How to Use Magic Loop for Sleeves

If you're knitting sweaters, it's likely that you've already fallen for the Magic Loop method. This technique allows you to use a large circular needle on a variety of knit circumferences by creating a loop with the slack needle cord and knitting in the round. While the concept is generally the same, Julie has a few tricks that makes the Magic Loop a little easier with sleeves.

4 Tips - Magic Loop Sleeves


Two Rabbit Ears

Typically for Magic Loop you'd have one loop pulled out. For a smaller circumference like a sleeve, Julie recommends having two loops pulled out at all times. In order to do this, make sure you have plenty of extra needle cord to create the loops. Julie always uses 40" long knitting needles and knits the entire sweater with it by using the Magic Loop method. 


Keeping Gauge with Needle Size

It's not uncommon to have a tighter gauge while you're knitting sleeves - Julie certainly does! If you notice this just knit the sleeves on a needle size larger to maintain a consistent gauge throughout the sweater. 


Casting On Underarm Stitches

Have you ever struggled with the tension of stitches at the underarm of your sweater? In Cocoknits Method patterns Julie has you cast on stitches at the underarm and seam after. This not only creates a more secure underarm (a part of your sweater that receives a lot of friction and wear) but it makes your stitch tension even, ultimately making knitting in the round easier.


Where to Mark the End of Round

Curious where the end of your sleeve round should be? It's directly in the middle of the underarm. With the Cocoknits Method it's easy to spot because you will have just cast-on those stitches, making it easy to mark the middle. 

Learn more about the Cocoknits Method

Cocoknits Method Sweater YokeIf you're unfamiliar with the Cocoknits Method of knitting, it's a top-down, tailored style that's easily adjustable to your fit preferences thanks to the unique color tracking system. Please visit this page to learn more! 



Hi Mary, we don’t, but we’ve found great video tutorials about this technique by searching for “video joining for yoke in bottom up sweater knitting.” Also, feel free to email us at with questions about Katarina. Hope that helps!


Is there a video to show how to pick up the sleeves to join the body and sleeves to work the yoke for the Katarina sweater?

susanna suchak

Thank you! This was immensely helpful.


Hi Dorothy,
You can use any provisional cast-on for Veronika’s sleeve pieces. You will end up with two separate pieces on holders, so there is no need to separate them. Please feel free to email us at for more help. Enjoy your Veronika!

Dorothy Thom

I’m just beginning the Veronika. I haven’t used this provisional cast on and don’t know how I would separate the two sleeve pieces … help please


H Latreta, I’m not sure I understand your question, but I wonder if the tutorial: How to Knit Around Corners Using Modified Magic Loop would help? If you are working on a Cocoknits pattern, feel free to send a clarification of your question to knit Good luck!

Latreta Marcelle Foster

I’m trying to knit a shrug that is top down and continuous on the magic loop. I have problems when it comes to opening for the neck and chest and then closing for the other arm. can you help?


Hi Ilene,
You cast on for the under arm on your circular needle or double points, knit across the held stitches, then join to work in the round at the beginning of the underarm CO, knit 4 and place marker.
Hope that helps and glad you liked the class! Please email us at if you need more help.


I am beginning the sleeves on the Emma version A size M.. I am confused as to where exactly do you CO on the 8 stitches. Is it before picking up the 30 stitches from the stitch holder? And then where is the join?
I loved the Vogue knitting class that I took with Julie. The rest of the sweater went just as she taught it. I don’t know why but I’m stumped on starting the sleeves.

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