Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Knitting with a MAGIC LOOP tutorial

What are you knitting Jo? You showed us your yarn stash but what are you actually doing with it? Well since you are asking....

My 2015 man knit is back underway. Smaller in width but just as mindless but I like that sometimes. I found out two things this weekend: 1. I can knit in the dark by feel alone and 2. You can get 87 minutes unexpected knitting time if you watch Shaun the Sheep at the cinema and can hone this knitting-in-the-dark skill!

My black cardigan has gone into hibernation because I don't need it until the winter and what can you blog about a black cardigan, I mean where is the narrative?

A chunky baggy sleeveless pullover thingy I felt I needed during Me Made May. Quick to knit but a terrible distraction to these other projects.

Finally a top down cardigan in King Cole fashion Aran which has some promise...I took it on holiday so there was lots of progress.

It is a great top down pattern from ravelry here and I highly recommend it if you have not tried one before. However you need to know how to knit the tube arms using a magic loop if you are not able to use DPN's, (Double pointed needles) which I have yet to master. My talented friend Michelle taught me this technique and this is what you do:

Your stitches are on the extendable needles but you can't get the needle points to the stitches to knit them...useless

Pull the wire into a loop between some stitches leaving about 6 to 8 on the right hand needle...

Now pull another 'magic' loop leaving lots of stitches ready to knit but not stretching them too much at the wire end of the left needle... see how it has distributed the stitches into a sort of loose triangle shape just like if you were using DPN's

Now you can knit all the stitches on the left hand needle until they are on the right one. There is one more to go on the next photo.

Now pull the magic loops through again and repeat.

It is a bit slow going until you get the fluency nonetheless you get a seamless sleeve by only doing knit stitch but it looks like stocking stitch - that is how magic it is. Michelle explained it too me but I glazed over, something about a spiral, I didn't care it was working.

The other seriously good thing about it is that you can try it on as you go along by pulling the needles back to the useless position you started with in the first place. I now need to pop on a stitch marker so that I can count rows for the decreases.

I mean arms that are the right length, who doesn't want to achieve that? I am at the elbow which is where I need to be to start some decreases towards my forearm and wrist. 

I hope that is useful for somebody or a little inspiration to start a top down garment. Ask me any questions if you need help and I will.... ask my friend Michelle!!

What are you knitting?

Jo xxx


  1. Love the colour of your top down cardi. I've recently been converted to magic loop as well as knitting two things (sleeves or socks) at once on the same circular needles. Total magic!

  2. It always nice to have a friend in the know....

  3. I too have recently been converted to the magic loop - it's great and circular needles are much more user friendly than those long straight needles. You are busy with your knitting!
    Caz xx

  4. Well, it is all a mystery to me, but very impressive!! xx

  5. Really admire your knitting Jo, what a gorgeous colour too. I'm afraid I don't knit, still have a knitted doll started years ago in pieces would dearly love to finish! xx

  6. Thanks for that useful tip. Your knitting is lovely and I especially love the top down cardigan. I'm not knitting anything at the minute but doing lots of crochet. I need to un-knit my coat and start again which doesn't really appeal to me as a way to spend a few hours.

  7. I'm not sure I'm game to try this one yet, but your cardi looks fab! Love the speckly red colour.

  8. Hi Jo! I have missed you and yours as well, but just had fun scrolling through your posts I missed while traveling. Your sense of humor had me chuckling more than once, and I enjoyed seeing your husband and the girls enjoying your holiday at the beach and at your cabin, too. I admire your sewing and organizational projects and art work, also! I still have a sock on circular needles started with the magic loop method that I hope to finish one day, but unlike you I can not knit in the dark while watching Shawn the Sheep :) but I am so impressed that you can!!! [We have watched a good bit of Shawn the Sheep in this household even though we are across the pond from you.] Your away from home work is much more varied than mine was since I mainly did one on one tutoring with elementary children, but I found the work interesting and especially rewarding when my students made progress in learning, which is satisfying, isn't it. Your garden is beautifully thriving! We are currently trying to coax ripe cherries from our massive tree :) xx

  9. You are doing great on your knitting projects. I am in love with your latest pattern and have had that one in my Ravelry library for some time. No surprise there because I love everything you make. I have to say I love double pointed needles, they make me feel very sophisticated as a knitter.
    Hugs to you,

    1. Hi Mere, Clever you, sophistication indeed! it is on my list of things to learn in 2015. Jo x