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Magic Loop Technique – how to knit in the round using a single long circular needle

October 3, 2013

There are several ways to knit in the round.  For tubes that are 16″ around or larger, you can use a circular needle [tutorial here] – they come in several lengths (there are also really tiny little 9″ circulars that work for socks and mittens, but they are a less commonly used).

For knitting small diameter tubes (socks, sleeves, and the decrease sections at the top of hats), you need to use another technique: either double pointed needles (DPNs) [tutorial here], or a technique called ‘Magic Loop’ which employs a single long circular needle.  Here at Tin Can Knits, Alexa prefers DPNs and Emily prefers the Magic Loop technique.  The results are the same, so the choice is up to you, and you should use the technique that you prefer, although it is useful to know both!

We have a tutorial here describing the process for knitting in the round on double pointed needles.

This tutorial is dedicated to Magic Loop.

Using a 32″ / 80cm or longer circular needle, cast on the required number of stitches, plus one extra stitch.  For this example, I cast on 21 sts.  I have also used two different kinds of needle tips (metal and wood) to make the process a bit more clear.

Folding the cable in half at approximately the half-way point of your cast-on stitches, pull out a loop of cable.  This means half the stitches are on one part of the cable, then there’s a loop, and half the stitches are on the other part of the cable.

Now slide the stitches to the needle points, so the two needles are together, and the needle points next to one another. Make sure that the cast on ‘edge’ is not twisted.

Transfer the last stitch you cast on (the extra stitch), using your fingers, from the needle it is on to the other needle.  Now you are ready to begin!

The needle tip which had the last cast on stitch on it, and the working yarn, is the needle you will knit with (in my case the metal needle).  Pull it out, until there is a 8″ loop of cord, then use it to knit the first 2 stitches of the round together (the extra stitch and the first cast-on stitch).  This little trick is not essential, but it makes for a nice clean join at the cast-on edge.  This is the first stitch of the round.

Next knit across the rest of the stitches on the wooden needle.  Once you are at the end of the needle, half the stitches are on the metal needle, and the wooden needle is free, flopping about.

STEP 1 ::: To prepare to knit the next set of stitches, pull the cord on the loop, until all stitches are on the needle tips again, half on the metal needle (you just knit those) and the others on the wooden needle (these are the next stitches to knit).  There is a single big loop at the other end.

STEP 2 ::: Turn your work 180 degrees, so that the metal needle is in front, and the needle tips point to the right, and the loop of cord is on the left.

STEP 3 ::: Pull out the back needle (metal needle in my case).

STEP 4 ::: Pass this needle underneath the working yarn

STEP 5 ::: knit across the stitches on the front (wooden) needle (after knitting the first stitch of a section, give it a nice tight tug to ensure there isn’t a big gap between it and the previous stitch).

Then you are in the same situation as you were – you have half the stitches on the metal needle, and the wooden needle is free, flopping about. Repeat steps 1-5, and a little tube of knit fabric will form!  As you will notice, you are ALWAYS knitting using the same needle tip in your right hand, the other needle tip always acts as the left-hand needle.

LETS REVIEW THE PROCESS AGAIN, with a few more rows on the needles.  With practice, it will become simple, clear and intuitive for you.

In my opinion, the magic loop technique is simple and elegant, and it avoids the problems of dropping stitches off the ends of double pointed needles.  Markers don’t really work when placed at the start or end of needles (same as with DPNs), but you can place them in between, and use the end of the section, or the ‘loop’ as a marker.

You can work any number of stitches using this technique, although when I have a large number of stitches, I find it more convenient and fast to knit using a circular needle of the correct size, rather than an excessively long one!

Like our in-depth tutorials?  To stay ‘in the loop’ get our email updates!

