I’ve been teaching my knitting students how to use the magic loop method for knitting in the round. I don’t mind double points, and I learned how to use two circulars, but magic loop is my favorite, especially for new in-the-round knitters. It’s safest to transport (I shudder to think how many loops I’ve lost off of dpns), has the fewest possible transitions from one needle to the other, and it’s the most economical (only one circular needle length needed for anything from 3X sweaters to the last 2 stitches on the top of a hat).
I’ve developed a help I call Starting Position and have started handing it out in my classes. It does a good job of preventing the most common issues new learners seem to have until they become comfortable with the technique. Whenever a student is ready to switch working from one needle to the other, I tell them to make sure they’re in Starting Position. In case you or someone you know could use the help, here it is!
Starting Position for Magic Loop
1. All loops (or as many as can fit) should be on the wood or metal parts of the needles. These will have been roughly split in half before beginning, with one half(ish) on each needle.
2. Needles should be held with points to the right, with one needle in front of the other.
3. Fabric (or cast on ridge) should be moved so it is hanging down with no twists.
4. The working yarn should be attached to the back needle. (If not, rotate front needle to be in the back and check #3 again)
THEN, holding the loops with your left hand (hold front and back together), pull the back needle out to the right, in the direction it is pointing.
Here it is in pdf, for a printable resource: