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Old 12-26-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
Cinnamama
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Circular needle and Magic Loop questions
Hi
I am a beginning knitter - I've made a few baby hats and booties and am finishing my first baby sweater. I want to make Kate's Cap from Designs by Louise and it calls for 16 inch #7 circular needles and DPN. After reading about Magic Loop I think I might prefer to try that technique over DPN. I don't have any circular needles at all and I just am not sure what to buy.

So many people here seem to recommend using circular needles over straight and I bet I will agree once I try it. So I am considering purchasing Knit Picks Options set. Do you recommend this kit? But it doesn't include a 16 inch circular - does that matter? Can I use a larger size or will that mess it up? What about the Clover Bamboo circulars? Are they good for regular circular knitting AND for Magic Loop? The Options seem like a good deal instead of having to run to the store every time you need a different size. But I do tend to make mostly baby size stuff right now so if the lack of smaller length needles is a problem, maybe it won't be a good buy...

Thank you!
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:27 PM   #2
brownishcoat
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You actually need a longer circular to do Magic Loop. I use my Options for ML all the time; they have the best cables around.

If it's a small item, the 24" cable should be fine. For a medium item, you can use the 36", and if that's not large enough, you can order a 40" (or larger) cable set. I use the 40" cable to knit 2 socks at once with Magic Loop and it's a perfect fit.
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!

I like Options best for magic loop too. You can get needles with shorter cables in other brands (like a 12" Addi Turbo or 8.5" clover minis), but if you're going to do hats, you'll have to switch over to a longer circ at some point to do the crown on magic loop. You might want to test drive a few Options pieces before deciding to get more. (You can get a needle size not included in the set if you think you might get the set later and don't want duplicate needles.) For magic loop, you probably want a 40" cable -- keep in mind that for a baby hat, that means that you will need to start out with magic loop from the beginning.

A note about the clover minis -- I haven't tried them, but I have to admit that the short sizes have tempted me in the past. Instead of having two needles with a cable in between, it's one continuous piece of plastic -- the problem is, I don't see how they would be comfortable to use, even with small hands. I would advise against them since magic loop is so easy on Options. (Just wanted to let you know what else is out there.)
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Old 12-26-2006, 05:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for your help! I just edited my post b/c I think I wasn't clear. Sounds like the Options are pretty good. But can I use 24" circulars for a project that calls for 16" ones? (for non-Magic Loop knitting)
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Old 12-26-2006, 05:29 PM   #5
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No, you cannot use a 24" in place of a 16" in circular knitting. The stitches will not fit around the cable of the needle.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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I 've found that ML with longer cables is actually much easier than using a 16 " one. See my post in General Knitting posted a little while ago. i got them for Christmas ! Love them!
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:28 PM   #7
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More on circulars and Magic Loop
Oh boy, now I am not sure what to buy. I am really interested in the Options but they don't include a 16" cable and I do need the 16 inch #7 circular for this baby hat. How are Addi Turbo's for regular circular knitting and for Magic Loop? I could buy a 16 inch for the first part of the pattern and a 40 inch for the Magic Loop at the end...I am bummed I don't want to spend a fortune - that is why I thought the Options would be such a good idea. Any more suggestions? (I am finding this website hugely helpful!)
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:32 PM   #8
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One more silly question
When using a circular needle for magic loop, do you need to use the same size as the dpn in the pattern?
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:22 AM   #9
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You can use the longer one and Magic Loop the whole thing. Years before I ever heard of ML, I would do a single loop where I pull out the cord on only one side. I can use 24" and 32" ones for sleeves and hat tops, though I end up with ML when I get down to less than 10-12 stitches. Also, you could use a 24 inch one to start a hat; I made a beret on one, the beginning is about 20" and the stitches will stretch after the first few rows without stretching out of shape.

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Old 12-27-2006, 07:11 AM   #10
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i use a 40 " for sweater sleeves , which are smaller in diameter than a hat. ML of course.
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