Projects to practice your magic loop skills :::

Little SocksBonBon mittensFancy Balls

117 Comments leave one →
  1. Judy Sheary permalink
    July 7, 2021 2:19 pm

    Thank you very much for this tutorial, after looking at soooo many videos on knitting in the round on long circular needles, I just could not make sense of it until I found your tutorial, now I am away – thank you and look forward to getting your updates

  2. Should've done my homework! permalink
    February 4, 2021 10:14 pm

    Arrghhh! Have just started my first sleeve in the round and was making a complete mess of it trying what I thought was magic loop knitting. It can’t be that difficult and fiddly. Well it isn’t when you do it right. Thankyou so much for the very easy to follow instructions. The rest of my sleeve will be a breeze.

  3. Wendy permalink
    January 31, 2021 11:50 am

    Thank you for your easy to follow instructions and pictures, best I have found!! Just wondering about the extra stitch you added, won’t it throw off one’s pattern?

    • January 31, 2021 10:42 pm

      Hi Wendy – the very first stitch of the round you knit that extra stitch together with the first stitch, and that takes you back down to the correct number of stitches for your pattern. Doing this just creates a slightly ‘tidier’ join at the cast on edge, but it’s not necessary – instead you can cast on precisely the number of stitches required by the pattern instructions.

  4. Jan permalink
    January 5, 2021 3:58 pm

    Hi, I am knitting socks for the first time using the Rye Light sock pattern. I am using Magic Loop method, and am ready to start the heel flap. The pattern says to knit so many stitches and then place them on hold. Do I need to put them on a piece of waste yarn , while I do the flap? Thanks for your help.

    • January 6, 2021 11:55 am

      Hi Jan – You can, or you can just ignore them, or put them on a separate needle. Whatever works for you.

    • Jan permalink
      January 6, 2021 4:52 pm

      Thanks Alexa. I ended up just ignoring them, and it worked fine. Now on to the heel turn!!

      • Jan permalink
        January 8, 2021 3:48 pm

        Hi Alexa, I have completed the gusset on the light Rye sock, and am at the point of shifting the BOR. I am using magic loop and would like to get my needles back to the original position, ie. front on one needle and back on the other. Is there a way to do this without screwing up the markers decreasing for the toe etc.? Thanks for your help.

      • January 11, 2021 6:22 am

        I think you can just follow the BOR shift instructions, using magic loop just the same as DPNs. When you get to the new BOR, you can pull the ‘loop’ out on the opposite side of the toe (where there’s a marker), and then ½ the stitches will be on one side of the needle, and ½ on the other side. ~ Emily

  5. November 29, 2020 12:31 pm

    Tried this technique for the first time yesterday. Finished a whole mitten in one day! Since I started with a k1,p1 cuff I didn’t realize, until I got to the ‘palm’ section, that my mitten was inside out. LOL. So, I’m trying the technique again today to get it right.
    When I first heard “Magic Loop” I thought it was another knitting gadget. I love being able to use the needles that I already have.
    Thank you again for making this technique not so complicated.

    • November 29, 2020 2:52 pm

      I figured out what I was doing wrong. I was pulling the FRONT needle out and knitting the BACK needle. DUH! Now I’m back on track. Thank you again for your tutorial. I won’t say that I’ll never use double point needles again, but I sure am a convert to the ‘magic loop’ technique.

      • Suzette permalink
        January 28, 2021 3:45 am

        Thanks so much for mentioning this – I am reading in preparation for using the magic loop method, and have read that a person can easily end up knitting inside out, but didn’t understand how that happened, and didn’t know what to look for. Your comment explained clearly what I need to watch for. Thank you.

  6. Jonna permalink
    November 22, 2020 7:30 am

    Hi! I’m wondering how to knit a pair of socks where the BOR is always on the inside of my leg. (currently, my BOR is always on the right side of my sock when looking down at my feet) When I make striped socks, I weave the ends in as I go, but there’s a very slight jog when I change colors. (I don’t like slipping the first stitch in the second round to avoid this). Anyway, I was wondering, short of knitting half a row and moving my BOR between stitches 32 and 33 (for a 64 stitch sock) instead of keeping it between stitches 1 and 64, is there another way? Do I have to knit the second sock inside out? I hope this makes sense! Thank you!!

