Socks And Ladders

Sock knitters quite often complain about Ladders, those annoying little spaces that occur between double pointed needles while knitting in the round.  This happens all too often with a tight tension, when the yarn is held taut from one needle change to the next and has no chance to relax into its natural shape. 

Here are three simple solutions to try-

Let the first stitch on each needle loosen up, and tighten only the second stitch. 

Change the arrangement of stitches on the needles, every two or three rounds, so there is no consistent line between needles. 

Take a break from stocking stitch and try a ribbed or textured sock pattern.  This blurs the ladder line considerably.

After a few washings those sock ladders will be next to invisible.  

If you have any helpful knitting tips to share with our readers, we would love to hear from you.   Please feel free to leave a comment.

100_0774For sock knitters who enjoy the transitioning colourways of Noro and crave a bit of rustic charm, this diagonal rib pattern gives a subtle textured effect.  Why not knit a pair to tuck in a special friend’s stocking this Christmas, or keep a pair for yourself in a secret cupboard to wear on weekends.   Wherever they end up, they will be in demand.

Noro Silk Garden Socks

Size:  Women’s Medium

Needles:  2.75 mm double pointed

Yarn:  100g ball Silk Garden Sock col # 268

Cast on 60 sts.  Divide sts evenly onto 3 needles.  Join in round.  Work in K2/P2 ribbing for 1″.  Cont in Pattern as follows-

Rnd 1-4:  K1, *P2, K2*, rep *to*, end with, P2, K1

Rnd 5-8:  *P2, K2*, rep *to*

Rnd 9-12:  P1, *K2, P2*, rep *to*, end with, K2, P1

Rnd 13-16:  *K2, P2*, rep *to*.  Rep these 16 rnds until work meas 7″.

Make Heel:  K across first 15 sts, turn, P across 30 sts, cont on these 30 sts only for Heel.

Row 1- *SL1, K1*, rep *to*

Row 2- SL1, P across row.  Rep these 2 rows until heel meas 2.5″ ending with WS facing.

Shape Heel:  P15, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 2- K3, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 3- P4, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 4- K5, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 5- P6, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 6- K7, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 7- P8, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 8- K9, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 9- P10, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 10- K11, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 11- P12, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 12- K13, SL1, K1, PSSO, K1, turn

Row 13- P14, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 14- K15, SL, K1, PSSO, K1, turn = 16 sts

Shape Instep:  With RS facing, pick up and K 15 sts along side of Heel, cont in Pattern St across 30 sts from holder, pick up and K 15 sts along opposite side of Heel, K across 8 sts.  Divide sts- 23 sts on 1st needle, 30 sts on 2nd needle, 23 sts on 3rd needle = 76 sts.

Rnd 1- K to last 3 sts of 1st needle, K2tog, K1, work in Pattern across 2nd needle, K 1st st of 3rd needle, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to end of needle.

Rnd 2- Work in Pattern as set.  Rep these 2 rnds until 60 sts remain.  When Sock meas 7″ from Heel-

Shape Toe:  Divide sts as follows- 15 sts on 1st needle, 30 sts on 2nd needle, 15 sts on 3rd needle.

Rnd 1- K to last 3 sts of 1st needle, K2tog, K1, K1 st on 2nd needle, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to last 3 sts of same needle, K2tog, K1, K 1st st on 3rd needle, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to end of rnd.

Rnd 2- K across all needles.  Rep these 2 rnds until 20 sts remain.  Cut yarn and graft sts together.  Sew in ends.

3 Responses to “Socks And Ladders”

  1. Sarah G. says:

    My sock knitting tip comes from my grandmother. She taught us to cast on over two needles held together, then slide out the extra needle and knit ribbing as normal which makes the sock more elastic and then it does not cut off circulation in the leg. Just thought I would pass this along. I have used Silk Garden before but it was too thick for socks. Has it changed?

  2. michele says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for sharing that great tip! Sock knitters will appreciate it. You may have knit with the original Silk Garden in the past, a worsted weight yarn. Now it is available at your LYS in a sock weight and a dk weight as well, with the full spectrum of colourways.
    Happy Knitting!

  3. Jeannine says:

    Tip: after picking up heel stitches on french heel, knit into back of stitch on first row…this tightens up the join and prevents any gaps, also if you need to , even pick up a few more stitches , then decrease in the first few rows

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