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Tutorial: Magic Loop
If you're looking for an alternate way to work small-circumference projects without having to turn to awkward double-points, then this tutorial is for you! This method of working in the round uses one long circular needle, ideally, one with a very flexible cable. It is very similar to working with two circular needles. However, many knitters prefer it to working with two needles because it eliminates the distracting loose ends of the second circular needle. Once you master this technique, it's a great solution when working on small-circumference projects.
Cast on or pick up the required number of stitches onto a 29-inch, or longer, circular needle. Slide the stitches to the cable portion of the needle. Pinch the cable in half as shown below; then pull to create a large loop. Arrange half the stitches on one needle tip and half on the other.
Follow these three easy steps.
Step 1: The photo below shows how your stitches should look after you have distributed them on the two parts of the needle. The points of the needle and the "tail" from the cast-on row face to the right, and the cables are on your left.
Step 2: The next step, as shown below, illustrates how to begin working your first round. Hold the needle in your left hand, and pull out the needle that holds the "tail" end; the stitches that were on the needle point are now resting on the cable. Begin working the stitches that are still on the opposite needle point as if you were working them on straight needles.
Step 3: At the end of the row, simply turn the work around and reposition the stitches as shown. Once again, the needles are pointing to the right, and the cable loop is to the left.
Continue to work in this manner until desired length is reached.
The example below shows how the work will appear on the needle as it gets longer.