Magic Loop – No YO

True confessions: I don’t like double-pointed needles. They’re fiddly. They’re annoying. They’re too short. They’re too long. They won’t get out of my way. I despaired of ever being able to make socks, or anything that required a small circle.

Then I discovered Magic Loop knitting. There are many demo videos on YouTube, here’s a link to one I learned from by¬†The KnitWitch.

My first hint at it was from Melissa Morgan-Oakes 2-at-a-Time Socks, a book that got me over my annoyance with double pointed needles. I learned that I wasn’t that good at knitting two socks at a time, but the book does a great job at simply introducing basic sock construction. I have since become a sock knitting fan. I knit them one at a time, and I use either magic loop or two circular needles.

In a sidebar, Morgan-Oakes mentions an issue that I struggled with: Unwanted extra stitches caused by inadvertent yarn overs. Her advice:

When starting a new section of stitches, always keep your working yarn between front and back, or needle and cable. Don’t bring your yarn up over the needles from behind the back cable, or you will end up with more stitches than you counted on.

I struggled mightily with this advice, and finally, after two years, have figured it out. I’m so pleased with myself that I have to share.

No YO when the first stitch is knitted

NoYO image one

Make sure the working yarn is in front of the cable. Insert the needle into the first stitch on the left needle.

NoYO image two

Wrap the yarn around the right needle.

NoYO image three

Pull the right needle and yarn through the loop on the left needle.

NoYO image four

Pull the new knit stitch through and drop the old loop off the left needle. Look! No YO!

No YO when the first stitch is purled

Bring the yarn under the needle in your left hand.

Yarn at the ready for purling that first stitch.

Stab the right needle, as if to purl (because that’s what you wanted to do, right?) through the first stitch on the left needle.

Wrap the yarn around the right needle.

Pull the new stitch through on the right needle.

Drop the old stitch off the left needle and marvel that there is NO YO on the right needle in front of the purled stitch. Huzzah!

All this is fine and good, but what if you WANT a yarn over in front of that first stitch? Or what if you want a yarn over as the last stitch on the back set?

Luckily, I’ve figured out how to do that as well. Watch this space for an upcoming post on that topic.

Photos by Roger Devine

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