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 ladders
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juiabrooke
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  7:25:15 PM  Show Profile Send juiabrooke a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recently discovered that I am much more comfortable knitting continental. Then I went back to my socks and found that I have a problem with ladders when I try to knit them continental. This is not a problem when knitting English. Is this normal? If not can someone help me fix the problem because I would very much like to knit socks since that is my current obsession in continental since it is significantly more comfortable for me.

Julia Brooke

Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2041 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  8:26:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Are you using 3 needles or four needles for the live stitches. That can make a difference. Personally, I've found that if I give a little tug at the last 2 stitches on one needle and a bit of a tug on the first couple of stitches that prevents ladders. After a while it is just a normal thing to keep the tension regulated. Ladders occur when you have "extra" yarn that creeps into that space between the needles - ie: tension too loose.

Oops, forgot to mention, I knit Continental and don't experience ladders any more.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  8:32:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am also continental, and HATE dpn's. I do everything on magic loop. You may find you love it!

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
http://purledthis.blogspot.com/ UPDATED! WITH PICS!
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anderknit
Permanent Resident

USA
2584 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  06:27:10 AM  Show Profile Send anderknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The most important stitch to "tug" is the second stitch on the second dpn. This actually tightens the first stitch on that needle, which reduces or eliminates the ladder. I always knit continental, do socks on 5 dpns, and mostly don't have ladders. In addition to the "second stitch tugging", the way one holds the yarn also has a lot to do with it.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' "
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1701 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  07:37:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't tug on the yarn. Instead, I make the 2nd st on each dpn >smaller<. Here's how:

knit the first stitch normally;

knit the second stitch >halfway down the taper on the RH needle point< AND leave it there*;

knit the third stitch normally, then push both 2 and 3 to the RH needle shaft at the same time. You'll feel a little resistance as #2 slides onto the shaft. It shouldn't feel really hard to push on, though.

*"halfway" is a relative term, depending on the yarn. Sometimes I've found it to be on the slightly larger side of that place on the taper.

I have found that all of this tends to tighten up the last stitch on the previous dpn. Ladders gone. HTH.

Btw, I tried knitting toe-up socks with Magic Loop. The circ was a pain to mess with for the toe and heel, and I don't like stopping frequently to take the yarn off my hand and push stitches around. Dpns let me leave the yarn on my left hand and keep knitting. The above ladder solution has worked famously, and I do recommend it.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1176 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  08:32:02 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lightbulbs are going off. Interesting topic, thank you.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  11:25:11 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
knit the second stitch >halfway down the taper on the RH needle point< AND leave it there*

Am I the only one who does not know what this means? What is the taper?

See My Stuff: Here

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juiabrooke
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  8:29:56 PM  Show Profile Send juiabrooke a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanx for the great advice...I'm not sure but I think the taper is the tip of the needle, is that right Ceil? I have only worked with 4 dpn's so far. I'm about to start a 5 dpn pattern once I get caught up on my homework, I stopped doing homework to finish my first pair of socks. Now I've forbidden myself to start another pair til I can get ahead.

Julia Brooke
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2011 :  05:57:44 AM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, I think I got it now. I read too fast and missed " the taper on the needle point." I was thinking "stitch" not needle. Now it makes sense.......

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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1701 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2011 :  4:38:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, the end of the shaft tapers down to the point. Yarnlover, it sounds like you've got the point now!!!!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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yarnlover
Permanent Resident

1745 Posts

Posted - 10/01/2011 :  5:34:04 PM  Show Profile Send yarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've got the point, sometimes it seems like I need to be poked with the point!!

