Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Magic Loop Knitting

Back in October, I came across a 50% off coupon for Michaels and decided to buy the $69.99 Boye circular needle set for $35 to see if I liked the whole interchangeable needle idea.  A friend of mine had let me use her Knit Picks set for a few minutes, and I figured I'd try the cheaper brand before deciding if I wanted to spend the extra money on that set (which was really, really nice.)   I tried the circulars on a few projects and used them for straight knitting and knitting in the round.  I liked them enough, the only thing that bothered me was that if I didn't watch the screws connecting the needle tips to the cable, they could come undone.  Once I got into the habit of checking it though, it didn't bother me.

A few days ago, I had another 50% off coupon for Michaels, and debated getting another circular set because I had read somewhere that you can knit in the round using 2 circular needles.  I thought that would be a good way to save money on needles, since this set contained needles from size 2-15, with 20", 24", 29", and 36" cables.  I practically wouldn't need to buy any more needles!  Since I didn't mind using the first set, I really considered it and went ahead and bought the second set.

Yesterday, I ran across a discussion in the Ravelry forums about Magic Loop knitting, and decided I wanted to give it a try before I opened the second circular set.  It was the perfect time to try it, because I had a baby hat I've been wanting to make for someone which called for size 10.5 DPNS, which I didn't have, but my circular needles would still be too long to knit the little hat with.  This is the video I used, but of course there are a ton of them:

So, I connected the 36" and 29" cables from the first interchangeable needle set, and attempted the magic loop.  At first, I was fumbling with the cables the whole time, and I felt like my knitting was so inconsistent, but eventually I got used to it.  The only issue I had was getting the stitches from the cable back onto the needles.  The stitches were stubborn and didn't want to go back on.  Perhaps my knitting was running tight.  I also couldn't figure out how to effectively use a stitch marker to mark my rounds, but the tail let me know when I was starting another round. However, it was nice to only have to deal with 2 needles versus 4, and the fact that Baby D couldn't come up when I wasn't looking and run off with a DPN leaving dropped stitches was a really big bonus.
In the end, I was really pleased with the baby hat, and the magic loop method.  I will definitely be using it instead of DPNs.  Which is awesome, because that saves a lot of money not having to buy all those DPNs, and on the other hand pretty much removes that limit of only knitting things that I have certain size needles for!  I'm so excited to try the method on more projects. 


My Captivating Images said...

Kudos to you! I don't have the patience for knitting although I really wish I did. Needle point is about as advanced as I get.

Sheena said...

lol I definitely did not have the patience when I first started! =) I got so frustrated, especially because I couldn't keep my stitches on my needles! But, eventually I got the hang of it. =) Now without it, I think I would have less patience. I used to do some needlepoint, too. Do you cross stitch or embroider? My grandma embroiders, and I love it. I should pick it up again. =)

Perfectly Flawed :) said...

Do you buy magazines for patterns or find them online?

Sheena said...

I emailed you, but just in case you check this first:
it's fantastic!!!