    • November 23, 2020 1:30 am

      I think if you adjust the way you work the part where you separate to begin working the heel flap, you can place the BOR at the other side of the sock. So, if the sock heel instruction is typically to begin working rows over the first ½ the sock sts, then at that point, you’d instead knit across half, place them on hold for top of foot, then work your heel over the second ½ of the stitches. Hope this helps! ~ Em

    • Sharron Arnold permalink
      April 16, 2021 1:34 am

      Google Helical knitting….JenACKnitwear….

  7. All permalink
    March 22, 2020 12:25 pm

    Magic loop finally clicked thanks to this tutorial! I’m running into one problem – the stitches hanging out on the cable are incredibly difficult to pull back onto the needles, it’s almost like they shrink and then I have to force them back on. I’m not sure if I’m pulling too tight or if something else is going on, but I’m finding this aspect really challenging.

    • March 23, 2020 4:12 pm

      I think that means you are pulling the first stitch too tight, if you loosen up a little on that one it won’t pull the last stitch on the needle.

  8. Louise permalink
    May 7, 2019 1:50 pm

    I would like to covert my DPN sock pattern to magic loop method. The pattern calls for 60 cast on split between 3 DPN. What is the best way to change this over to magic loop.

  9. Camille permalink
    January 29, 2019 10:24 am

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial! I’m about to try magic loop and I’m interested in knowing the best cable for this. Do you have a recommendation? Thank you so much!

    • January 29, 2019 12:53 pm

      Hi Camille – I like a 40″ cord but some knitters prefer smaller (like a 32″) and some prefer even longer (like a 47″ or so).

  10. Christine Jessup permalink
    December 17, 2018 12:23 pm

    How can I print the magic loop instructions?

  11. lindafoulis permalink
    December 9, 2018 9:54 am

    Thank you for the fantastic tutorial. Wicked easy to get and understand. I was hoping to use it on the project I’m working on now, however, the circular needles in the size I’m using are old old old and not very bendy. I wish I had Chia Goo needles this size. Can’t wait to share this with my GF who says “This can not be done!”

  12. Rt Sears permalink
    October 30, 2018 4:01 am

    Perfect tutorial, gave me exactly what I needed. I’m an experienced knitter & ‘had to read it thru twice. I can understand why some might read it and then go looking for a video tutorial, lol.
    However, that’s cuz it’s more complicated to (first) just read than it, my best advice is — To DO IT _while_ reading about how to do it.

  13. Rose permalink
    August 25, 2018 4:10 pm

    Thank you for the first clear explanation of magic loop I found! And I looked for a lot :-) My question is, how do you change needle sizes in the middle of a pattern? I’d like to use one size for the brim of a hat and go up a size for the body. Is this possible? Thanks!

    • August 27, 2018 10:07 am

      Absolutely! It works exactly the same as any other needle change, you have your smaller needle in your left hand and your larger needle in your right and you just knit your sts onto the larger needle, pulling out your loop of yarn at the same spot as the smaller one.

  14. Carolyn permalink
    August 2, 2018 11:39 am

    I am so confused some instructions say to pull the top needle out so you can knit with it and some say to pull the bottom needle out to knit with it, this is for knitting magic loop socks toe up. Is there a tutorial on the right way to do magic loop?

    • August 10, 2018 10:02 am

      Hi Carolyn – it depends which way you are looking at your knitting, but you are going to pull the needle with the working yarn on it out and make sure your sts to work next are on the other needle.

  15. May 30, 2018 7:10 am

    Thank you for this very clear explanation of this technique. I am relatively new to circular needles but since knitting a few projects I am totally hooked. In the past, I have found DPN’s to be awkward and could never get through a project without dropping stitches or using cumbersome end stoppers. The circular needles solve this problem. The Magic loop method allows for knitting smaller tubular projects which would be 10x the work involved with other needles.

