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Dear Kay,

So this is my new constant companion:

Hyacinthus Armwarmers. The first project in A Year of Techniques.

I had to resort to a Zauberball from Stash Zone C, one without a label—not the similar colorway Rare Earth I have coveted since we were picking Zauberball colors to offer. (The MDK Shop’s Zauberball inventory sold out over the weekend, when I started this. Happy to report that Zauberballs are back in stock.)

If anybody is wishing for a second BONUS technique to try this month, I highly recommend Very Pink Knits’s Simple Magic Loop tutorial. Can’t believe I’ve never used this technique. Very Pink Knits explains it better than I can. Bottom line: it means that all of a sudden, your inventory of circular needles now has greater potential than ever.

Sorry to be a bore, all you Magic Loop long-termers. Some of us are late to the party. WHAT A PARTY.

Much discussion of helical stripes, the philosophy of dividing a Zauberball into two smaller Zauberballettes, and so forth, over in The Lounge. Come join us, and bring your knitting.






  • Magic loop. Who knew.
    Glad to have learned yet another why didn’t I figure that out trick.

  • Long time Magic Looper because I never felt coordinated enough for DPNs. Welcome to the club!

    • Me too! Only thing easier on dons is casting on, my stitches don’t twist. Otherwise I am continually dropping a needle. Way easier when traveling!

      • That’s dPNs

  • Another great thing about magic looping is that in a larger diameter, such as a hat, you don’t even have to divide your work in half. If your cord is long enough, you just pull it out and go! Your loop serves as your end of round “stitch” marker!

  • I use the magic loop method occasionally but actually prefer using double pointed needles. My second favorite technique would be using two circs. But in a pinch, it’s great to have a bunch of techniques to choose from – you know, so you don’t have to get up off the couch to get the tools you need.

  • I love very pink knits. Her demos are the best I have found. They are so clear and easy to follow. She is my go to woman for knitting help. I am late to the magic loop technique, now I will take it on and conquer it this week. I am loving this month of techniques and it is only day 2. Thanks.

    • oops, a year of techniques.

  • I watched the tutorial about helical knitting intently and confess that I just don’t get it (yet.). Grumperina enthused about it on her blog years ago and I didn’t get it then, either. I have a mental block….

    • It is really hard to visualise or imagine without just casting on and trying it out. 🙂 It was Grumperina’s blog where I first came across it too. That’s a while back now! And actually, even once you’re doing it successfully I know that some folks still find it hard to explain how or why it’s happening. But I promise it’s a great feeling to just do it. If we can help further over in The Lounge do stop by for a chat about it.

  • I ordered Rare Earth yesterday and can’t wait! I have the e-book instructions printed out. Can’t wait.

  • Is there a way we will know the upcoming yarn for April so we can order early and have in hand, ready to start?

  • Well, you and Kay have succeeded in sucking me into the Zauberball shenanigans. I ordered three from you yesterday (yes, obviously I have no control) and can’t wait to participate in the striping hijinks.

  • I got my pattern yesterday and was rarin’ to go…but then I didn’t have the right sized needles. I don’t knit socks so my supply of smaller dpns (or circulars, for that matter) is meager. It would be nice to know ahead of time what the recommended size needle or any other supplies will be so that I can start knitting right away. No shop in my town had them, and I am waiting for Amazon to come through again.

    • Yeah. Funny. Anazon had them. Couldn’t find them on Webs.

  • Alas, I am not able to download the instructs on my iPad. S I G H! Can anyone help me? The problem is that Im not able to put it in iBooks. My only choices are notes, messages, places where I really don’t want to put a knitting pattern!

    • Hi Pati! It sounds like it might be easier for you to access the pattern through Ravelry? If you follow the instructions in this post ( you should be able to get your pdf with no trouble. If not, please do send me an email (my address is on any of your order confirmation messages) with your Ravelry username, and I will fix you up with the pdf. Many thanks! Jen

  • I have loved magic loop ever since I learned it years ago!!!! I only use dpns for socks and some i-cord here and there. So nice to use my interchangeable circular set for almost anything! Welcome to the club 🙂

  • Very Pink Knits rocks the best manicures in all of knitting videodom.

    • Agree 100%. Grooming award!

  • I thought I had been magic looping, thought it was an okay technique, but a bit fiddly with lots of stopping to keep pulling cable through so able to keep the needle points together. Now after watching realise I was only halfway magic looping, somehow I had never cottoned onto the second step of pulling the cable through to ‘free up’ the working needle point…….. Classic old dog / finally properly learning new trick! Thankyou.

  • I don’t use helical stripes but get perfect stripes by knitting to one stitch before the change of colour, using the new colour knit into the next stitch but pick up the stitch on the row below. Each round will begin one stitch before the last

    • I’ve used this method too. What’s cool with helical stripes is that there’s truly no way to see where the rounds end. I found that the one-stitch method left a little, subtle diagonal trail across my work.

  • I may have to unsubscribe to the letters….you guys and your zauberballs and helical strips!! I bought the ebook and I’m off to the yarn store this afternoon for a zauberball!!!

  • Finally, a Magic Loop tutorial that acknowledges the fact that the knitter DOESN’T HAVE TO DIVIDE THE STITCHES EXACTLY IN HALF! I have seen people carefully counting out dozens of stitches because someone told them they needed to. What a waste of good knitting time!

  • Looking forward to trying a new technique.

  • Are you guys soothsayers? I was going to dig around for videos today to learn the magic loop method. I’m really struggling with a project that is too small for my 9 inch circs and can’t seem to get it right with dpn’s. I can usually count on Very Pink Knits, she has loads of great tutorials

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