question on hats

OK, I'm going to start hats soon. Most patterns I've found say knit on circulars and when you start decreasing, you switch to dpn at some point. Rather than knitting in the round, can't you just do magic loop and then when decreasing, put markers on your stitches, and still continue to do magic loop just decreasing before and after markers. It just seems like it would be simpler and easier to stay on magic loop, but I haven't found a pattern like that. Seems like you could also do magic cast on and then increases with magic loop and once you've increased to a point, then do your ribbing and then a bind off. Does any of this make sense to anyone. Anyway, I would appreciate some pointers on hats. I've only tried one, I tried to do the half dome hat, and it was ridiculous, it didn't fit at all, it was too loose, etc...



TomH's picture

I think you're totally right. In fact, I thought about doing exactly that when I knit my next hat. I see no reason why it wouldn't work.

MMario's picture

That's the whole point of magic loop, isn't it? That you can use the technique to do stuff that's too small incircumfrence to knit on your circ's? or to replace DPN's?

(But just because you are using the magic loop technique doesn't mean you aren't knitting in the round._

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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

OKknitguy's picture

You'd think so. I love magic loop and I can't imagine it being any easier than to just do magic loop and decrease evenly. You could do a magic loop down to 4 stitches and it seems like it would be so much faster and easier than using dpn's.

MMario's picture

Unless you are a klutz like me; and can't manage to do magic loop with any competence
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog I use two circular needles sometimes, but the magic loop works as well.

ManMadeKnits's picture

....What's a magic loop?

"The only sin is mediocrity." --Martha Graham

TomH's picture

Here's a short video that teaches the Magic Loop technique. You use it to knit in the round - particularly when you're starting (or finishing) a small number of stitches. Check out this page: Magic Loop Knitting Video

Magic loop works great for hats! I asked my LYS owner when I wanted to make a hat and her reply was that she couldn't believe more people didn't think of that. She accuses me of knitting like a man and being too analytical. They are not always the friendliest at that store :(

Cant' wait to see pics of the hat!


Like Patchworkjester, I do not know what Magic Loop is!
The easiest hat pattern I know is:
Cast on 32 stitches.
Two rows of K1 P1
For the next 7-9 inches, depending on the size of head of person who is to receive the hat, do one row plain, one row purl and so on.
Having completed a purl rwo and decided you want to decrease or complete the hat: One row of K2tog, one row of P2tog, one row of K2tog. Then bring the yarn back through remaining stitches and sew the sides together. It works for me, although some people would claim that a pompom or bobble on top would help.
And if that is too large, decrease the number of stitches cast on to the next multiple of four etc (ie 28 or 24 etc). Increase if too small, and then it's cast on 36, 40, etc.
As far as needles go - I just use ordinary plain ones, and the thickness depends on how thick the yarn is.

I use both magic loop and the two sets of circular needles techniques
(where about half of the stitches are on each needle, and
* all of the stitches on needle A are worked with the other end of needle A,
then all of the stitches on needle B are worked with the other end of
needle B * repeat from * ).

I prefer using two sets of circular needles because sometimes the magic loop collapses and I manage to put a kink in the cable trying to reestablish it.
Too bad Addi Turbos don't come in different colors, though.

You can work either top down or bottom up with either technique. The
advantage of top down is that you can try the hat on to see if it is big
enough or long enough before you bind off.

albert's picture

I looked at the technique for using two circs and it seems to me that it is just as easy to use three dpns, half the stitches on each of two needles held parallel to each other with the third needle doing the work- first knit off the needle closest to you, then turn the work and work off the back needle. Less awkward than using four or five dpns.

YarnGuy's picture

I really prefer magic loop, especially with hats. In fact, I have a drop-in class when I work at my LYS on Fridays. You can do the whole hat in magic loop, then you don't have to switch anything for the decreases. The secret to preventing the collapse of the loop is to have a sufficiently long connector. 40" is great for anything up to a size 8 or possibly 9 needle. From there you should have a 47" connector until you get to either size 13 or 15. From there on up, you really need 60" length. Addis make these lengths, fortunately. I will sometimes begin a hat on a 16" circ, then switch to magic loop when the decreases demand it. Try to switch from 16" circ to magic loop on a plain knit round instead of during a decrease round. Trust me. When you get to that point, count your stitches before starting with the long circ, and knit exactly half onto the new circ. THEN, *holding the same the same new needle,* pull it out enough so there is a length of connector visible and the stitches you've just knitted onto this new needle are resting on the connector, and continue knitting stitches from the 16" circ onto the new needle you are still holding. (Ask me how I know this. Sigh.) Then you have half the stitches closer to one end of the long circ and other half closer to the other end. Place both sets on their respective needles and off you go!

RareSteek's picture

Huh???? Duh.....sorry. :-)


MMario's picture

yeah - it was about as clear as mud to me as well.
I mean - In theory - I know what it does and how to do it - but I can't translate that into doing it. Of course - I was the same way with the purl stitch - and that took me 40 years to figure out!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

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

YugiDean's picture

I'm sorry, but that method (had never seen it before) seems more complicated than just using DPNs. One lesson at a time for me. LOL But if you get it and it works for you, I say go for it!

"Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread." --Richard Wright

knit4brains's picture

Magic loop totally RULES! I've been knitting probably longer than most of the guys here have bee on the planet (about 40 years), and although I tried knitting with dp's, I never could get the tension quite right and it just felt awkward. I tried magic loop after reading about it on here, and now I'm hooked. Not only have I made about 5 pairs of socks, but several hats and I just finished a raglan sleeve sweater that I was able to make with a single circular needle (I just knit very tightly for the welt), and all I had to sew up was the little bind off under the arms. This is definitely the way to go. Good luck to all of you looping.

I think that the dpn's are simple, straightforward, manageable and truth told, I always thought that "magic loop" was a more of a tantric sex move......:)

BuduR's picture

*runs off to practice magic loop*

hey, at this point I'll take however I can get it.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

PaganCub's picture

my only problem with either of these techniques is that i ALWAYS end up with ladders :( no matter how tight i pull the yarn, i *always* (repeat from * to * infinitely) have ladders.

Change your thoughts; change your world.

MasonM's picture

I prefer Magic Loop to fiddling around with DPNs, but have recently started using the two circs method and find it to be just as good.


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