How to knit using magic loop

    by Virginia Watson

    About the Author

    Based in New York City, Virginia Watson has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. Her work has appeared in magazines including "The Roanoker Magazine," "Blue Ridge Country," "Pinnacle Living" and the award-winning "Virginia State Travel Guide." Watson holds a Master of Arts in philosophy of education from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.


    Magic loop is a knitting technique in which a single long circular knitting needle is used to knit a small-circumference project in the round. While some knitters may prefer using double-pointed needles or two circulars, many appreciate the simplicity of working with one needle to complete a project. Tubes and other items knit in the round such as sleeves, hats and socks can be created using this technique; there is no lower limit on circumference with magic loop.

    Things You'll Need

    • 36” circular knitting needle
    • Yarn


    Cast on your desired number of stitches. No new techniques are needed for casting on with magic loop. Simply cast on the stitches using whichever method is most appropriate to the project you are making. Bear in mind that items knitted in the round generally require a stretchy cast on.

    Slide the stitches to the center of the cable. Once your stitches are in the center, divide them approximately in half and mark that spot with your finger. Pull the cable between the two halves of your stitches until half of the stitches are at the base of one needle and half are at the base of the other, with the excess wire hanging between them.

    Push the stitches without the working yarn tail onto the needle. Pull the needle with the working yarn, sliding its stitches further down onto the wire, so that half of the wire is on either side of these stitches.

    Pull the needle without stitches and insert it into the first stitch on your left needle. Pull the yarn up from the stitches resting on the wire and knit, taking care not to twist your stitches. Continue knitting until you have reached the end of the first half of the stitches.

    Push the stitches left on the wire onto the left needle. Pull the right needle through the stitches you just knitted, until there is enough cable for you to point the needle to the left and knit with it as before. Knit all stitches on this needle, and repeat Steps 1 through 5 until your piece is completed.

    Photo Credits

    • knitting image by Inger Anne Hulbækdal from