  16. Lizzyblob permalink
    February 25, 2018 8:20 am

    Hello, I can’t get this to work! I use the long tail cast on, and when I transfer the extra stitch, it just gets looser and looser and then it undoes. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

    • February 28, 2018 8:59 am

      Hi Lizzy – I’m sorry, I really dont know. You can try using a different cast on, but I would leave a longer tail so it doesn’t un-ravel

  17. Karen permalink
    January 10, 2018 9:33 pm

    Thank you so much. I hate circular needles and have been avoiding any patterns (no matter how beautiful ) that uses them. Can’t wait to use your technique!

  18. tframe71 permalink
    January 4, 2018 12:45 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial on magic loop! I am self-taught (alas, no yarny friends close by!) and have been trying to learn from videos but somehow I always messed up. This was perfect. 😊

  19. Alison Ratchford permalink
    December 2, 2017 6:23 am

    I am so frustrated that I cannot get this! Firstly, what cast on method do you use? With mine, my tail and working yarns are at opposite ends of the needle. Secondly , because the first stitch of the Maize mittens is a purl, I assume you purl the extra cast on stitch and the first purl stitch together as a purl? Determined to persevere!

    • December 3, 2017 5:55 pm

      Hi Alison – It won’t really matter which cast on you use, if the Magic loop is giving you trouble I would recommend trying it out on something that has already been cast on and worked for a bit, like the crown of a hat. It all seems much clearer that way, and then when you cast on for Magic Loop I think it iwll make more sense.

      You have that right, you are going to cast on an extra stitch and purl it together with the first st for the Maize mittens.

  20. Sara permalink
    November 26, 2017 9:11 am

    So, a little dumb question, but in my defense, I’m new to knitting! I started knitting a hat on regular 16″ circular needles. After a few decrease rounds, I want to switch to a magic loop. I understand how to use magic loop when i’m casting on afresh, BUT Is it possible to TRANSFER half knitted-in-round project from a set of circular needles to a magic loop? I’d love any advice – and thank you in advance xx

    • November 28, 2017 11:16 am

      Hi Sara – You probably want to knit the sts onto your long circular, rather than transferring them. On the next round you want to have your 16″ circular with your sts in your left hand and your empty long circ for magic loop in your right. Then work the round as you normally would

  21. November 17, 2017 4:11 am

    A little tricky but I’m working on it. I am a DPN person usually but want to learn TAAT socks so thought I’d try it. I think I forgot to turn work a couple times. Also, I’m seeing a gap at the join and am not sure how to fix that?

    • February 2, 2018 7:13 am

      I had the same problem, make sure the stitch that joins each end when starting the other half of magic loop is kept tensioned tp prevent extra yarn being pulled into the wip.

  22. Anita permalink
    November 2, 2017 9:53 pm

    Thank you so much!!!

  23. PATRICIA SMITH permalink
    August 18, 2017 8:21 am

    How do you avoid gaps or ladders

    • August 21, 2017 11:19 am

      Hi Patricia – I’m afraid the answer for me was just practice. I try to give the first stitch a little extra tug, but it’s important not to make it too snug if it’s on the cord rather than the needle.

      • February 2, 2018 7:14 am

        tension all the way through, especially on ends needs to be even

  24. July 7, 2017 9:37 am

    Thank you so much! This is super detailed and I love the photos for each step!!!

  25. Gillian permalink
    June 28, 2017 4:20 am

    What a wonderfully clear explanation!
    My daughter is expecting her first baby and I have loads of baby stuff I want to knit and only long length circular needles, so now I can knit to my heart’s content and I haven’t got to buy lots of new needles.
    I was struggling to master the magic loop but thanks to you it is now so much easier.

