Sunday, January 29, 2012

Magic Loop Method

I began knitting a pair of leg warmers a couple of weeks ago. Did you know they are back in style? Then our power went out for 4 days with that bad storm and I found myself done with #1 and wishing I could begin #2! I thought I only needed one skein of yarn for both so when I finished the first one with only a few yards of yarn to spare, I was left with the task of going back to Michaels to find another skein. ACK! They didn't have any in the right color at my nearest Michaels! Then yesterday I drove over to another Michaels and was fortunate enough to find a skein of Loops and Threads brand Chrisma yarn in the color Ashes. Phew. I'm now on my way to finishing the second leg warmer.

One down, one to go.

Some of you may be reluctant to begin knitting in the round. With smaller circles I have knit using 4 or 5 double point needles and it is cumbersome, but if I can do it SO CAN YOU! Then I discovered the Magic Loop Method! Let me tell you, this is much easier. You can find a video on this technique here:

First I cast on the 44 stitches needed (onto size 9 circular needles,) slid them all to the center of the flexible cord, found the center (22 on each side) and pulled the plastic "cord" through. Watch the video. It really is simple. Here is a close up of how it looks:
I used 29" circular needles instead of the 36" size since that is what I already owned!

Here is a link to the Clover brand needles:

I have loads of knitting needles and some are bamboo and others are metal (mostly aluminum.) What is the difference? The bamboo needles hold the yarn in place a bit more. Loops are not as likely to slip off! However, I can knit faster on aluminum needles. Which do I prefer? I don't know! I wish I could say that I see a big improvement in my knitting with one particular style, but I don't. I do like to rock and roll and knit as quickly as I can so for less intricate pieces I suppose I would say that aluminum is the winner. But for these leg warmers, I'm happy with bamboo. Whatever you do, don't bother buying plastic needles! Although, I suppose things have improved over some of my ancient flexible plastic knitting needles. I never use those! In that case, new is better.

Why leg warmers? I was inspired by one of the blogs I follow:   Scroll down until you see her legwarmers. Aren't they cute? I would rather have made my leg warmers with a better quality yarn. Usually I find that cheap yarn yields in less than desired results. Amy (Miss Angry Chicken) used Cascade brand yarn Eco Duo, which is $13 per skein at Jimmy Beans (one of my favorite yarn suppliers.)  AND, her leg warmers use only ONE skein of yarn which is likely why I figured I could get away with one skein for the legwarmers I made. (Check out the pattern that she used.) While the Michael's yarn is 100% acrylic, the Cascade yarn is a blend of baby alpaca and merino wool. Aaahhhhh. Sounds soft and comfy!! So for about the same cost, I could have used better yarn.

I do have another knitting project going. I always have several craft projects in process at any one time. I am making an afgahn using simple 6.5" x 6.5" knit blocks in a variety of colors. I will post a photo when I get that done, but it won't be anytime soon! This is a great project to work on in the car. Quick and simple squares that prove to be very portable.

Hope you learned something new here and HAPPY KNITTING!

1 comment:

Jill | Dulce Dough said...

Very cute leg warmers! I have never knitted with circular needles! I need to give it a try!