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Posted - 12/30/2005 :  08:29:59 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
First of all, my tension is usually even in all projects.
I have knit about 15 pairs of socks[mostly house socks on size 6's], and usually in verigated or shaded yarns. I decided to knit my first pair on size 2's and in a solid color doing a center cable on each of three needles. OK, so far so good, being a relatively new sock knitter.
The needle pattern is K7,P2,C6,P2,K7 and doing the cable every 7th row. I decided to do the P2's to set off the cables more.
Two things are distressing me.
1-my tension is sporadic and not in just one area-little looser stitches scattered thru.
2-The crossover join to the second P2 leaves a uniformily loose stitch at the join that I'm not pleased with. At least it is uniform. Is this normal? No matter how I try to tighten up the join it[the loose stitch] is still there.
Someone told me that the smaller the needle size, the more difficult to control the tension. Any hints here?
I'm thinking, rip out and do cables with no purls-I should be able to do this-right?
Another question is what is the best cast on for socks with ribbing? I'm doing 2x2 and I'm not sure I like that either.
As you can tell I'm not a happy camper with these- I keep wondering if I should just keep going and let them be somewhat experimental to see what all the issues are; and correcting as best I can as I go? Or rip the damn thing out after I get some info on what I'm doing wrong. At least they are for my wear and not a gift! Horrors to that! KL

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Posted - 12/30/2005 :  09:25:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message
Hi, Karen! Let's're actually asking two questions here. One about tension and tone about cast-ons? OK, let's take a stab at this.

First, the tension. The loose spot between the cable and purl stitches has two probable causes. First, those cabled stitches tend to stretch a bit, as you probably already know. Washing the finished sock will take care of that. Secondly, it simply takes a bit more yarn to travel between the last cable stitch and the first purl stitch. Since there's just slightly more yarn, the looser stitch is logical. Again, a good washing will take care of it, especially if you're using a wool, non-superwash yarn. The tension will even out over the stitches nearby. A good washing may take care of the other occasional sporadic tension problems, too. Just one possibility - are these loose stitches showing up at the ends/beginnings of the dpns? I tend to use 5 needles, since ladders can be something of a problem for me on 4.

As for a cast-on...I didn't care for the look of K2P2 ribbing at first, either. With my own knitting style at that time, K1P1 was stretchier. So I used it, and actually can date my socks by the type of ribbing used on them. After 10-15 pairs I noticed that, sure enough, K2P2 was suddenly stretchier, and I switched. I've also used a modified long-tail cast-on called a Norwegian or German cast-on for almost all of my socks - I ran across it early on. You can see a tutorial at . It's easy, and wonderfully stretchy for socks and lace.

As for whomever told you that smaller needles mean more tension difficulties...I haven't found it to be so. But that may just be me. You can certainly do this - you've done things much more difficult than socks!

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee

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Seriously Hooked

869 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  10:12:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit Suzann's Homepage Send Suzann a Private Message
Hi Karen, All of the above and you can try twisting the first purl after the cable. Cables do spread out a bit after you do a few rows. When I knit cable patterns flat, I twist the purl stitch and then untwist it on the way back (wrong side) But when you are knitting round, you can twist it just after the cable then purl normally after that. The bit of twist may tighten it up. Also you can only pull on that first stitch so much, so try tightening up the second stitch from the cable, and see if that helps.

ps I am knitting up my red socks

Making cables is like making love. There is a lot of foreplay before you get to the deed
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Guardian angel

9776 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  11:58:48 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
All excellent advice. I just wanted to emphasize one thing.


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6041 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  8:26:52 PM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
Thank you all for the excellent advice-Fran I'm still laughing! I had kind of wondered about the washing thing. Thanks again, KL
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6041 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  8:29:20 PM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
Suzann- I forgot- I want to see a pic of you dancing in your red socks! KL
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