Dumb questions about socks

Socks really aren’t hard–you can do it! And remember there are all sorts of sock-makers here, so anytime you feel stuck, just ask–no question is a dumb one.

My advices:

  1. Use the yarn you have for now; it will work just fine–you can branch out once you feel comfortable.

In fact, make the first sock, and then if you really like the work you’ve done–even with its occasional boo boo–you can get yarn you really like, yarn that will be comfortable to wear, and you can knit the first full pair of socks with confidence.

  1. Take making your first sock one bit at a time–don’t look ahead or you’ll just unnecessarily scare yourself. (It happened to me!)

I agree with Angelia 100%, just take it one step @ a time and remember…have fun :happydance: :happydance:
You are too sweet, Angelia :wink:
Cate, I know I’ve seen one, I’ll look around for a knee sock :thumbsup:

Thanks, Rebecca! I’ve found a couple for toe-up, but I’m a bit intimidated by the figure eight cast on.

Cate, I found this knee sock tutorial link; if this isn’t exactly what u r looking for just google free patterns for knitting knee socks, or something like that & u will get tons of links :wink:

That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for! Thanks, Rebecca! :heart:

Hey- while we are talking about socks, I have a problem/question. I am knitting a pair on size 2 circular needles, using luscious sock yarn called Regia silk color- 55% merino, 20% silk, 25% polyamid. My problem is that I have a gap on either side where I switch from needle to needle. (I guess this will only make sense to those of you who have done socks on circs). I am pulling my yarn as tight as possible for those first few stitches on each needle, but I still have a noticable difference on the sides. Any advice? I think I am going to frog what I have done so far- it’s only about 3 1/2 inches. The needles that I am using are too long- 32 inches. I think I am going to try my size 3’s, which are shorter. I just don’t want to have this gap thing going on on the sides! I didn’t really have this problem with the last pair, but the yarn wasn’t as thin. :??

Margie, I’ve not done socks on circs yet, but I have done other projects with the same 2 circ method and it’s my thought that it’s the same as with changing from dpn to dpn…in all actuality, if u pull too tightly on the 1st st on the next needle, it will also cause ladders…I thought that to be the dumbest thing I had ever heard whem the owner of my LYS told me that! Well, I was gonna prove her wrong & continue doing it…LOL, she was right! I found (& have read from much more experienced knitters) that if you give a bit of a tug on the 2nd st that it really helps with the ladders on my dpns, but, as I said, I’m not that experienced with circs, but I would think it’s probably the same deal with the needle change.
Another thing that I have done & read about it redistributing the sts on the ends of the needles every now & then if u just can’t get rid of ladders for some reason, this may also work on circ. :thumbsup:
EDIT Margie, I was just googling around for a better answer to your question and came upon this site and I’m sure that if you email this person @ andrade.az.com that u will get a better answer, or perhaps find it on her (or his!) site :wink:

Thanks, Rebecca!! I will poke around there and see what I can come up with! :thumbsup:

:wink: U bet

I don’t know if this will work on the two circs…or that I even remember the directions clearly–I was overwhelmed by luscious yarns–but one of the LYS ladies was working on a baby mitten on dpns. (It was gorgeous and absolutely flawless.)

Anyway, I asked her how she avoided ladders. She said that she twists the last stitch of the cast on before joining the ends together and has never had a ladder problem. EVER. And she’s been knitting for decades. Anyone ever heard about this or tried it?

I have heard about twisting the cast on edge togther to get a flawless edge.
I just recently bought the cat bordhi book about the socks soaring on 2 circs. It her book you actually take the first and last stitch of the cast on loop and switch them around. It closes the end and forms a tidy circle. I have tried the 2 circs when I was in a bind doing a hat, didn’t have the dpns in the right side, but had my Denise’s. It was great and so much easier. Esp if you need to set down the knitting periodically, no slipping off stitches.
I am going to try the beginners pair of the socks in the book later this week.
Currently finishing up my celtic hat first.

THAT’S IT!!! Thanks EC. :thumbsup:

I knew I was forgetting part of the process (the LYS disorients me…). The LYS lady swears by this method; she says she learned it when she first started knitting (probably 40 years ago) and it has always worked for her–never any ladders.

I can’t wait to try it!