  26. Isabelle permalink
    May 19, 2017 10:05 am

    Thanks a lot for the annotated pictures (so much clearer than videos in my opinion!). It’s my first time knitting with circular needles and yesterday I tried and failed to understand how the magic loop worked several times, visiting sites in both English and my own language, until I found your explanations and it suddenly stopped to appear impossibly hard. I’m still dreading the first few rows (I’m knitting a plush toy in 9 small pieces so I’ve already had to do that a few times) but other than that it no longer seems less easy than regular knitting. :)

    • February 2, 2018 7:18 am

      I would like to find a circular needle with a more flexible filament to make it easier tp pull through and also to flex the knitting needle without tension on the working hand fighting you from the nylon filament

      • Rt Sears permalink
        October 30, 2018 4:13 am

        The ChiaoGoo Red Lace Circular Needles are all getting high marks from reviewers saying how perfect they are for Magic Loop knitting. Including that they don’t kink or curl on their own, but Magic Loops pull wondefully and easily.
        They’re a slightly higher class of needles, very smooth & well made, & so somewhat more money, alrhough not at all exorbitant.
        I just ordered two pair – cuz they sent me to this page here, where I’ve finally figured out Magic Loop, and now can use their needles! Lol.

  27. Viki Bickerton permalink
    May 14, 2017 3:32 am

    Wanted to knit some fingerless mittens. Was going to use double pointed needles but came across the magic loop method and decided to give it a go. Always keen to learn a new technique. Tried a website that demoed it and got totally lost. By then I was determined so searched again and found tincanknits. It took some practice but after an hour I nailed it and now I love it. Thank you so much for your very detailed step by step method and great photos. So happy with the result.

  28. Aideen permalink
    May 3, 2017 3:17 am

    So simply explained! Thank you !!!

  29. Sally Imber permalink
    April 27, 2017 4:32 am

    Awesome tutorial, thank you!!!!

  30. Kathy James permalink
    February 16, 2017 4:25 pm

    How do I determine the size of an adult man hand size for mittens to determine how many stitches I need.?

    • February 16, 2017 7:13 pm

      The Worlds Simplest Mittens pattern ( has all of the sizing and cast on information

  31. June permalink
    December 12, 2016 8:52 am

    Hi , am I right in thinking both mittens are the same with no left or right hand ?

    • December 12, 2016 6:35 pm

      That is correct, no right or left

      • February 2, 2018 7:20 am

        unless there is a pattern like cables or such on the one side. then what

      • February 5, 2018 9:32 am

        That comment was referring to The World’s Simplest Mittens, which don’t have any patterning.

  32. Linda C. permalink
    November 23, 2016 4:28 am

    Thank you for showing how to close up the gap with the extra cast on. Your tutorial is the only one for magic loop knitting that I could find. I could not figure out how to do it and tried without success.

  33. Ann Kinderknecht permalink
    November 15, 2016 3:04 am

    Can you teach me in person face to face! I want to get this!!!!

    • November 15, 2016 9:47 am

      Hi Ann – we aren’t teaching at the moment, but perhaps there is a yarn shop near you?

  34. October 16, 2016 6:28 am

    Thank you for these very clear instructions, (the best I have seen yet!). I have wanted to start sock knitting for some time but have been daunted by the double pins, I will definately be having a go with this method. Thank you soo much X

  35. August 1, 2016 2:10 pm

    I am really enjoying your site. Do you recommend the magic loop method with pin hole cast on for making the Vivid squares? I’ve been playing with it and it’s probably my inexperience that is making this challenging, just wanted to check! Thanks.

    • August 2, 2016 9:31 am

      Hi Kathy – on this issue we are split, I prefer the DPN’s with so few stitches, but Emily uses magic loop.

  36. April 7, 2016 6:32 am

    Perfect! i looked through so many videos and instructions, yours were the best!

  37. March 15, 2016 5:59 am

    Those were excellent instruction without a video to watch. Each step precise and east to follow. Thank you

  38. Niki permalink
    January 16, 2016 1:08 pm

    Thank you for the wonderful instructions. I am working the flax pattern and am working the first of the sleeves using the magic loop (picking up at the armhole). I tried three times following the tutorial but I always end up starting out knitting backwards (working counterclockwise around the armhole with the front of my knitting facing INTO the sleeve. Any tips?

    • January 16, 2016 6:11 pm

      I think you may be forgetting to join for working in the round?

