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 Ladders in circular knitting
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lucybug
Chatty Knitter

USA
102 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2013 :  09:29:22 AM  Show Profile Send lucybug a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know there is someone out there in knitting land who has conquered this problem. I'm a fairly experienced knitter who does not like to knit on DPNs but realize they are necesary in some instances. I've knit 1 pair of socke, lots of hats and several pairs of mittens and just cannot get rid of the silly ladders. I've tried pulling the stitches tight on each side of the break. I took a sock knitting class from the Yarn Harlot this summer (lucky, lucky me - she's wonderful) and her suggestion was to wrap the yarn backwards (making sure to knit into the correct side of the loop). STILL have ladders.

When I'm knitting mittens I just shift the stitches around so you can't see it, but since I've only made a total of 3 socks I don't feel comfortable moving the stitches. Any suggestions?

Pam in the Colorado mountains

azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2393 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2013 :  12:11:36 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You might want to check out this discussion: http://www.knittersreview.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=103648. There is so much great info on this site, isn't there? So many experienced knitters ready to help out. I use the Search function here quite often when I'm "stuck". I find that after I've bound off and washed and dried the socks (or whatever), the ladders disappear...but they drive me nuts when I can see them while knitting. Good luck!

azblue
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Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1257 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2013 :  05:37:19 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't remember if it's the discussion Azblue links above, but somebody (Ann Budd, maybe? in a sock class?) told me that it's more important to pull the second stitch tight, instead of the first one. When you pull the first stitch tight, some of that tight sneaks back out when you knit stitch #2. So I tighten each--a p.i.t.a. when there are only a few stitches on the needle, but hey, I'm good at anal retentive.

Possibly you may need to find a couple of different tricks that each help a bit, and use both.

Good luck. Ladders stink.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
544 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2013 :  07:59:49 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"who does not like to knit on DPNs but realize they are necesary"

Pam, the more I knit, the more I discover that DPNs are rarely ever needed. Try using the Magic Loop method for socks and mittens ... even if you should see some sort of line (which, as noted above, usually disappears with washing and wearing), there are only TWO to deal with rather than three or four.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1804 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2013 :  9:02:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
[i]http://www.knittersreview.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=103648.
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See my post at the above link.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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lucybug
Chatty Knitter

USA
102 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  4:39:52 PM  Show Profile Send lucybug a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I'll try them all but have to admit I've always been leary about the magic loops. Looks very confusing but will bite the bullet at some point and give it a go.

Pam in the Colorado mountains
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1804 Posts

Posted - 11/11/2013 :  10:03:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hear you on that. I do magic loop occasionally because it takes longer to knit anything. But sometimes it is handy.

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

2393 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2013 :  06:46:23 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You can use two circulars, too, instead of the magic loop. You may find that less intimidating.

azblue
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Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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sockjoan
Warming Up

Australia
60 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  04:04:58 AM  Show Profile Send sockjoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, magic loop is the magic solution! No more DPNs for me!
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onebutterflykoi
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  04:19:05 AM  Show Profile Send onebutterflykoi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit in 1967, so I've been knitting for a very looong time. That was just the basics, everything else has pretty much been trial and error and the ladders have been a problem until recently...you won't believe how simple the fix was for me. I was holding the right hand needle under the last needle used to continue around, when I moved it above the last needle, no more ladders
I hope that makes sense and hope it helps you.
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Sloknitr
Warming Up

USA
50 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  06:38:14 AM  Show Profile Send Sloknitr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What helped me the most was the newish square needles. (Cubics from Knitters Pride is what I use) For some reason, ladders are never a problem with them - and I was absolutely plagued with ladders until I discovered this. Good luck!
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Jesusan
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  07:27:53 AM  Show Profile Send Jesusan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am fairly new to knitting socks - I'm in the process of knitting my fifth one. I have been doing them on two circulars and have had no problems with ladders. I do try to make sure I pull the yarn tight when knitting the first couple of stitches on each row.

