I just found out that I am a loose knitter. Somewhat along the lines of Kelley (as she describes herself on the podcasts). I would love to knit socks with magic loop, but I have no idea what size needle to use. I have a limited budget so I can't afford all of the various sizes to see what guage I would knit at to make socks.
Do you have a particular sock yarn in mind that you are planning on using? That might affect your needle size a bit. Depending on how loose you knit, I would suggest a 1 - maybe even a size 0. Do you have any spare needles that are smaller in size? Sometimes, if I have them, I use 2 dpns for a swatch if it is the size I am looking into and then I find the actual needles I am planning on using with my yarn.
And like Cheryl said, use at least a 40" circ for magic loop. I know people that have used shorter for this method, but especially for beginners - a longer cord is much easier to work with.
Good luck - magic loop is really wonderful! And don't forget, Knit Picks has a great section of tutorials - here is a tutorial on just magic loop :)
If you are just starting out, there are patterns for socks that use worsted weight yarn. It is a great way to learn how to knit socks, especially since you don't have to fuss with small needles or yarn. And it goes much faster too :) Then you can work your way down to sport weight yarn, then to sock and fingering weight yarn.
Good luck, and keep us posted! Unfortunately, gauge not only changes from person to person but also depending on what needles you are using, changing from straight to circs, from wood to metal - it is a tricky thing! Keep us posted on how your socks go once you get started :)
I LOVE your needles. I especially like the sharp tips. I have another brand that I occasionally use and find I am now completely spoiled with your tips and cannot use the other brand because of their blunt tips ;-) That being said I would love a fixed circ in a 9". I knit socks almost exclusively and knit magic loop but think it would be so much faster on a 9 inch. Please consider this addition :-)
Thanks for your suggestion, I'll be sure to pass it along :)
-jenny @ knit picks
I emailed this to customer service, but I also want to make a plea here for smaller needle sizes in the fixed circulars (00 & 000). This would be such a boon for loose knitters. Kelly should be sympathetic, no? She has mentioned that she's a loose knitter on the podcast. Besides, I'm not the only one. Please see Ravelry thread: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/sock-knitters-anonymous/1880248/1-25#12
I also wish that Knit Picks carried more of the very tiny needles. In addition, I wish the smaller size needles that need to have the fixed circular cord, could have the cord so that extra length could be added to it as needed. If it came with a connector in the middle of the cord, then additional cord length could be easily added and the needles themselves would be a fixed circular attachment to the cord. Actually, there is no reason this couldn't work for every size needle.
ok so i want to start my first pair of socks and im not sure should i order dpns or circs.. for some reason dpn's scare me.
but if i wanted to make a trial pair with a basic acrylic yarn medium weight what size of dpn and circs would u recommend?
I'm not sure what you mean by "medium weight," but if I were you I'd use circs and magic loop method (which I'm sure you can google by this point, if you don't know this already). As for the size of the needles--4? With fingerling, I use 0 or 1 because I'm a loose knitter.
Also, I'd listen to one of Kelley's recent podcasts on how to knit socks with an after-thought heel. Makes turning the heel seem much easier, and I want to try that next.