This picture was taken back in FEB2010 when I started trying to get the hang of Magic Loop. I had bought myself some Zephyr Acrylic Needles from KnitPicks and was determined to not be intimidated by this new technique. Logistically looking at people doing it, it left me confused with mouse ears poking out on both sides. I will say once you practice on a hat and get the balance of it down, your life with DPN’s will never be the same.
Many people have different love/hate relationships with needle brands for one various reason or another. I use different types of needles certainly for different things. I have not found any that I particularly am not pleased with .. (yet).
Metal – Usually straights used for dishcloths. They pull and gauge through cotton well for me.I will say on the other side of that coin, is the fact they are cold heavy and fatigue my hand easily. I have to rest more with any kind of metal needles.
Zephyrs – These have been my little love children and I will be also getting another set of changies this year. Not because they are worn out but rather I am expanding into so many projects and find I have the need for several sizes at once. KP has a Try It set and just Tips for sale. These may satisfy my immediate needs for additional needle collections. The Zephyrs are perfect for Magic Loop. The flexibility of both needle and cable dramatically works to eliminate ladders. Zephyrs however do not go down below a size four (4) so for smaller projects it is wood or nickel only.
There are many tutorials online. Even videos! Start there and watch you will be looping in no time. The biggest question seems to be about ladders. Most find the front and back connections create a gap (ladder) as sometimes for first join in circular knitting can do. I find using the trick of advancing a stitch every round works best. You move your last stitch to be knit with the next round on the other needle, doing the same at the end so you still have your correct amount of stitches in place. Now where this would get tricky is if you are doing any cabling or pattern. You just have to be careful as you would with DPNs about what stitches are on what needles. It’s really the very same principle. Just easier.