Maybe you’re headed toward the sleeve portion of your Bang Out a Sweater project.
Maybe you’re working some other thing that has a small circumference: a sock, a hat, a cozy for your artisanal pottery coffee mug.
Maybe the prospect of using double-pointed needles fills you with a) dread, b) procrastination, or c) annoyance—that’s me, because last weekend I spent way too long trying to find my size 6 DPNs.
Which never emerged from the tar pit of my lair.
It was pitiful, really. A wide-open weekend with nothing but a pair of sleeves to make in order to finish Banging Out my Norah Gaughan sweater.
There was no way I was going to Not Bang last weekend.
It drove me to what I have long believed was the least fun way to work a small-circumference piece of knitting.
The Magic Loop.
Ech! Who wants to spend all day yanking a cable through half the stitches on a sleeve?
Welllllllll, as it turns out . . .
Something very profound happened as I knitted my sleeves using Magic Loop: I got the hang of it.
I mean: I love Magic Loop.
I am semi-evangelical about Magic Loop.
I’m all zeal about Magic Loop.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please consider this one of those tracts stuck under your windshield wiper.
What Is Magic Loop, Anyway?
Magic Loop lets you knit small-circumference things using a long circular needle, 32 or 40 inches.
The video up top from Staci Perry of Very Pink is absolutely brilliant. It’s all you need to get the hang of Magic Loop.
I think my previous frustration with Magic Loop was because my cable wasn’t flexible. You need to have a cable that bends easily. Addi Rockets are perfect for this. (Yes, we have some in the Shop, but not a ton of them.)
Why Magic Loop is great:
- No lost DPNs in the sofa cushion.
- No stitches dropped off from a DPN that you don’t notice until it’s a terrible mess back there.
- One set of needle tips to work with.
- Stitches are more even (for me!) because you don’t have to jump from DPN to DPN.
- No laddering between DPNs.
- It’s not DPNs at all.
Here’s what my Magic Loop looks like as I wend my way glory bound on my sleeve:
All you’re doing is taking up the slack in the cable by creating a loop at the midpoint of your stitches. Very Pink’s video makes it all very clear.
How It’s Going
Such a catchy name, right?
I know—this is one of the longer pattern names I’ve ever made. But that’s what it’s all about this year: we’re all making such bespoke sweaters this year during Bang Out a Sweater. It’s not one sweater; it’s all kinds of sweaters. Pullovers. Cardigans. Short sleeve. Long sleeve. Seven different yoke patterns in the mix. All sorts of yarns. Complete freaks who are using cotton denim yarn. I literally can’t even.
I think that’s why the Instagram hashtag #BangOutASweater is such fun to watch. No two alike. Your mileage may vary. And the Bang Out a Sweater conversation in the Lounge is teaching me all sorts of things. Folks are sharing and caring and learning and discerning and it’s all just great.