I knitted my very first pair of socks using 5 dpn, the traditional way to knit socks. Although the socks came out great for a first timer in socks knitting; however, I wanted to have an easier way to knit socks. Then a year ago, I heard about people talking about the Magical Loop method, I also heard people saying about knitting a pair of socks using 2 circular needles. I wasn't sure how I felt about the magical loop method when I first heard it... but since handknitted socks are in everyone wish list for the holiday, I was willing to try different method to knit socks faster. I finally did some research on the magical loop method and try it. And I totally love it. Since mastering the skill, I have knitted more than 10 pairs of socks and I also using magical loop method method for fingerless mitten, gloves and hat. Since most of the socks patterns are written in 5 dpn, so I converted a basic sock pattern to use the magic loop method. I have so much fun knitting socks and mittens, I have started designing pattern for socks and gloves for using this method.

To see whether the magical loop is a better method than 5 dpn, I have tested in a seasoned knitter, my mother. She have been knitting for more than 40 years. She knitted everything using dpn and she believes it's easier to use dpn to knit in the round. When I taught her the magical loop method, she hesitated. She tried the first pair of gloves using magic loop, and when the gloves was finished, she absolutely loves the new way. I figured if I can change my mother's mind, then the magic loop method is indeed a good alternative to dpn for socks, mitten etc...

In case anyone who is not familiar with the magic loop method, a magic loop is actually a long circular needle with very flexible wire.

Following is the instruction of the magic loop method:
1. Cast on an even number of stitches and slide stitches to middle of cable.
2. Divide stitches in half and pull cable loop out between two groups of stitches
3. Slide stitches down to their respective needle tips. you will have half of your stitches on each needle tip. Hold needle tips parallel and pointing to right, working yarn will hang from back stitches. Place a market on the front group of stitches to mark the begining of the round.
4. Pull back needle tip out until you have enough cable to allow you to work stitches on front needle.
5. Work all stitches on front needle, being careful not to twist.
6. Slide two groups of stitches back to their respective needle tips. Repeat step 4 as many times as needed.

The magic loop method might seem a little bit difficult at first, but once you get used to the needle pulling back and forth. It is going to be a good alternative to dpn to work a small circle.