New to circular knitting

I’m knitting a hat, with size 8 circulars, and at the join place, there seems to be a ladder thing going on.
How do I get rid of that?

AND…question 2:
When I first began making the hat, I was told to use size 8 needles, with a 16 inch cable, which I did.
Problem was, I had to stretch the 80 cast on stitches so much, in order to join, I gave up. Seemed like I was forcing the 80 stitches to join on the 16 inch cable.
My remedy: use a 12 inch cable, which is working, but, what was I doing wrong? Or, was 80 sts too few a number to make a nice, UN-stretched hat? Why tell knitters to use a 16" cable if the cast ons won’t stretch enough to join comfortably?

It depends on the yarn you’re using. 80 stitches might be enough with a heavy yarn, but not with a thinner yarn. :shrug:

When you knit in the round, you’re not really knitting circles–you’re really knitting a long spiral. That’s why there is a bit of a jog where one round ends and the next begins. It’s normal.

A true ladder looks more like a run in a stocking. Those generally don’t happen with circs.

What size is the hat? If it is for an adult, then it should fit easily on the 16" needles, as most adult heads are well over 20". If your cast on sts don’t fit, then it is because the cast on is not long enough or because the needle is too long. Are you measuring your needle from tip to tip?

Also, about the ladder thing, they are quite common, and many people get them. They ate much less common with circs than with dpns, but yours is probably more visible since your stitches are stretched out.

Are you using an interchangeable system? A 16" cord with the ends will measure about 24-26". Needle length is measured tip to tip, not just the cord itself.