Mindful Blog

The Mindful Collection

Knitting in Round: Magic Loop VS Double-Pointed Needles

An age-old debate in the knitting world is over double-pointed needles or the magic loop with one circular needle for knitting in the round. Both are perfectly wonderful ways to make projects like baby hats, socks, doll clothing, fingers of mittens and very small circular projects. Many knitters love the set of DPNs while there are many who always prefer the magic loop. Choosing one method is always up to the knitter’s preference. If you are new to knitting in the round, explore both ways and even if you have your favorite method, it is always worth exploring new knitting skills. While knitters debate the topic, let us delve deeper into both methods. In this blog post, we'll walk you through knitting with double points as well as the circular needle forming the magic loop.

Knitting in the Round

For centuries knitters used a set of DPNs for knitting circumferences. The needles with pointy ends on either side made it possible to form a circumference with three or four needles and the extra needle to knit with. You can refer to our guide on how to use double pointed needles.

With time, circular knitting needles were introduced that became a popular way to knit seamless rounds. The needle length accommodates stitches comfortably while going in rounds but when the circumference of the project became lesser than the needle length it became too unmanageable as the stitches were stretched. In the 21st century, precisely in 2002, Sarah Hauschka invented the method of knitting with a very long circular knitting needle of 32 - 47 inches. This method allowed knitting a small circumference by dividing the stitches in half. The stitches rest of the needles while the loops of the cord are pulled out between the halves. This way half of the round is actively being worked on the needle tips while the other half of the round rests on the cord.

With circular needles, there is also another option; knitting with two circulars. This way also divides the stitches into halves but does not have the issue of the constant movement of the cord. The same needle size and length are preferred for easily managing the knitting.

To help you decide your preferred method, learn about all these options. You can easily switch your needles according to the project requirements by transferring stitches. Refer to our guide on how to switch from circular to double pointed needles. For smooth and mindful knitting, use knitting accessories.

Circular Knitting Needles

Knitting the Magic Loop with Circular Needles

Circular knitting needles were introduced a century back for the purpose of knitting in a circle. They were loved for the comfort of knitting, even back and forth. The circular needles from the Mindful Collection come in two varieties- fixed and interchangeable with the cords being either fixed to the needle or with the option of changing according to the requirement of the project. The cord is offered in lengths that start from 8″- 49″ while needle tips are 4″ & 5″. The interchangeable circular needle set is preferred by many knitters for multiple needles, cords and accessories that can be used for a variety of projects. Circular needles work for all types of round-knit projects. Our guide on 3 different ways to knitting in the round with circular needles will help you explore the options.

Needle lengths between 32″ to 47″ are the best options for the magic loop technique of knitting. This ensures a free movement of the cord without snags. Knitters prefer smaller needle tips and longer cords but then your preference may be something else. Too long cords can be an issue as you have to pull in and out for knitting every round. You simply cast on stitch on a circular needle. Spread the stitches over the cord and join the round. The trick is to have a loose cast-on where you can pull the cord through the stitches, equally dividing the stitches on the needle tips. To knit with the stitches on a needle tip, pull out the loop and free your needle tip. This way half your stitches stay on the needle and the other on the cord. After you’ve knit a few rounds you’ll see your project taking shape.

Regarding knitting in the round, the 10″ FCN (fixed circular needle) works best for hats, socks, etc. The circumference accommodates a 16” hat or sleeves comfortably without stretching the stitches. You can knit with two circular needles, but then ensure that both have the same needle and cord size. This way you can even knit two socks at a time and get your project completed faster.

Socks Knitting

Knitting with Double-Pointed Needles

DPNs have been around for centuries with records of Victorian-era images of knitters. In fact, they used to be the only way to knit in the round before circular needles were invented. DPNs from the Mindful Collection come in 4", 5", 6", and 8" lengths. The 5" needles have a stiletto point on each end, which is the sharpest point option and great for fine detail work like lace or cables.

When you work with double points, you use all five needles or sometimes four are enough. Cast on stitches on one needle tip and then divide them equally on three or four needles to make a circumference. Join the round and knit. Our guide on knitting with double-pointed needles will give you all the assistance.

When knitting with DPNs, look out for loose stitches or ladders that happen at the needle transitions. However, with the right kind of needle, the issue can be avoided or at least lessened.

Knitting with Double Pointed Needles

The Mindful Collection has you covered no matter what your knitting preferences are. The stainless steel knitting needles with their inspiring word on each needle body, are simply a blessing. DPNs, FCs, ICNs, and knitting needle sets assist with smooth knitting. Your projects will reflect the quality and the idea behind the range. We hope you'll try these fantastic tools the next time you're looking for a new pair of knitting needles.

For knitting tricks and techniques, do follow our blog.

Tags:
stainless steel knitting needles