Jesusan
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rnypaver
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  07:54:15 AM  Show Profile Send rnypaver a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also regularly use two circular needles and also use Onebutterflykoi's needle position which is what EZ recommended.....I think, and am currently not able to get to ny books, so if that trick is not an EZ trick, I hang my head in shame. I also hold my right index finger on the first stitch for.....oh I don't know...several stitches, mostly depending on the slipperiness of the yarn with which I'm working. I don't remember when I started doing that or how it came up, but it must have been fairly easy to learn. Watch tension closely as the edge stitch can end up too small, which is a real bummer to notice later. Square needles on thumbs (especially doing a complicated pattern) are a lifesaver. Hope this helps. Robin
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stitchellen
Warming Up

60 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  08:00:04 AM  Show Profile Send stitchellen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know I have posted this before, but here it is again: I use three short circular needles, two for holding stitches and the third for the working needle. I happened to discover this technique when I didn't have a long enough circular needle in the right size for a project but did have three short ones. The flexible cable allows snugging the last stitch on one needle to the first stitch on the second needle. No ladder! I use it for all circular knitting. The Knitters Pride circulars make it affordable. I have been knitting for 74 years, and until Cat Bordhi published her one-needle sock knitting technique I avoided sock knitting like the plague.
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knitterchristy
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  08:11:51 AM  Show Profile Send knitterchristy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For socks, if the pattern places stitches on needle #1, #2, #3, and #4, try using markers instead. Just place one after needle #1 stitches, etc. I would use one color for the beginning of the round. Also, pick another color to use for both the end of needle #1 and the end of needle #3---these are the spots where your decreases will happen. Remember that ssk is for the decreases at the start of a section or a needle, k2tog is used at the end of a section or a needle. You could also put a pin on your knitting if you need help remembering which side of the marker you are decreasing. This solves the ladder problem and really won't be difficult!
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salpal1
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  08:18:49 AM  Show Profile Send salpal1 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ikkivan

"who does not like to knit on DPNs but realize they are necesary"

Pam, the more I knit, the more I discover that DPNs are rarely ever needed. Try using the Magic Loop method for socks and mittens ... even if you should see some sort of line (which, as noted above, usually disappears with washing and wearing), there are only TWO to deal with rather than three or four.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)



Donna is right - and in addition to these choices, I often use two circular needles instead of 4 dpns, or magic loop.
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ItzMe
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  09:34:14 AM  Show Profile Send ItzMe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The thing that helped me the most with ladders to how I approach the first stitch on the needle. If it's a knit stitch, I go UNDER the right hand needle to knit the stitch. If that first stitch is a purl stitch, I go OVER the right hand needle to purl the first stitch on the left needle. That of course is in addition to the aforementioned advice to tighten the first few stitches.
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Daylily
New Pal

USA
33 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2013 :  12:30:40 PM  Show Profile Send Daylily a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I am knitting in the round, I do it in circular needles using the Magic Loop. To prevent ladders I do this after knitting the first stitch, I tighten it up , then knit the 2nd stitch and tighten both stitches, then knit the 3rd stitch and tug it a little tighter and then keep knitting, no ladders . I recently made a pair of gloves on circular needles even did the fingers on the circular. I do not have double pointed needles in my knitting supplies.

Daylily, another one tomorrow
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annalilly
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 11/22/2013 :  5:44:43 PM  Show Profile Send annalilly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've found that tightening the second stitch from the beginning of the new needle does the trick. In the process it also tightens the first stitch.
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FiberFevered
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  5:36:30 PM  Show Profile Send FiberFevered a Private Message  Reply with Quote
2 circular needles for me! DPNs and Magic Loop both yielded ladders when I use them to knit in the round. With 2 circs, I can pull extra tight on the last stitch once the stitches just worked have moved back onto the cord. You just can't pull the stitch as small with DPN's and Magic Loop.

FiberFevered
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rnypaver
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 11/23/2013 :  7:04:26 PM  Show Profile Send rnypaver a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree, two circular needles work best for me also when working in the round unless I'm doing mitten thumbs where I give up and use short square needles. I guess that I said that a couple of days ago. At intersections I do put the new needle on top of the old one to make the first stitch. I've tried yanking the yarn tight using various formulas which doesn't work well for me. What does work for me is to put my right index finger on top of the first stitch and trap/hold the tension between needles correctly. Don't remember learning to do it. The trapping finger needs to stay in place for several more stitches to keep the yarn from sneaking back. While on the subject of ladders, maybe I should go back to allowing them to form and making cute vertical vines on them, like threading long rose canes onto a trellis. New area for unique design elements. Perhaps we should make sure ladders do exist to mark our work as handmade. Maybe we should leave ladders intact as extra ventilation. I've never tried to make a uniform ladder as part of an open stitch pattern, sort of a little yarn over. No, I'm not poking fun at anyone, just writing down the background muttering. Exasperating rascals. Robin.
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