2 Magic loop v. circulars and Dying

Dear All,

Thanks for all the help I've received about knitting in the round with 2 circulars. Although the cat women on youtube is SO slow, I did manage and finished a pair of mittens with no seems.

I'm now a bit thrown because I've just looked at the magic loop malarky and wonder if anyone's any advice on which is better...

It turns out that a colleagues mother owns some Alpaccas and has a new batch newly spun. I love Alpacca - but I'm not keen on cream for knitting. I'm sure somebody out there knows how I might dye it...

Best wishes all from a sunny (!!!!) London


MMario's picture

nKnitpicks (among others) carry acid dyes (don't let the name scare you) which would work beautifully on alpaca. They also have a tutorial on useing them.

I prefer knitting on the two circs to magic loop because I don't have to worry as much about flexibility/length of cable and can just go ahead and knit.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MasonM's picture

I use both techniques and find them equally good.


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drmel94's picture

The first thing to remember is that with protein fibers (silk, wool, etc.), most dyes will set best in an acidic dye bath. If you'd like bright colors, you can go as simple as food coloring and a diluted vinegar bath. There are also commercial dyes (not as safe to work with, but usually fairly readily available) or some natural dye options. I overdyed some white lopi a few years back in an infusion of black walnut hulls. The yarn came out a nice caramel brown without any mordanting other than dyeing it in an aluminum pot, and the high tannin content meant that no further acidification of the dye bath was necessary. If you do a bit of searching around online, you should be able to find a number of resources for information.

As for the magic loop vs. two circs debate, I think you'll find that everyone has their preference. I find magic loop to be a bit fiddly to work with and prefer dpn's or two circs, the former preferably with short circular needles or you end up having to deal with too many dangling bits (let the jokes and innuendo begin!).

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