Socktoberfest Challenge

2885727382_8dd51ee082 Here it is, my personal challenge for the Socktoberfest. I am learning Magic Loop. Do not underestimate the level of challenge here – my manual dexterity leaves much to be desired and I struggle with circulars. Also I am spatially challenged, so learning the method does not come easily.

I chose to do the simplest sock pattern that I know of that fits reliably – Sue Morgan’s Free Simple Sock & Gift Pouch Pattern. That leaves  me free for the manual struggles without having to worry about the brain part. I am knitting up a ball of yarn that speaks loudly to me, in the hope that the colour will carry me through the acres of mind-numbing stocking stitch.

The definitive resource for Magic Loop, if one does not have the Fibertrends booklet (I don’t) is here. I do not find this tutorial particularly clear, so I supplemented with a range of other URLs until I could see what I was doing. There’s a small list of resources here.

Circular needles are awful. I really hate using them. So I bought some Addis because I had read that the cords have little memory in them and do not kink. Hah – a lie! I have photographic evidence… not good evidence, these are awful photos taken in almost dark conditions. Please forgive.


It’s a 60 stitch sock. Here are 60 stitches cast onto one needle


All 60 stitches slipped down onto the cord


After pinching the cord and pulling it out between the two centre stitches – we now have a loop at one end, two needles at the other, and 30 stitches on each side of the cord


Then the stitches are pulled up onto the needles, still 30 stitches each side. There’s a big loop of cord that you can’t see at the left of this shot. The working end of the yarn is at the right hand side of the rear (designated right) needle.


Round joined, using the swap-first-and-last-stitches method and the first few stitches have been knitted off the left needle and onto the right.


A not very helpful image: stitches knitted off the left needle and now resting on the right. Time to turn the work, then slip the stitches down the cord on the right/rear and up to the needle on the left/front in readiness for knitting the other side.


See? Easy Peasy! Well, it must be if I managed to get this far already…


  • I had one false start and had to cast on again when I found my stitches were twisted.
  • I found that the mid-join tended to ladder in the rib section. I had no problems where the rib began with K2, but the P2 side was a very weak join. In future I may arrange my stitches such that both sides begin with Knit stitches.
  • I did discover that the larger I made my big loop/smaller I made the small loop, the easier it was to handle the joins and the faster I could knit.
  • Also in the rib section, I found that I kept tangling my yarn in and around the cable and spent much time extricating it.
  • The problem went away when I began stocking stitch – so I blame this on my spatial difficulties.
  • I find this method rather slow, with all that slipping stitches up and down business
  • but can see the value of only having the one needle and will find this method useful on the boat.

I am going to persevere, and I plan to take this project to Show and Tell at Spinning this week.

Lovely yarn, isn’t it?

Socktober Mountain at Ravelry


  1. SpinningGill
    October 6, 2008

    I’ve not heard of the joining method you mentioned. Is it as easy as it sounds?

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