One thing I appreciate about the Stitches Expos is that, occasionally, I can get coverage for the Halos of Hope booth, so that I can take classes. Last year, at Stitches Midwest 2015, we opted not to have a booth for reasons that we'll announce shortly. But I was in town, and was able to take a few classes during the Midwest weekend.
Whenever I can take classes, I try to stick to a 'thematic plan.' Last year, my chosen classes focused on technique. One of my favorites was Preventing & Fixing Mistakes, taught by Sarah Peasley.
I've taken classes from Sarah before. Some years ago, she taught an Intarsia class that had a segment on how best to weave in ends, so they are nearly invisible. The 'mistakes' class allows you to think through your knitting, anticipate where a mistake may happen, or fix it when it does. I actually tore out rows in my knitting without panicking!
But it also taught the very basics of a magic loop cast-on. Although I'd always wanted to learn magic loop, I just hadn't gotten around to it. As we completed the cast-on and a few rounds, it dawned on me how amazingly simple it is. Suddenly those top down hats were going to be so much easier to manage.
Much like any other knitter or crocheter, I always have projects when I travel. And recently, I was faced with a very lengthy (and unexpected) trip. Knowing that I need to destash a lot (understatement
) of sock yarn, I decided to use magic loop to make socks. My go-to pattern is a very simple stockinette sock
. It was cast on before I got on the plane. Immediately, I noticed that my gauge was much cleaner and more accurate, and it moved along much faster than on dpns (or the small 9" circular that I have).
When it came time to knit the heel flap, turn the heel and pick up stitches for the gusset, I turned to YouTube, where Knit Purl Hunter
had exactly what I was looking for.
If you've never tried the magic loop method of knitting, I highly recommend giving it a try. The technique can be used for so many patterns done in the round. If you need a class to get you started, check with your local yarn shop, a regional show, or an online class. Thank you Sarah
for peaking my interest and for always teaching me something new!
PS: Our dear friend, Myra Wood
, also has a wonderful magic loop tutorial
on her website, and it's great for making her Halos of Hope designer hat, the Absolutely Anytime Magic Loop Beanie
. For a limited time, readers of this blog can save $1.00 on Myra's pattern using coupon code: MAGICLOOP (all caps).
Editor's Note: Coupon valid from 2/22/16 through 3/22/16, one coupon use per customer.