The mystery of the magic loop knitting needles...solved!

It seems I've finally figured out the mystery of the magic loop knitting needles! They really were a great mystery to me, and not knowing how they worked, I assumed the plastic 'cable' needed to be of a size to accommodate my project. Imagine my frustration when all of the magic loop needles I came across had cables of 40cm, 50cm, 60cm and so on, when all I wanted to do was knit a small sock!

After a late night search online, I found several places that explained how to use them properly! I really wanted to knit some woollen socks and was not taken with the idea at all of using 4 double pointed needles to knit them. That all seemed to fiddly, and I just knew there was something I was missing with the magic loop needles. The first try was a success, and I have finished my first sock! Now I am onto the second one, and thought it would be a good idea to take some pictures of the whole magic loop process, which is really simple once you start...

I cast on as usual, in this case 40 stitches. The stitches were then slid onto the cable and the cable was pinched through the stitches at the half way (20 stitch) point. Now I had two lots of 20 stitches on each end of the needles, with a big loop down the bottom. Each round is now knitted in two halves as shown below.

This is when I am at the end of a row, the stitches I have just knitted are on the needle, while the stitches waiting to be knitted are on the cable at the back.

The next lot of 20 stitches are then slid onto the waiting, empty needle, (below):

...and the previous 20 stitches slid off the needle and onto the cable, below.

Then the knitting begins in the usual manner, with both needles working away as normal. Note, once the knitting commences, there are now two loops on either end of the work:

This is half way through a 'row' of 20 (below):

..and again, halfway through a 'row', this time from a different angle:

..and then that brings us back to the beginning again.

The needle size that I am using are 3.75mm needles with a 50cm cable, which accommodates my (8 ply) sock perfectly. Perhaps if I had a smaller sized cable, the loops would be smaller at each end?

Anyhow, I'm really glad I finally figured this mystery out. Below is the first completed sock that were knitted on the needles (and the second one at the cast on stage). I am using a dk/8 ply wool from Lincraft (cosy wool), and thought I should 'pad out' the foot section, as I wasn't sure if I would have enough yarn to complete two whole socks with it. I like it, it makes them kind of fun!

One sock down, one to go!

Click here to see the finished socks and for pattern details.


  1. Magic loop is so much easier then 4 needles to use. I only tried magic loop about twelve months ago and love it. I do most of my flat knitting on circulars too now and just knit back and forth.

  2. Oh, you are so clever, Christine! I was proud of my beanies and you have now just gone and raised the bar! Well done they look great.

  3. I am just getting into scarf down. Wonder how long it will take before I am qualified for socks? You are so clever!!

  4. Wow, you are so clever! I have watched videos online on the magic loop system and still can't get it...maybe one day! Love your socks! :)

  5. You are so right, Debbie. I don't think I could use 4 double pointed needles after trying knitting this way. That's really interesting you use them for straight knitting too!

    Wendy, LJ, and thequiethomemaker, the circular needles are really simple! Very easy once you actually have them in front of you, and SO much easier than the 4 double pointed needles..(which my 'marker' would always fall off from - frustrating!).

  6. Hi Christine, Congrats on working out the mystery of the magic loop needles. Your completed sock looks lovely. Can just image lots of toasty feet in your house.

    Cheers, Deb

  7. Deb, it took some getting my mind around those needles, but glad I persevered! I am bracing myself for the 'orders' from the young ones, lol!


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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