      • Niki permalink
        January 17, 2016 7:57 pm

        Thanks for trying but I finally realized what I was doing wrong…I transferred the live stitches onto my circular needle backwards. Just in case anyone else has this issue! Love your patterns and tutorials!

  39. Julie permalink
    November 26, 2015 10:19 pm

    Thank you. so easy to follow I was quite nervous about using this method but not now! Although I have managed to work it inside out! I think I may need a little more practice!

  40. Jennifer permalink
    November 20, 2015 1:25 pm

    I’ve been knitting using the magic loop method, but my right side is on the inside when I’m working. I then just turn my finished work inside out. It’s worked on hats, cowls, and mittens but I’ve never knit a sweater before. I want to make your Flax sweater my first one. Do you think my method will be a problem? My working needle is in the back of my work… I can re-learn the method to make your sweater, it’s worth it. Thoughts???

  41. Spud Watson permalink
    October 13, 2015 6:13 am

    I have 64 stitches on a 2.5mm needle do you think this method would be alright or should I get a circular needle with a smaller cable length? at the minute I’m using this method with an 80cm cable

    • October 13, 2015 2:50 pm

      It’s hard to get a small enough circular, you would need something like a 12″ (that’s tip to tip), I would typically work magic loop on a cord 40″ or longer.

  42. Josn permalink
    September 7, 2015 11:24 am

    Magic loop..I have 10 stitches on each needle but they are the sides of the sock instead of the sole & instep.. I need to move them to have 10 on top (instep)& 10 on bottom(sole) to do the Kitchener stitch.. How do I do that?

    • September 11, 2015 9:57 am

      You can slip stitches around the needles so that you get them into the correct position, and pull out the ‘loop’ in a different location. You may want to knit a few stitches so that your last stitch knit is at the end of either the sole or instep section of the sock, and you can kitchener using the yarn tail, starting at one end. You may want to check out our Rye sock pattern – it is our free beginner sock pattern. Good Luck!

  43. florence permalink
    September 3, 2015 6:02 pm

    I am going to start knitting the sleeves for your Antler sweater pattern. I was going to use the magic loop method for joining in the round. The pattern says after knitting rib with smaller needles you need to switch to larger needles. How can this be done using the magic loop method??How do you get the stiches from one needle size to the next needle size? Maybe I have to use double pointed needles???

    • September 4, 2015 1:17 pm

      Hi Florence – it is exactly the same as with double points, you pick up your larger needle with your right hand and start working with that needle instead of the right side of the smaller circular

  44. August 28, 2015 8:43 am

    Can you explain how to do a yarn over at the end of a “magic loop ” row? I’m struggling to know where to place my yarn to start the new row following the yarn over at the end of the previous row. Thanks!

    • August 28, 2015 10:52 pm

      You may want to try moving where your loop comes out. Then you won’t have it as you make the change.

  45. Jean Rae permalink
    August 4, 2015 5:15 am

    Thank you for the very clear instructions of magic loop. I have only one question, what do you do with the extra stitch besides slip it to the other needle? If you were doing a pattern,wouldn’t this extra stitch be extra?

    • August 4, 2015 6:45 pm

      You are knitting the extra stitch together with the first stitch of the round (it’s a little further down the page ;)

  46. Cindy permalink
    July 31, 2015 10:33 am

    I ordered HiyaHiya both the large and small bamboo interchangeable circular sets. They come with various cord lengths. Could one of these sets be used to do the magic loop method for a hat, I’m trying to avoid buying more needles but will if needed.

    • July 31, 2015 10:01 pm

      Hi Cindy- you bet! Just swap in a longer cord and you can magic loop the top!

  47. Wendy Downing permalink
    July 11, 2015 1:09 am

    Thank you for your excellent tutorial on magic loop. Have wanted to try it but until now found it too confusing. Your photos of each step are brilliant. I didn’t have correct dpns to start a new jumper pattern sleeve so followed your tutorial and now have a new knitting skill. Thanks again.

