What is the Magic Loop Method, and When Can I Use It?
Magic Loop is a knitting method in which you use a long circular needle (40" - 60") in lieu of double pointed needles (DPNs) to knit small circumferences. This method is my go-to for socks, sleeves, hat crowns, etc. (the way I hold DPNs tends to hurt my hands).
How To: Magic Loop Method
Step 1: Cast On
Cast on as you normally would, then slide your stitches onto the chord.
Step 2: Split Stitches Evenly
Count out half of your stitches and find the middle point. Push the chord through this middle point and pull it through until your stitches are on the actual needles, evenly split. Make sure that your stitches aren't twisted.
Step 3: Making the Loops
Orient your work so that the working yarn is on the needle in the back. Pull your back needle so that the stitched on the back needle are now on the chord, still positioned directly behind the stitches on the front needle. Leave a generous "loop" on the left side of your stitches. Bring the back needle that you just pulled, around to the front to get ready to knit. This will create the second "loop".
Step 4: Knit Stitches on Left Needle and Turn
Begin knitting the stitches (or working in pattern) on your left needle (previously known as the front needle). Once you have worked all of the stitches on that needle, drop the left needle. On the right side of your work, there should still be a "loop". From the back, pull on that chord until the stitches on the back (which have been chilling on the chord) are now on the left needle. Turn your work.
Step 5: Rinse and Repeat
Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed.