How To: Knit in the Round - Magic-Loop Style
This fall we are so excited to be releasing our first ever sweater pattern, The Pritchard Pullover! We have developed a super simple sweater pattern in our Recycle Yarn Collective yarn that is perfect for beginners! The sweater is designed to be knit in the round which means, if you're new to knitting in the round, you knit every round continuously in a circle without turning back and forth. Some knitters prefer to knit in the round on double-pointed needles (or DPNS) and some knitters prefer to use circular needles which are exactly the right circumference for the item they're knitting (for example: most hats can be comfortably knit on 16" circular needles). However, for a project like this sweater, the circumference will be changing quite a lot, from the neck, to the shoulders, to the torso and the sleeves - so if you were planning to use a the perfect length circular needles, you'd end up needing 7 different circular needles! The Magic-Loop method allows you to skip all those needle lengths and knit almost any sized circle on the same pair of circular needles.
When working the Magic-Loop style you'll only need one extra long circular needle to knit any diameter project. In this short tutorial we'll show you the basics of how to work the Magic-Loop style. For this demonstration we cast on the smallest size (Kids 1-2yr) of the Pritchard Pullover and used the 40" circular needle.
Step One: Cast on the required number of stitches. For the 1-2yr size that is 30sts. 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.
Step Two: Now slide the stitches to the needle points, so the two needles are lined up together, and the needle points parallel to one another. Make sure that the cast on ‘edge’ is not twisted. Gently pull on the tip of the needle positioned on top so that the half amount of stitches on that needle glide down the cable, but remain parallel to the lower needle.
Step Three: Using the needle you pulled through, knit across stitches on the lower needle. When you reach the bend in your cable needle, turn work so the stitches which were on the top needle are now facing you. Gently push the lower needle back into your facing stitches, and gently pull the top needle out and around so you're in the position to knit your lower stitches once again.
You'll continue moving your stitches around the long needle in this manner through the neck and shoulders. At some point the amount of stitches you have may fill up the entire circular needle. At that point you can let your pinched loop in the cable fall away and just knit as normal.
Once the sleeves are divided from the body and placed on hold you may want to return to the magic loop method. Same goes for when the sleeves are being worked one at a time.
If you need more visual assistance here are some videos we recommend to show you how to work the Magic Loop Method: