So last week I showed you my little trick for getting started with a small number of stitches using dpns.
This week I am going to show you starting the same project with Magic Loop instead. There is no real trick here like last week, this is just more of a comparison.
If you are unsure of Magic Loop, check out my FAQ's page for more info.
I tell people this all the time, but I will mention here that Magic Loop is just one way of working in the round. Though it is called "Magic," there is nothing "special" about it, it is just a way of working seamless, tubuluar knits. For any of my patterns you can go back and forth using dpns or Magic Loop depending on your personal knitting preference with no modifications to the pattern. For patterns in general you can generally switch in Magic Loop for dpns with no modification. You may need to add stitch markers to mark where decreases/increases land if the pattern has you do them at the end of a needle or whatnot, it just depends
So why do I use Magic Loop? For my patterns, since you are able to knit using any needle with any yarn you pick, finished sizes of my critters vary widely. Even more so than dpns, Magic Loop allows for a large range of sizes of project to be knit using the same method, the same length needle, and the same number of needles (dpns might switch up to using all 5 needles if the project is big enough). Does that make sense? Knitting a project on US 13 needles with bulky yarn or US Size 1 needles with sock yarn can use the pattern with no adaptations when you use Magic Loop because the extra long needle means it works with both. Ahhh, once again there is a method to my madness.
Ok, that being said, check out how easy it is to get started with 6 stitches using Magic Loop.
Using a 40" circular needle, cast on your 6 stitches on one needle tip
Now get yourself set up to work in the round using Magic Loop and divide half of the stitches to each needle tip (3 sts per needle tip).
Pull your back needle tip out, join to begin working in the round and work the 3 stitches on your needle tip. I am working knit in front and back on each stitch, as most of my patterns start out when starting with a small number of stitches like this.
Once you get through the 3 stitches, pull your needle tips so all of your stitches are on a needle (as opposed to on your cable like they are as you work half the stitches). You can see the 6 stitches on the front needle I just worked, and the 3 stitches on the back needle I need to work next. That is my working yarn running over the beginning of my back needle, which kinda looks like a 4th stitch, but it is not!
Flip your work so the 3 stitches are in front of you, pull your back needle tip out (the one with the 6 stitches) and work the 3 stitches on the front needle.
Tah-dah! One round worked.
Wowza! No noodley needles, just straight-forward-ness, right? I know that many of my patterns call for starting the legs with dpns, but you can totally use Magic Loop instead if you prefer. Next week I am going to go over why I start with dpns, and how to get from the legs to the body, which is the trickiest part of my patterns for sure.