Any knitter whose done their fair share of knitting in the round has probably had a chance to learn more about the technique called Magic Loop. It's something every knitter should have in their arsenal whether or not they use it all the time. (Cabling without a cable needle is another!) What makes it "magic" is that with one long cable needle you can manipulate many small circumferences. Brilliant if you ask me.
Why I love it:
It's convienient. You don't have to worry about losing one of your DPNs. Plus, after you get over the first few rows – which is always fiddly regardless of what you're using – you don't have to juggle through all these different needles and worry about four different "jogs" on your sleeve, hat, or whatever you're knitting.
Why I don't like it:
Let's talk about those "jogs" shall we? Take a close look at the two sleeves for my Leah's Cardigan. Do you notice anything funny with the left sleeve? A distince channel perhaps?
While knitting the first sleeve, noticed that the last stitch before the join was always coming out a little bit looser than the rest. It wasn't your normal ladder because it wasn't that the two stitches weren't flush next to each other it's was that the last stitch on the needle was stretched out and big.
What was this crazy knitter to do? I could not have been the only one with this ML problem. Off to the Ravelry Forums!
Enter the I heart Magic Loop Group. A-ha! It was the way I was holding my needle and cable at the beginning of the join that affected that last stitch.
The way I was holding it:
The way I am now holding it:
By holding the cord flush with my working needle it takes the stress off that last stitch on the cord and therefore it doesn't stretch! Creating a beautiful jogless 2nd sleeve! Huzzah!
Hopefully if you were having troubles with your magic loop this helped you out a bit or if you're just about to learn it give this a try!