I learned something new!!!!
I wanted to try out magic loop cos there's a few sock patterns I thought might work better with it. I figured maybe there would be less laddering cos it's on a circular needle, and maybe it would be easier to manage cables with just that one needle as opposed to four dpns. Also, it's on my 101in1001 list! :)
There's definitely less laddering, at least in stocking stitch. I'm pulling the stitches pretty tight at the edges, so it's a little hard to get the stitches moved across sometimes, but less laddering is good. However, the cables could only be done if they didn't cross over the halfway point of the stitches. So I'll have to examine the patterns I've got to see if they do that or not. I'd tried the drunken bees patterns previously but there was horrendous laddering cos the cables crossed all over the place. That's one of the ones I'll need to check. And most of Cookie A's ones too. I love her patterns! I've been drooling over the Twist Collective page all day, and not only her patterns, but most of the other ones too!
Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent there. (But go check out Twist Collective anyway!!!) I promise, I'm not affiliated, I just think it's fab.
The technique itself is much easier than I imagined. I watched this youtube video, followed what it said, and voila, I was off magic looping before I knew it. I had to watch the first few rows carefully though, because I was twisting the knitting round, and I even ended up knitting the sock inside out somehow! But after about half an inch it sorted itself out, and it's been pretty easy from there. I'm not at the heel turn yet though, that should be interesting!
I think overall I still prefer DPNs. They're faster for a start, you don't have to slide stitches along a long needles then figure out where the yarn is to pick it up correctly (it ends up inside the needles loop if you're not careful). Also, when I'm sliding the stitches across the circular needle, they catch on the join between the needly bit and the plastic wirey bit, which must be stressful on the yarn. I keep waiting for the stitch to just pop in half when I'm sliding them across. Magic loop is very portable though, it's all there on one needle and it's not going to come off without a struggle. I guess both techniques have their advantages for different patterns and situations. I think DPNs will continue to be my default unless I need portability, or less laddering, or cabling across certain stitches.
I've still got a sock and a half to go though, so we'll see what I think when I've finished!