What is Loop Knitting?

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  • Written By: B. Koch
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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Loop knitting, also known as magic loop knitting, is a technique used to knit small diameter tubes. The technique is often used for knitting socks, hats, or sweater sleeves. To accomplish this technique, a set of circular needles is required.

The magic loop knitting technique is just one way to knit small circumference items. Some knitters use double pointed needles to do this, or they may knit a piece flat and sew it into a tube later. Some knitters find loop knitting to be a fast and smooth way to knit small circumferences, but this mostly depends on the knitterā€™s individual preference.

A number of materials are needed for loop knitting, including needles and yarn. Circular needles are essential to this technique. These needles are attached to one another by a long, thin and flexible cord. They come in a variety of lengths, and ideally, the length of needle required for this knitting technique would be 32 to 40 inches (81-101 centimeters). A shorter length needle might not hold enough stitches, and a longer needle could become cumbersome. The cable should be very flexible but should not curl up on itself.


In order to begin loop knitting, the stitches should be cast onto the circular needles. This can be accomplished through any method of casting on. The middle of the line of stitches should be noted, and the cable should be pulled through at this point. Now, the stitches should be entirely on the rigid part of the needles with half the stitches on the left-hand needle and the other half on the right-hand needle. The needle with the ball of yarn attached to it should be in the right hand.

Next, the stitches on the right hand needle are pulled back onto the cable. Now, half of the stitches are on the left handed needle, and the other half of the stitches are in the center. The right-hand needle has no stitches on it.

The stitches on the left-hand needle should be knit normally, knitting them onto the right-hand needle. When all the stitches from the left-hand needle have been knit onto the right-hand needle, the stitches will need to be rearranged. The stitches that were sitting on the cable should be moved to the left-hand needle, while the stitches on the right-hand needle should be moved to the cable. The process is then repeated, knitting the stitches from the left-hand needle to the free right-hand needle.


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