How To Do The Magic Circle Knitting | Written + Video

How To Do The Magic Circle Knitting is a step by step tutorial that will help knitters work on patterns that have small circumferences.

How To Do The Magic Circle Knitting

The magic circle knitting method was made known by Bev Galeskas and Sarah Hauschka way back in 2002. This method allows people to work on projects of small circumferences on one long circular.

All you have to do is to pull out a loop of yarn and divide your stitches into two equal parts. The free needle tip then is used to knit towards half of the stitches. Once done, rotate the project and work on the remaining stitches left.

How To Do The Magic Circle Knitting


STEP 1: Gently glide the stitches to the right.

The stitches should be positioned where the cable portion of the circular needle is.

how to do the magic circle knitting written
How to Knit in the Round with the Magic Loop by Dummies

STEP 2: Lay flat the work down on a flat surface or a table to observe. 

Both the yarn tail and working yarn should be placed on the left, and at the right is where the first cast-on stitch should be.

STEP 3: Adjust the cast-on edge to avoid twirling around the needle.

You should make sure that there will be no looping or coiling around the needle by running the bottom edge of the cast smoothly.

STEP 4: Turn your work over.

Unlike STEP 2, both the end of the needle together with the yarn tail and working yarn must now be on the right and on the left is the end of the first cast-on stitch.

Magic Circle Knitting tutorial
Magic Loop Technique by Emily Wessel

STEP 5: Stitches should be divided in half.

Count across until you’re halfway of the stitches. Then gently separate the stitches at that halfway point. Lastly, pull approximately 6 to 8 inches of the cable through the opening. 

STEP 6: Fold your work in half.

Your work should be folded in half so that the tips of the needles will be going to the right and the segment containing the first cast-on stitch is facing you.

Check if there are twisting and looping around your needles.

STEP 7: Position the working yarn.

Put the working yarn in place. It must run up starting from the last cast-on stitch going to the outside of the project.

Note that the working yarn must not pass through the center.

STEP 8: Grasp your work in your left hand and gently glide the front set of stitches going to the right until they are situated on the needle.

Once done, put the empty back needle in your right hand and prepare to start knitting.

how to do Magic Circle Knitting
The Knitting Method That’s Totally Magic by Andrea Sanchez

STEP 9: Knit your way going to the first stitch on the left-hand needle to bind the work together. After that, knit across the stitches left on the left-hand needle.

Do this by while keeping your first to second stitch compact to prevent spaces or breaks forming between your needles.

STEP 10: Rotate your work to face you.

Facing you now is a set of unfinished stitches.

STEP 11: Move the set of front stitches going to the right ‘til they are situated on the needle. Next is to move the back set of stitches going to the left so that they’ll be at the back part of the cable.

Make sure that in between the two sets of stitches, there is always a loop of cable. Once the loop of cable is lost, just divide your work again in half. Do this, by pulling the cable through the stitches at the correct spot.

how to knit in the round with the magic loop
How to Knit in the Round with the Magic Loop by Dummies

STEP 12: Knit across the front set of stitches with the use of the now-empty back needle.

Always keep the first stitch compact and snug.

Once the end of these stitches is reached, it means you’ve already completed one round. Always remember that the presence of yarn tails indicates where the new round starts.

STEP 13: Make use of a stitch marker to specify the beginning of each round.

Once you’ve knitted more and more rounds, it’s kind of hard to identify the ends of each round. Although you have your yarn tail, it’s still quite hard to distinguish especially with all the rounds. Using a stitch marker will definitely help you indicate the ends.

STEP 14: Halt your work and check for twirls or looping around the needles.

Always make that the cast on runs smoothly along the bottom edge of your work and shows no signs of entanglement.

magic loop knitting
Magic Loop Technique by Emily Wessel

STEP 15: Turn your work over, again. So that, the stitches you will be working on next are facing you. Move the front part stitches towards the needle tip and then the back part stitches towards the cable. Now, start working across the front set of stitches.

Rotate your work and organize your stitches after you have worked on both sides.

STEP 16: Once reached the desired length, bind off.

The greatest advantage of the magic circle method is that you can knit different circumferences and sizes with the use of one long needle. This reduces the use of different gauge needles. Saves you both time and money!


Still can’t get it together? Here’s a video tutorial that can help you:


free magic loop baby hat knit pattern
Tiny Topper Magic Loop Baby Hat Knitting Pattern by Baby Knitting Patterns Blog

Now that you’ve gone through the written and video tutorial, I know that by now, you’re looking for a simple project to start your magic circle journey.

The FREE Cable Owl Baby Hat Knit Pattern applies magic loop knitting to make a perfect round knit despite the small circumference of a baby’s head. It also uses 3 cable owl patterns to make an interesting and wonderful twist in the design.


Seeing as knitting and crocheting are sister crafts, it’s no surprise that you could use the magic circle in crocheting too. Here are some patterns you could try:

Now that you have the patterns at hand, all you need to do is to pick which craft to start first – crochet or knit?

We hope you have a blast creating small pieces with this How To Do The Magic Circle Knitting!

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