knitting in the round. I apologize in advance for the protruding belly in the majority of the photos - seems that the baby's already a ham for the camera. Well, that or it's the Haagen-Daas. Sorry about the delay in the post - I had a sock sitting on the needles and couldn't stop procrastinating enough to finish them until today. Ahem.

Required materials:
Circular needle (I'm using Addi Turbos, 2.5 mm and 32 inches long)
Yarn (duh)
Patience (if unavailable, ice cream, chocolate or alcoholic beverages are acceptable substitutes)

Step 1:

Cast on. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm pretending to cast on for a pair of top-down socks. Personally, I love magic loop for toe-up socks as it makes the cast on even easier. So, cast on the total number of stitches required, all on one side of the circular.

Step 2:

Shove all of the stitches to the cord end of the needle that you just cast onto.

Like so. Count the stitches carefully, and find the midpoint of the row.

Step 3:

Carefully grab the cord at the midpoint (between two stitches), and pull it out so that it makes a loop. You will have separated the stitches in half with this loop - one half on the original cast on needle, and the other half on the cord.

Step 4:

Pull the looped cord so that the stitches are all on needles - half on the original cast on needle, and the other half on the previously dangling needle. You'll have two very pretty parallel rows of stitches.

Step 5:

Pull the original cast on needle towards the right - which will push the stitches that it was holding leftwise, and onto the cord. The cast on needle is now your working needle. You will be working on the stitches sitting on the needle in the "front" (the needle closest to your body).

Checking carefully for twisted stitches (go on, ask me how I know to be careful with this part), join the stitches for working in the round. Go ahead, stitch away until the end of the stitches on the needle. Turn your work in preparation for working the other set of stitches.

Step 6:

You'll have something that looks like this after you turn your work.

Take the needle that is now closest to you (the long one in front), and shove it backwards into the stitches so that you get two needles holding stitches in parallel. You'll have a big loop on the left side of the stitches again.

It should look something like this.

To continue knitting, gently yank the needle at the back of the knitting (furthest away from your body) to the right and start using it as your working needle. Knit merrily along until the end of the row, turn work and repeat the needle pushing and pulling process.

Hope that was as clear as mud.

Here's the socks that I just finished today - only 3 big pairs left and 1 small one for Christmas. These are standard men's socks. Admittedly with hellish amounts of ribbing. Knit up in Opal Dreamcatcher (Thanks for the yarn info, Ms. Yes - I had no idea what this stash find really was.)

In case you've noticed that I'm not weaving in the ends of the socks as I proclaim them to be "done", it's a bit of silly superstition on my part. It has to do with an old Chinese legend of an emperor, a talented painter and a magical paintbrush - but that's another story for later. This post is long enough. Yeesh.

But how can I resist Captain Jack? Yes, I know I'm about a week late for International Talk Like a Pirate Day...but I just found this yesterday. Must, must, MUST share with you all. Enjoy it. Once it gets past the initial cheesy factor, this video makes me laugh so very hard.


La Cabeza Grande said...

Oh, YAY! Thank you, Ninja Knitter. You are my hero!

rho said...

how's it going?

do you ever do two socks one one loop? if so, do you need an even longer needle? I really would like to go this route for socks but want to invest in a the right length...

Jaichan said...

I have got to start knitting more socks.

I'm going to be home tomorrow or Thursday, so I can pop by and pick up the shirt. Maybe we could, like, knit or something. Oh, and I'll bring my knife sharpener.

alicia said...

i love you <3