You already know that knitting in the round is a total game-changer when you're stitching up all those fall sweaters. But when you're making something smaller (socks, sleeves, mittens, etc), you're gonna need to work some magic. For real, though! Consider the magic loop method your new best friend.
What's magic loop knitting?
The magic loop method is way of creating pieces with small circumferences by using just one long, circular needle. It can be done on any needle size with a cable length of at least 32" or more. (You'll want to try out a few lengths to find the one that works the best for you!)
How to knit the magic loop method
Begin by casting on the required number of stitches.
Move the stitches to the center of the cable and find the middle point in the stitches. Gently bend your cable to bring a bit up between the center stitches.
Pull the cable gently to the point where the cast on stitches are now resting on the needles and not the cable.
Turn the needles so they are horizontal to the ground and the first stitch cast on is on the needle closest to you.
Hang the tail of the yarn down, and lay the working yarn over the back needle. (This is done because you will be knitting your first stitch. If you are purling, you will let your working yarn hang down between the needles).
Pull the back needle out so the back stitches are on the cable now. Be careful to keep the working yarn toward the back. Bring the needle into the first stitch to knit.
Knit across all the stitches on the front needle.
To turn your work: Once you have knit the first set, turn your needles so the unworked stitches are now closest to you.
Pull the back needle (the one you just worked) so the just-worked stitches are resting on the cable. Then slide the unworked stitches onto the front needle. Keep the working yarn toward the back.
Bring the back needle around and prepare to knit the first stitch on the front needle.
Continue knitting in pattern all the way down the front needle. When you complete this set of stitches you have just worked one round.
Continue this way for as many rounds as you need. And just like that .... you're magic looping!