Saturday, 25 August 2018

Knitting in a magic loop: new to me!

New to me in August is knitting in magic loop. It isn't that I've neglected patchwork altogether, but the expected arrival of twins in the family in December has necessitated the shelving of some projects and focussing on the babies! In this case knitting hats for new-born babies.

Baby hats: two premature size and two new-born size. Pattern in 3 sizes from Kelly Brooker on Ravelry.
So, following my new-to-me knitting on a circular needle last month, I've already taken that skill one step further with the magic loop. It took me a couple of hours with a number of You-tube videos to get it right.

Really it's very easy: after casting on you push all the stitches onto the cable, divide them into two, pull the cable between the two groups of stitches - that's the loop - here on the left of the picture. Then you think of when you are knitting on two needles - when you start, in which hand do you have the empty needle?  Right hand, left hand, it makes no difference, it's just what you're used to. The stitches on that side stay on the cable with the last stitch you cast on (and the yarn) nearest to the empty needle, and the stitches on the other side you push onto the other needle; they are the ones you knit first.

One set of stitches on the needles and the other resting on the cable.
Then it's just like working on two needles until they've all changed from one needle to the other. Then you slip the stitches you just knitted onto the cable, being careful not to loose the loop, and pull the "resting" stitches onto the working needle, turn the work round, just like working with two needles, ... and repeat!

You just have to remember to have half the stitches on the needle and half on the cable as you begin every "row".

One group resting on the cable, the others waiting to be knitted.
The You-Tube films were useful, and not! I'm British and knit the stitches from the left needle to the right, with the yarn in my right hand. Most of the films were by Americans who had the wool in their left hand which I found crazily disorientating! There was even one woman knitting onto the left hand needle. Finally I found someone who knits the way I do and then everything fell into place.

The original pattern for these hats is for DK yarn, but I adapted it for 4-ply - premature size: 80 stitches, new-born: 90 stitches. That's also something new for me: adapting a knitting pattern. It's only a small garment and a very simple pattern. I've never adapted a cardigan pattern for myself, except the length of the sleeves - something that doesn't involve maths! Any advanced calculations I've never attempted, but now I think the maths isn't so difficult, it just needs some thought and planning!

I'm linking to Celtic Thistle Stitches for:
Click on the button to see what others have discovered this month.

Happy crafting!



Karen's Korner said...

I have not heard of "magic loop". Will have to check it out. Looks like busy times ahead of you knitting and sewing for the new arrivals.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

it sounds interesting - but I have not figured out how to knit yet!! the hats look cute and it is an exciting time for you knowing two babies will be joining your family at the end of the year

Celtic Thistle said...

Well done on mastering all those New to 's Marly you make the magic loop knitting sound so straightforward but I am sure it take a lot of concentration to make it work!

Pam @Threading My Way said...

It's been many years since I've knitted, but I have never done so on circular needles. The things you learn - I didn't realise different parts of the world held the wool in different hands. Baby knitting and sewing is fun!

Ruth said...

I love the magic loop and have abandoned double pointed needles completely - I always managed to get myself poked or have the needle fall out altogether with DPN's. Magic Loop is the way to go for me now. Glad you are enjoying it and love how its turning out. Lots of opportunities to knit for with 2 joining your family.

Kaja said...

I knit your way too - the very idea of knitting onto the left hand needle is confusing. How exciting that you are expecting new additions! Twins are lots of fun, though I found the first two years passed in a bit of a blur before things settled down.