But anyway, in the course of determining a particular item for someone on my list (with deliberate vagueness to guarantee surprise), I choose a pattern, found some stash yarn and the appropriate needles, and began casting on. It directed me to use Judy's Magic Cast On, and though I was a little trepedatious, I did as I was told. I was mostly able to follow the directions from Knitty, but I found this YouTube video super-helpful when I got stuck turning to knit the second half of the first round:
Funnily enough, despite the mention of socks in the Knitty instructions, and the word 'Magic' in its name, it didn't fully strike me that I was magic looping until I was actually doing it. And then suddenly, as I was finishing up that first round, it was like I was struck with that magic wand. Bippity-boppity-boo! Ah-ha, so this is what people are always talking about, getting freakishly long circular needles to do, taking classes for, and arguing the pros and cons of! And here I am doing it! Whoa.
I suppose it's needless to say that I'm not making socks, and never have. I don't particularly plan to make any either, but I do love learning a technique all by myself without bursting into tears. And if I ever get around to starting hexipuffs for the Beekeeper's Quilt this technique will certainly come in handy. For now, it's just something else a little bit fiddly to deal with while I'm also cabling.
Stay tuned for actual details about this project. The day after Christmas is the time for post-holiday sales and post-gifting show-offs.