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mcmircle
New Pal

USA
46 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2011 :  9:35:46 PM  Show Profile Send mcmircle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree a that tugging the second stitch from the edge helps. One thing I used to do when learning to knit socks was to occasionally shift the stitches from one needle to another so the gap wouldn't be in the same place. I haven't had ladders for years. Once you're used to dpns and continental knitting it won't happen any more.
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AllyMu
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  03:37:31 AM  Show Profile Send AllyMu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi,
I used to make socks with dpns and when I used 4 needles I got ladders. Try switching to 5 needles and pull on the working yarn, with both the first and second stitch. I never got ladders doing it this way. I now knit socks with magic loop, 2 at a time, toe up on one circular needle. You never, ever get ladders and you don't have all those needles to cope with. You tube has a great video for casting on and really is easy especially if you know how to cast on using the long tail method - type in Judy's magic cast on. There will be several videos, but for me, KnitPurlHunter explained it the best. Good luck!
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churchlady
Warming Up

Canada
81 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  08:18:41 AM  Show Profile Send churchlady a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Isn't this something that just corrects itself with the next pair of socks anyway? If ladders are not really awful, they correct themselves with the first wash or with blocking, anyway. All these suggestions are great, but tension will vary as one tries switching to the other hand, but most of the ladders I've seen knitters worried about have not been the kind that will last in the finished sock.
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NancyP
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  08:18:51 AM  Show Profile Send NancyP a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tighten up the first 2 stitches at the beginning of each dpn as I knit. Sometimes I will rotate the stitches -- after completing the original number of stitches on needle 1, I knit 2 to 4 additional stitches from needle 2. When knitting the stitches on needle 2, knit the same number of stitches from needle 3; the sames with needles 3 and 4 so that each needle has the original number of stitches. I do this every 5 rows or so until the stitches are back where they started. This can be a little confusing with lace patterns. Stitch markers of different colors are very helpful as are making little notes.
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maggie_g
New Pal

15 Posts

Posted - 10/06/2011 :  4:12:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit maggie_g's Homepage Send maggie_g a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Julia, you asked if getting ladders when knitting continental but not when knitting English is normal. It sure is. Continental tends to be a naturally looser technique for a lot of knitters. I'm more comfortable with continental too, but I find I have to be careful to avoid things like gaps when switching from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, and ladders when knitting in the round. I just try to stay conscious of what I'm doing and put a little more tension on the yarn when executing techniques like this; that generally does the trick for me.
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stash
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  1:56:33 PM  Show Profile Send stash a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am a continental knitter and love to knit socks. However, I use 2 circulars always and do not suffer ladders. Yes, I gently use more tension on the 1st stitch when changing needles and usually have the 2 needles in close proximity at beginning of each row. It's reassuring to find I'm not the only one paying close attention to stitch tension, etc. Most knitters I'm in contact with use the English style knitting.
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Irish Red
Warming Up

USA
59 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2011 :  12:24:02 PM  Show Profile Send Irish Red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the tip, Ceil. I will try this 'halfway' technique.

The Industrious Bee
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2041 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2011 :  9:38:50 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a bit of an update. I have switched to magic loop. For years I knitted with bamboo dp's then switched to KP's sock needles. Now I have switched to KP's nickel plated for magic loop. I am knitting much faster, still don't have any ladders and love it! Currently knitting sleeves in the round and wow, really moving along.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
508 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2011 :  09:24:25 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I ALWAYS knit small-circumference items, i.e., socks, in the round using Magic Loop and don't have problems with ladders. Also, because socks are my first-choice for a portable project, I don't worry about losing a needle away from home.

However, if I ever do find myself forced to use dp needles again for circular items, I will certainly remember and use Ceil's tip!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Jessica-Jean
New Pal

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  03:20:40 AM  Show Profile Send Jessica-Jean a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In some knitting book or other, back before I even tried using dpns (first attempt was gloves in 1972) I read that the way to avoid ladders was to slip the last three stitches just knit back onto the empty needle and continue knitting around. It does get pesky when you only have a few stitches for a pinky-finger, but - for me anyway - it does work. I have never seen a ladder in my dpn work and I've worked with every thickness of yarn/needle available. It's worth a try, and it may work for you too!
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