Magic Loop Knitting Technique

If you’re knitting in the round and you have a small circumference, most patterns will say to work with DPNs (double pointed needles). This is because most circular needles are too long for the small circumferences of mitts or mittens, socks or sleeves. Some people find working with DPNs to be a bit cumbersome (especially if you are taking your knitting on the-go!) – that’s where the magic loop technique comes in! Magic loop allows you to use a 32″ or 40″ circular instead of DPN’s!

A great pattern to learn or practice the magic loop technique is my Saturday Sleeves – a simple arm warmer design where you are literally just knitting every single round. So it provides great practice, but you also get a cool pair of arm warmers out of it that are super versatile to wear.

Ready to learn the magic loop?

I created a full YouTube lesson on Magic Loop, using my Saturday Sleeves pattern as my demo. In this video you will learn:

  • How to get started and join to work in the round with magic loop (after you cast-on your stitches).
  • How to work the magic loop technique.
  • How to bind-off when working magic loop.

Check out my video lesson below (or click here)! Note: if you are looking to do the magic loop on sleeves that are worked from the top-down (such as in a top-down raglan sweater), check out my tutorial here.

My Most Important Tip for Learning Magic Loop:

As I talk about in the video, I found the trickiest part of learning magic loop to be getting it started (the joining in the round and then working those first few rounds). It can just be a little cumbersome if you’re not already comfortable with the magic loop technique. It’s kind of like learning to cast-on when you don’t even know how to knit yet – casting on is not hard but if you’re not yet comfortable with the maneuvers of the knit stitch, it often feels much more difficult at first. So if you are finding the getting started part of magic loop is just not working for you, but you have knit with DPNs before, here’s my tip: Cast-on and work in the round for 1/2-1″ with DPNs, and then transfer the stitches to a 32″ circular to work the magic loop technique.

I found this tip SO helpful when I was learning magic loop. Because once everything was established and I had an inch or so of fabric already worked, practicing magic loop just seemed to be so much easier. So if you have trouble getting started from the cast-on, try working on DPNs at first – it really will help!