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View Full Version : Magic Loop or 2 Circs? (NOT Socks!)


sakura-panda
11-25-2008, 11:44 AM
Which do you prefer to use for knitting in a small round -- magic loop or 2 circulars?

I know there are other methods, but I'm trying to decide between these two for my next project -- which will be either a top down baby hat or a pinwheel blanket. (Leaning toward blanket. :))

I'll make the decision on my own, but I thought it would be fun to see what everyone else says. :thumbsup:

I have played a little with both; I think that magic loop may be easier, but that I don't have a long enough cable for it. (I thought that I ordered a 40" cable when I ordered my Harmony Options set, but if I did, I can't find it.)

I do have two tips in the correct size, so I could go that way without having to wait for an order. Also, two circs may be easier to switch to regular knitting in the round.

Or maybe not. :shrug:

Decision making is not one of my stronger talents. :roflhard:

So, in the meantime, while I decide what to do, I though I would ask -- which do you prefer and why? :knitting:

suzeeq
11-25-2008, 12:02 PM
I use both, depending on the project and what I feel like. And you don't have to use only 40" circs for ML, you can use 36" and for a baby hat, even down to 29". You can even use 24" using a modified ML - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6RPe-cVOxs

Abbily
11-25-2008, 12:09 PM
I haven't done 2 circs, but I LOVE magic loop. I just think it's less fiddly- only one needle to deal with. :)

sakura-panda
11-25-2008, 01:22 PM
I use both, depending on the project and what I feel like. And you don't have to use only 40" circs for ML, you can use 36" and for a baby hat, even down to 29". You can even use 24" using a modified ML - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6RPe-cVOxs


I was trying to use a 32". It seems like it was doable, but that it might be a little easier with a longer cable. :) I may try it again, now that I have a better idea of how it works, and try to do it with fewer mistakes! (It's bad when you're already messing up row 2! :lol: I was trying too many new ideas at one time; knitting in the tail seems like a neat trick until you forget and treat it as a separate stitch the next time around. :doh: )

I can't get to youtube from work; I'll check out the video when I get home. Thanks!

vaknitter
11-25-2008, 02:07 PM
Personally - I like 2 circs. I am making Jan's little pumpkins using the 2 circs. I've never really grown to love magic loop.

Jan in CA
11-25-2008, 03:03 PM
I prefer two circs to magic loop.

Cynamar
11-25-2008, 07:08 PM
I like two circulars. I think it's easiest to handle. In fact, I have four socks going at one time on a pair!

Ingrid
11-25-2008, 07:38 PM
Another vote for 2 circs. I feel like I can just flip it back and forth without having to fuss.

ecb
11-25-2008, 07:42 PM
ML every time
the only time I use 2 circs is if they are both 12 or 16"

just my (never to be confused with) Humble opinion

Mirl56
11-26-2008, 07:30 AM
I've never taken the time to learn ML. I use 2 circs all the time for any circular knitting.

Mystery_Gyrl
11-26-2008, 08:21 AM
2 circs vote. I'm the opposite of Abbily, I find ML too fiddly (the wings drive me nuts). Also, it seems neater when I put my knitting away for whatever reason.
Katrina

Knit4Pie
11-26-2008, 08:48 AM
It's fun to see the different views on things. I'm strictly ML. I find it's less fiddly and less confusing. I did a sock on 2 circs once. By the time I reached the heel, I was ready to bury the sock I hated it so much.

What would normally take me 2 or 3 days took me almost 2 weeks and I was still getting mixed up. I would spend my time at the computer, cueing up the video to help each and every time I needed to switch. Magic Loop, took me about 4 rounds to get it. I had to re-check the video instructions only the first few times when I would put it down and pick it up the next day.

I'll occasionally break out the DPNs just to keep in practice, but I'm pretty much stuck on ML.

cheley
11-26-2008, 08:56 AM
O.k. here's my dilemma: I pretty much "asked" this same thing a few weeks back...I have "tons" of circs all sizes and lengths ..The problem with doing these tecniques for me is my "crappy" needles. The "cables" are not flexible...and do not "give" which is very frustrating...I own 1 addi and it's a US10 29" It is an awesome tool. So, I am back to good-ole-dpns till my Harmony gets hereCrossed Fingers hopefully that's a little more flexible:hug:

sakura-panda
11-26-2008, 12:10 PM
What an interesting mix of responses! And not what I was expecting! :thumbsup:

(I think I have never asked a "this-or-that?" question where the overall response was, "they are both good but I use this one". Usually there are staunch -- respectful, but also very vocal -- supporters of either one or the other, but you all are so good natured and supportive of BOTH methods! I find that to be so very cool! :inlove: )

I tried ML again this morning -- in the dark by the light of the TV, with my 32" cable, #10 tips, and worsted weight acrylic yarn and it went (I think) very well, considering what a bad environment it was. However, I'm confident that I understand the basics now, as ugly as it turned out. :lol:

I frogged it again -- at a minimum I'll need the markers and the pattern to start -- but I really wanted to play! I think I may try 2 circulars tonight -- in good light ;) -- just to compare. I'm not in any hurry to get started on this blanket as I really should be working on DS's new scarf. New things are so fun to try though! :knitting:

cheley -- I think your Harmonies should work fine, as that is what I have been playing with. I'm surprised at just how flexible that cable is! (I'm not sure what you're getting, but I've been using the longer cable that comes in the interchangeable kit. I also used fixed Harmonies for the 2 circ socks that I started and those cables seem very flexible too.)

sakura-panda
11-26-2008, 12:14 PM
It's fun to see the different views on things. I'm strictly ML. I find it's less fiddly and less confusing. I did a sock on 2 circs once. By the time I reached the heel, I was ready to bury the sock I hated it so much.