  48. wilna permalink
    June 2, 2015 7:36 am

    hi i would like to know when you knit socks, how to make sure that the leg opening is on the opposite side when you knit the second sock( im knitting slipper socks) i am a beginner and not sure what to do. i suppose it means a right and left foot sock?

    • June 2, 2015 11:16 am

      Hi Wilna – for socks we usually just knit two the same. If you are knitting from a pattern with definite left and right feet it should have instructions. Knitting is stretchy and flexible (unlike shoes) so it shouldn’t matter which is which.

  49. Julie K permalink
    May 4, 2015 9:01 am

    Thank you for this excellent tutorial! It is so descriptive and the photos are incredibly clear and easy to understand. I am so excited to try the extra cast on stitch trick that you outlined also.

  50. Tracey permalink
    March 28, 2015 8:59 am

    A couple questions for you……I am ready to start the decrease for the toe, following a “wedge toe” pattern. Im not sure if I should be dividing the stitches differently than when I’m knitting the foot section. Should I be placing markers so that I know when and where the K2tog etc should be?? Also I’ve now knit 3 pairs with the basic sts and would now like to try a sock with a pattern. Could you recommend a “simple” pattern to try for my 1st patterned sock. Thanks so much…….love your postings!!!

    • March 29, 2015 11:50 am

      If I was knitting toe decreases using magic loop, I’d put the top-of-foot stitches on one needle, and then bottom-of-foot stitches on the other needle, and loop between them. Then you’d work a decrease at the start and end of each needle to form a wedge toe (like [k1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts on needle, k2tog, k1] twice. I’d recommend the Monkey Socks by Cookie A: they were my first socks, and I love the pattern.

  51. January 31, 2015 8:20 am

    Thank you for taking the time to explain this!!!! I am working on a project trying to use magic loop but I was doing it wrong. . . Can’t wait to try it right, I think I will be happier w. The results!

  52. gillette permalink
    January 28, 2015 12:33 pm

    don:t understand how this is different than using two circular needles ,dropping the first needle when end of first group of stitches.and letting it hang loose picking up the second circular and knitting across that needle. i used the loop method but only use one needle. why the two needles?

    • January 28, 2015 1:37 pm

      I’m not sure I understand the question, we are only using one needle. It is a long circular needle.

  53. Ginnie Harney permalink
    January 11, 2015 10:30 am

    While I am an experienced knitter, I have never used this method but found myself with a project I wanted to do and without the correct needles so I decided to try it. I looked at a number of pages and found your directions the easiest to understand. Once I got going and was familiar with the technique, I tried randomly pulling my loop as I continued to knit – always keeping stitches on my needles. I was able to knit faster and my stitches were more even as this eliminated the joining in the original technique. Worked great!!!

  54. Sue turner permalink
    January 6, 2015 5:43 am

    Sue turner

    Thank you at last I’ve understood the magic loop with your help. I can carry on doing my son’s jumper it’s the fist time I’ve used circle needles, should have used them ages ago 😀

  55. Hazel Clayton permalink
    December 2, 2014 12:17 pm

    Now I get it!!! Thank you so much for this.

  56. November 17, 2014 1:04 pm

    THIS tutorial is wonderful, I picked up the technique with one run through, thanks so much for this! can’t wait to get making hats and mittens now :) jenny xx

  57. Elaine Pollard permalink
    April 25, 2014 9:04 pm

    I understand the basic premise of magic loop, but I have not found one tutorial that explains how I will know I have completed a full row. Is there an easy way to tell? I have even tried a marker, but somehow it didn’t work. I guess I could just count double. Thanks for any advice!


    • May 2, 2014 6:59 pm

      Hi Elaine

      Placing a marker definitely helps! Counting double will work too.

      • Gwen permalink
        March 24, 2021 8:10 am

        My marker keeps falling off and now I am not quite sure where I am. I figured that I could count stitches and the BOR should have the same number (vertically) or could I use the tail as the BOR? (I did not use the long tail cast on for this project: Worldsimplestmittens.

