So the single thing I get the most questions on with my patterns is Magic Loop. I had a couple people the last couple weeks under the misconception that Magic Loop takes two circulars needles, so I did some digging and realized the video was coming up incorrectly on www.knittinghelp.com (one of my favorite websites). This of course inspired me to do a post about Magic Loop to clear things up for every one.
Magic Loop is a different way of working in the round than double pointed needles. It involves taking one long circular needle, making that loop in the middle, and knitting in the round that way. Here is a correct video of Magic Loop in action:
I use Magic Loop for just about everything, I actually prefer it to dpn's (or even just normal circular knitting) and here are the reasons why:
*It is easier and quicker to knit across 2 needles instead of 4-5 (as with dpn's)
*It is less pokey than dpn's
*There is no worry of dropping stitches off your needle (as with dpn's)
*It's cheaper since you can buy just one long circular needle per size and have the right needle 95% of the time
*It doesn't create the dreaded "ladder" in the sts as easily as with dpn's
*It is more flexible with the long cable (especially in my toy patterns) than with stiff dpn's
*It is safer way to transport your knitting around than on dpn's
*I love the ingenuity, and breaking-of-the-rules-ness of it
I recommend it in my patterns because they are written to be knit on your choice of yarn and Magic Loop easily accommodates any size project, unlike dpn's which can cause the terror of dropped stitches on large projects. However, all of my patterns can be knit using dpn's instead, no adjustments to the pattern whatsoever.
So there you have it. I hope if you haven't used Magic Loop before this will inspire you to go out and try it!