Magic loop conversion

G'day all!

This post is proudly brought to you by a number of Caladenias, Diuris, Pterostylis and some other orchids whose names I am too lazy to look up. These photos were taken in WA on our recent trip there. The largest of the orchids is about 3cm long in the flower, unless you count the long legs on the white caladenias. Most are only between the size of a man's pinkie finger nail and his thumbnail. I like the dissonance of talking socks whilst showing pics of orchids. My fingers are in some a) to get focus and b) to show size.

How many of you knit socks?

What method do you use?

Top down? Toe up?

Heel flap (which type)? Shortrow? Afterthought heel (again which type)?

DPNs? Two circs? One circ (magic loop)?

My first socks were knitted on DPNs. Argh, how I hated those DPNs. Like a handful of porcupines waving at my nose.

Sooner or later I discovered the idea of knitting a sock on two circs, and this magic loop stuff. Magic loop was right out cos what, 18months ago, it was hard to get long enough circs here. But one shop in Melbourne stocked bamboo circs, but only in 40 and 60cm lengths, in sizes ok for knitting socks (0 and 1 US, or about 2mm and 2.4mm as we say here).

(How teensy is this orchid? How cute!)

I tried knitting two socks on two circs at the one time as proof against only knitting one sock, but that went out the window when I spent more time untangling the yarn than knitting it. So I became a devotee of knitting one sock on two circs.

Only problem with that is occasionally I would knit the sock onto one circ and not have enough needle left to knit it off again.

Eventually I bit the bullet and tried one sock on one circ. I bought me an addi turbo 2.5mm 100cm needle, soon followed by the same size in a 1.5m length. No more knitting onto the wrong needle or threatening the eye health of those around me, let alone me, myself and I! I was converted! OK, so wrangling the loops can be a PITA but I find it easier than wrangling DPNs or having to move stitches around every 10 rows or untwist the yarn. Most of the socks I've knitted this year have been done on one long addi turbo. I would prefer to use bamboo (except for those patterns that involve a lot of ramming the needles through two or three stitches, which I find badly chews the tips of bamboo needles), but addis come in the right lengths, even if they are not very flexible in the cable.

(The biggest orchid we saw on this trip)

So fess up? What do you prefer and why?

(don't you just love the rubbish found along roads. These cans have been there for years - the pull off ringtabs were banned 20 years ago - and are now habitat)

If you want to see some more orchids, have a look at this page hastily uploaded from our trip in 2004 to WA. These pics are all from the Stirling Ranges, one of the great biodiversity hotspots on the planet, and under dire threat from global warming.



  1. Great photography.
    Congrats on sharing our native flora with the world.

  2. Beautiful photos!

    I'm strictly a DPN girl, top down but one of these days I'll try toe up.

  3. Mostly I use one 30cm circ for my sock knitting, although I also use dpn's. Definately top down and heel flap. I keep meaning to try other methods but I keep doing it this way.

  4. I'm a magic looper, for the most part (though not a huge sock knitter). I usually do two at once, which seems to take forever and does involve some untangling. But otherwise, I never get that second sock started! I'm intrigued with the idea of doing two socks at once, but separately. Do one cuff; put the sock down. Pick up the other sock that is on entirely different needles; do that cuff; and so on. I don't have doubles of any needles but that could happen in the future.

  5. I'm definitely a dpn girl.

    Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuv the pickies of the orchids.

    Hopefully Nathan finds something that suits him soon.


  6. I use the 'Crazy Toes and Heels' method.
    2 circs, toe up, both at the same time.
    Can't use dpns, and have a need to have the socks match exactly so that's why I do them at the same time.

  7. I love toe up 2 socks on 2 circs, but Pomatomus demanded that I ditch this and go DPNs, cuff down. And you know - I prefer to up for some reason, (use turkish heel or afterthought heel), but I love the different heel flaps that cuff down allows. Don't care about the yarn tangling when I do 2 socks at the same time cause I have bad second sock-it-it. BUT am tempted to lash out and go the addi magic loop.

  8. Anonymous6:50 pm

    Lynne, I enjoyed your photos. I wonder if you can tell me where to get a cinnamon (sugar/tea)container like the one you described in Sept. 2006? I bought one when I was in Australia and I love it. My brother, who lives in Perth is visiting me in the States and would like to have one. I'd like to send him one but can't find them anywhere online. Thanks.
    Kind regards,


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