Ooh, I wonder if this is me! :pout: I gave up on socks and now I don't know if it was because of the method I was using, the yarn I picked out, or if I just did not like the process. (It seems like every time I picked it up, I couldn't remember where I had left off. And I was still on the toe! Hadn't even started a pattern yet!)

I may have to attempt socks one more time before I give them up for good. :shrug:

thecanfield
11-26-2008, 01:22 PM
I find ML too fiddly (the wings drive me nuts).
I agree.
2 circs for me.

Abbily
11-26-2008, 03:35 PM
Ooh, I wonder if this is me! :pout: I gave up on socks and now I don't know if it was because of the method I was using, the yarn I picked out, or if I just did not like the process. (It seems like every time I picked it up, I couldn't remember where I had left off. And I was still on the toe! Hadn't even started a pattern yet!)

I may have to attempt socks one more time before I give them up for good. :shrug:

Definitely give it another try before abandoning sock knitting. :) I started my first sock on dpns, and switched to ML before I even reached the heel because I just couldn't deal with the dpns. I *hated* it. I'm so glad I switched mid-sock rather than trying to stick it out with the dpns, I probably never would have finished the sock, much less done the 2nd one! :)

Spikey
11-28-2008, 04:55 PM
I've used both quite a bit and definitely prefer 2 circs.

With my Options, I put a smaller tip on the side to be knitted off of, which helps make sliding the stitches back on the needle much easier, especially if you are a tighter knitter.

Having the Harmony & Options sets makes it much easier, i.e. if the pattern calls for US6, I'll put my 6 metal options on one end of each cable, and my size 4 wood Harmony tips on the other end, knitting off of the 4 and onto the 6.

Knitting_Guy
11-28-2008, 05:04 PM
I like both methods about the same, but Cheley brings up an excellent point. If your cables are stiff and thick then two circs may be the better choice as ML works best with very thin and flexible cables.

sakura-panda
12-01-2008, 02:22 PM
That's a neat suggestion about the mismatched tips although it seems to me the loops would get pulled even tighter that way. I don't know, since my tension goes toward loose, once I'm past the cast on row.

I found my 40" cable (right where I thought it should be and where I overlooked it when I checked twice before) and I tried ML again. It was a little fussy at the beginning, when I only had 5 stitches, but it's gotten much easier and I'm already at a point where my two groups of stitches are all together in a round (with a big loop coming out of one side.)

There are lots of mistakes in it and I'm learning as I go -- I know I should frog it, but I'm having so much fun working in the round and I'm thinking of just using this as a practice piece -- it's old, chopped up yarn from a two-color blanket, I have already pieced in the third "ball" and my blanket is still less than 100 stitches (out of 400+ suggested by the pattern. I think. (I haven't been counting.)

I have to say that I do love working in the round -- center out -- since I did't have to cast on very many stitches! :rofl:

suzeeq
12-01-2008, 02:48 PM
No tension problems, the smaller one goes on the end that's always the left needle. It's the right needle that determines the st size/gauge.

GinnyG
12-01-2008, 04:22 PM
I love love LOVE magic loop, will never use a DPN or two circs again. The trick however is to have a circular needle with a long and flexible cable.

Limey
12-02-2008, 10:34 AM
Hi Ginny

How are you?

I like both ML and two circs but each method has advantages and drawbacks. :) :cry:

If you like using two circs, I found it helped using two different brands of needles - if you use different needle tips and different coloured cables, you're much less likely to get hold of the wrong end of the wrong stick.

What I didn't like about ML was the tendency to get slight ladders at the joins but twisting the cable lessens the strain on the stitches - link below - and I found having a quick twist really helped alot.

http://www.almostrandom.com/needlesnhooks/2005/02/06/110771136407351579/


All the Best
Ellie
http://www.countonknit.com

Raven Fyre
12-02-2008, 10:43 AM
I've never seen a round or pinewheel styled blanket so I'd go with that as not only will a child have more use from a blanket then from a hat but also handmade blankets are treasures children can grow up and grow through til adults then pass on to their children. I recieved to handmade knitted or crochetted blankets and I love them, I haven't made one only because I guess I don't feel I have the time too...

pattirudi23
12-02-2008, 04:09 PM
I'm fairly new to knitting and have made many hats on 1 circular needle. I'm just about to start my first project that says I need 2 - so going to give that a go and see what I think. I didn't realise that I could have done it on one needle anyway! I love how there can be different methods to achieve the same result - knitting rocks!

...goes off to learn how to use 2 circulars :pray:

Cynamar
12-02-2008, 05:57 PM
I don't like the wings on magic loop, either.