      • March 25, 2021 12:33 pm

        You can also try using a locking stitch marker

  58. April 19, 2014 1:08 pm

    I’m interested in trying this technique but wonder whether laddering will be more of a problem. When making socks with dpn I continuously change the point at which I go from one needle to the next so I don’t have to deal with that tendency for the changing point to create a vertical line in the sock. Is this any harder to do with the magic loop? Or is there a different way to prevent the possibility of laddering?

    • April 21, 2014 4:31 pm

      I think it’s about the same, you can still change where the join is on a regular basis to avoid ladders with Magic Loop.

    • Agustin permalink
      March 21, 2015 6:22 pm

      It’s actually pretty easy to eliminate laddering without having to keep changing the transition point with this method. When you pull out the back needle when you’re at your changing point, the last stitch you made is now on the loop, which is much thinner than the knitting needles. If you pull on the working yarn, that last stitch is pulled tight on the loop and becomes really small, and the usual “stretching,” which would normally lead to laddering, causes it to become the same as all the other stitches. I hope that makes sense.

      • Minouu permalink
        August 16, 2015 5:13 am

        Thanks, Agustin! And thanks for the easy to follow instructions for the magic loop.

  59. March 29, 2014 8:02 am

    Hello! I used this tutorial to learn Magic Loop. So easy! And I’ve only been knitting for a few months! If a newbie can figure it out, anyone can!

    I gave you a shout out on my blog, so people know where I learned it.

    Thank you so much for the very clear instructions! Happy knitting!

  60. Sandy permalink
    February 16, 2014 4:52 pm

    do you have a tutorial on the heel and picking up the gusset for a sock using long circular needle

    • February 18, 2014 6:57 am

      Hi Sandy – we don’t have a tutorial specifically on how to pick up along the gusset when using magic loop. But the process is exactly the same as when using DPNS (except you pick up using your circular needle). Check out our tutorial on sock knitting here.

    • February 18, 2014 10:29 am

      Hi Emily
      When needing to pick up sts for the heel, I use an interchangeable tip, dpn or other circ.
      Then slide the picked up stitches to my working circ.
      It does require additional tools, but much easier than trying to pick up with the working circ in magic loop mode.

      • February 18, 2014 12:04 pm

        Oh that’s one way to do it, but I’ve always just used the working end of the magic loop circular, and never had an issue with it. But I do tend to use quite long circulars for magic loop (40″ often).

  61. Shelby Ostergaard permalink
    January 25, 2014 9:37 am

    This is BY FAR the most helpful magic loop explanation I have seen. However, I have a question. When I knit in the magic loop, I end up with yarn slipped over the cable, at the end of the first half of a row. It looks as if it is the part joining the round. When I simply slip the needle out so that it is no longer going over, I end up with small holes in my knitting. When I knit it (as if it were a stitch) I end up adding a stitch to every row. If I attempt to ignore it, it usually slips off anyway in the process of me turning my work 180 degrees. Do you have any idea what this is?

    Will the extra stitch help this? In addition, when do you stop knitting the extra stitch? How do you do that without dropping it?

    Thank you so much, I’m sorry, it looks as if I might have actually had many questions!

    • February 18, 2014 12:08 pm

      Hi Shelby – I’m not sure what you mean by the yarn slipped over the cable at the first half of the row. I think perhaps you are actually creating a yarn-over (increase) at the end of the previous row…

      Your yarn should lead from UNDER the previous stitch, into the next stitch. If you send me a detailed photo I might be able to diagnose your problem more accurately! ~ Emily

  62. Leslie Gearhart permalink
    December 22, 2013 6:52 am

    Do you have a tutorial on knitting 2 items (socks or sleeves) at once with either the magic loop or 2 circulars? I’m getting mixed up with casting on and keeping track of the circulars and where to start when I have to put my work down and come back later!!

  63. November 28, 2013 10:50 pm

    Thank you so much! I have feared using circular needles until now, because I found your tutorial!

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