You might like to try the sock slipper pattern here at KH; the one with the moon. Just skip the intarsia and you have an easy quick sock to knit to get the fundamentals down without having to knit a long cuff.

sorry to highjack…

i’m late to this thread, but i just wanted to share that i cast on for my first pair of socks about 6 weeks ago now - i didn’t start easy - rebecca had previously given me a lot of wonderful information, and after careful consideration, i decided to just go for it - i went for sock yarn - 2 pairs at once on 2 circulars (size 2).

i’m going toe up, and i knit for about 4 inches of both socks, only to realize that i was getting ladders (i kept looking at the socks for them but didn’t see them until i realized that the socks would actually be oriented 90 degrees over on my foot then where i had previously thought). i got so frustrated that they’ve been sitting unfinished ever since (or unripped, because i’m definitely going to have to redo them). the frustrating thing is that i was pulling as tight as a possibly could on the first stitch to try to avoid the ladders:(

i am a tight knitter to begin with, so i was really really really having to pull this first stitch tightly. after reading this thread (and once i’ve finished the last of the holiday presents that i’m working on) i am inspired to give it another go and try knitting the first stitch normally and pulling the second one in super tight… i will let you know how it goes (or if anyone has tried it by now, i’d be interested to know). i am curious though, am i supposed to be doing anything special in terms of tension to the second to last or last stitch before changing needles or can i solve this ladder problem by always adjusting the tension after the needle change??

also, i swear by casting on an extra stitch and then knitting it together with the first stitch when joining into the round to get a strong join. i’ve tried switching the positions of the first and last as well, but i like the former method better for some reason…

i can see i needed to vent about my poor unfinished socks badly:)

emeraldcutie, I just finished my first pair of socks using Cat Bordhi’s book. I did the beginner’s pair in the beginning of the book, and am really pleased with how they turned out. I got stuck on the gussett, but other than that they went well.

Metalsgirl- I am having ladder problems, and wish I had some advice for you. I am a tight knitter, and the rest of my sock looks fantastic, with the exception of the ladders on the sides. I didn’t have this problem with my first pair. I don’t know if my problem is due to the thin yarn and small needles that I am using. I tried pulling my first few stitches tight, but the ladders are still there. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know!

Switching to using 4 working needles instead of 3 working needles cured {or nearly cured} my problem with ladders. All of my socks {with the exception of the woolies I’m working on right now for DH} have been made with fine yarn and small needles. I find that the stress on the yarn at the gap between needles is less with the extra needle.

To get rid of the ladders:

  1. Add stitch markers to keep you aware of which stitches go on needles 1, 2, & 3 (or 4 if you use that many).

  2. As you knit the calf and foot portion (i.e., excluding the heel flap & turn/gusset and toe decrease), knit two or three extra stitches on each needle, and do this every round. In this way, the stressed stitch moves, relaxes itself, and thus cannot ladder.

  3. Then once you get to the heel flap or the toe decrease, you just move the stitches onto their proper needles.

I’ve knit several socks like this and have had NO ladders–NONE. :cheering:

Thanks to Rebecca the Sock Empress for that tip :wink: :heart: :heart:

margie - i realized after i posted that we were both trying to do the same technique with the same size needles. i’m bummed that the tugging method hasn’t worked for you (i haven’t tried it yet)

angelia - that makes perfect sense on 4 or 5 needles.

any thoughts on how to correct ladders when only using two circs to knit two socks at the same time?

maybe i ought to just give up on this method and go back to using DP but i am a real fan (in concept) of being able to get them both done at once:)


Tugging worked for me, but as someone else said, you have to tug the second stitch on the needle not the first. It truly makes a difference.

BTW, my first pair of socks were on size 2.5" self patterning fingerweight yarn using a ribbed pattern.

I decided that the tugging wasn’t working for me- I did a bunch of rounds tugging the 2nd stitch, and the ladders were just as wide as before.
I put down that sock, and started another pair. I am using Scoeller Stahl Limbo Mexiko yarn, which is heavier than the Opal I was working with. I am also using size 3 needles instead of 2. I have NO ladders at all with this sock! I am done with the leg and ready to start the heel flap. So, I’m guessing that my problem is the thin yarn I was using and my newness with using it? I think I will wait a bit on it and then go back and try again, maybe with size 1 needles. In the meantime, this pair seems to be turning out nicely!