This fabulous technique (developed by Sarah Hauschka and Bev Galeskas in The Magic Loop) allows you to create a small tube such as the leg of a sock, on one circular needle! By taking advantage of the flexible cable on a circular needle, you have an alternative to knitting a sock or a sleeve on double point needles. It is a truly wonderful concept.
First, you’ll need a long circular needle. Since the cables on Knit Picks needles are so flexible, the Magic Loop technique can be performed on our 32″ cable or anything longer – we also carry cables in 40″, 47″, and 60″ lengths. Some customers claim they have even used our 24″ needles successfully!
Cast on your require number of stitches and push them down to the middle of the cable.
Divide the number of stitches in half. Fold the cable so that half of the stitches are on one side and half on the other.
Pull on the bit of cable that appears between the two groups of stitches.
Slide the two groups of stitches down their sides of the cable to their respective needle tips. You will now have half of your stitches on one needle tip and half on the other. With the needle tips parallel and pointing to the right, your working yarn will hang from the back stitches.
*Pull on the needle tip that is holding the back stitches and draw up enough slack on the cable to allow you to use that needle tip to work the stitches on the front needle.
Work all of the stitches on the front needle, being careful that you haven’t twisted the stitches around on either needle. (You’ll want to see the cast on edge all around the bottom.)
Slide the two groups of stitches back down to their respective needle tips. Repeat from * as many times as needed.
After several rounds you will begin to see your tube of knitting appear. Each time your yarn tail hangs at the right side of your stitches with the working yarn, you are beginning a new round.
As with all knitting skills, this one may take some time to get used to. Once you learn the proper tension for your style, you’ll be sure to appreciate the grace and simplicity of this method.