Are you a looper or a pointer?

Lately I've been doing lots of 'knitting-in-the-round'. In fact, I can't remember the last project that wasn't made this way. The vast majority of my projects (over 95%) have been knit on circular needles. Yet when I was designing Little Bear's Porridge I switched to DPNs as it just felt better that way - it may have been the fact that four-sided elements (yep, that's squares) just felt right on four needles. When I started making the co-ordinating hat last week, I switched back to my trusty 'magic loop' method* after just a couple of rounds... because it's round perhaps? Due to a mixture of indecision and procrastination it's not finished yet, but will be soon, if I can just stop reading**.

My most recent finished design (not yet published) was also knit on circular needles. I started out using the magic loop method, and then increased until there were so many stitches they were squashed onto the cable until the truly fascinating 'reveal' when it was bound off. It made me consider that perhaps the 'magic' bit didn't actually refer to the first part of the knitting at all, but to the fact you can knit something enormous on a moderately sized cable.

"Magic" loop knitting. It really is magical!
Anyway, the point of all these ramblings - for there is one - is that I was wondering whether most knitters choose their method depending on the type of project, or whether you generally have a strong preference over one or the other? Do you like to mix it up? Perhaps you prefer two circular needles over the magic loop, or are you someone who avoids DPNs at all costs? Please leave a comment to let me know - I find these things quite fascinating! 

*Magic loop is one of the ways to knit something in-the-round which has a smaller diameter than the needles and cables used, in fact it's easier on cables which are much bigger.

**After the Netflix frenzy of the few months, I'm back in love with books. Since last Wednesday, I've finished One Good Turn (it was good but not in the same league as Life After Life or Behind The Scenes... - I'd give it a generous 3.5 out of 5), read all of The Husband's Secret (in one day - 4 out of 5 for keeping me sufficiently engaged!) and am thoroughly enjoying Sisterland, which I'll tell you more about sometime next week. 

On the subject of next week, my regular WIPs & Books post on Wednesday will be replaced by a review of the first episode of the Great British Sewing Bee, and an interview with Lynda (my mum!) who will be telling us all about getting onto the show. I'll also be getting her reactions to seeing herself on screen, which should be amusing. If you haven't seen the trailers and first clips already, here's the link to the official BBC pages

18 comments

  1. I magic loop to avoid the catastrophe that is the needles falling out, which I then sit on, snap and swear a lot!

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  2. I only recently learnt the magic loop technique on my first ever fair isle knit, and really enjoyed it! Seems so much simpler. But I do prefer knitting on 2 needles, and have never tried DPNs at all.
    Looking forward to reading your interview with your Mum!! exciting plus!!

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  3. Having used DPNs for your lovely little bear pattern, I feel all fingers and thumbs. That said, I'm not very experienced with magic loop yet either. Instinctively though, I feel circs are for me!

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  4. I only last year learned how to use the magic loop after using DPN's for ever. I really do prefer it after having several projects fall off those DPN's when I was not looking. So much easier.

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  5. I will only use circular needles to knit in the round if I have enough stitches to fit comfortably on the cable. I hate magic loop! DPNs are my go to for small circular projects like socks and gloves, and the crowns of hats.

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  6. Magic loop all the way!!!!
    it's the only way to beat second sock syndrome.

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  7. I have yet to try magic loop. I love the feel of dpns.

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  8. I tend to switch between the two. A lot does depend on the project. You can't beat magic loop for something like a jumper. I find DPNS are better for when you have fewer stitches.

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  9. I started knitting on dpns, but now usually prefer 2 circs. I don't ever knit on long straight needles if I can help it. I can magic loop, but find that 2 circs are better for socks, since it is easier to do heels when you can forget about the front stitches.

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  10. I prefer circs over DPNs ... unless it's really small, such as 12 stitches!

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  11. It IS interesting to learn of other knitters' opinions, isn't it? It is such a great way to learn and get new ideas.

    Magic loop for legs and arms, wristwarmers, mittens...have not tried socks yet. But am guessing I will magic loop them as well. And at last second ecerything syndrome is no longer an issue.

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  12. I've only ever magic looped once, because that was how the pattern was written. I tend to be a very obedient knitter like that ; )

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  13. I learned magic loop while taking a top down raglan class years ago. I found now it cramps up my hands. So DPNs baby!

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  14. I've progressed from DPN's when I knit my first pair of socks to knitting with two circulars but I learnt the 'Magic Loop' method a few weeks ago and now is my preferred method for knitting in the round. It so so much easier and quicker, I've got to say though, even when I'm knitting straight I still reach for circulars unless I haven't got the size. I feel really clumsy and slow with straights, now. What needles do you use for straight knitting, I'm looking forward to the new series of The Sewing Bee, and next weeks blog post, Go Lynda!!!!!!

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  15. I'm a pointer. :-) First round might be a bit tricky though .... Have a nice weekend. Regula

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  16. I'm a bit of both although I do like my dpn's for socks and magic loop for hats but that's not set in stone ... a bit of "what I fancy" I guess!

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  17. I generally use circular needles for everything. Am knitting a shawl right now.
    Also use the magic loop as much as possible. For knitting two socks at a time, for knitting two mittens at a time, for hats ect.

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  18. Funny, I had to look up what the mysterious magic loop technique actually as that I have been reading about quite often, to be honest. And figured: ah thats this thing I'm doing quite often ;-) I used DPNs for Socks and anything as small as socksand circular needles on everything else, at least since I have these super soft and bendy cables

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