Persistent, maddening ladders using magic loop method

Perhaps I am an oddball amongst knitters, but I started knitting my in-the-round projects using the magic loop last year and I have been enjoying it thoroughly. I’ve always hated working with dpns, and I like the versatility and easy portability of the magic loop, along with the safeguard of sliding all your work onto the cable during transport and not risking fall-off.
OK, so much for that. I recently started knitting some socks again, for the first time since I’ve used the magic loop (I have been on hat and mitten kicks, and have used it for sweater sleeves in the round, etc) and I am getting these [U]BIG ASS LADDERS[/U] down each side of the sock, particularly at the beginning of round. :hair:
This really bugs me since I never had any laddering trouble when I used DPNs. But the Magic Loop is so convenient, I don’t want to give it up.
I tighten the heck out of Stitch One and Stitch Two on each needle, so that can’t be the problem.
Any ideas?

Usually ML mimizes laddering, but what you could do is shift the stitches over every round. When you get to the end of the first half, knit a couple stitches with the same needle, then do it again on the next set of sts.

I have both the sets of Denise interchangeable needles and the Boye needlemaster set. I don’t think that the Denise set works very well with ML, because the cable is kind of thick, and stretches the stitches on the left side too much, You might try some knitting on a thin flexible cable, and see what you think. If that’s not the problem, then I would just pull extra tight on the yarn before you knit in the first stitch.

Thanks for the feedback–
Actually, I am using Addi Turbo needles, so the cable is fairly thin. I’m also pulling [I]really[/I] tight on both stitches #1 and #2; in fact, while working on it last night, it occurred to me that I may be pulling too tight and THAT may be causing the laddering, because I was seeing a ladder in the middle of the first stitch on each needle.
So, I consulted the Magic Loop booklet by Galeskas/Hauschka, and found that it [I]does[/I] specifically say in there NOT to pull on the first stitch, because the first stitch will automatically tighten since the previous stitch is now pulling on the cable, not on the back needle.
So I knit about 5 inches of sock “not tugging”, and the ladder did actually decrease quite a bit (and is in the traditional location between the last stitch of the back needle and the first stitch on the working needle) but I still have a ladder there. Now, instead of really tight stitches on either end causing a ladder, I have really loose stitches on either end causing a ladder.
There’s only so many times I can reknit this yarn before it becomes a frizzy mess…grrrr.

I noticed this problem with the first ML item I did. Very frustrating. I’m working on a ML project right now though and am not having that problem at all. What I’m doing differently though is not putting the ML in the same spot every round. I pull the loop through at random spots as I go around and that prevents any single spot from laddering. I might have a single loose stitch, but all the stitches around it are tight enough to compensate.


Yep, sometimes when you knit a stitch too tight it pulls on the adjoining ones, just compounding the problem. Sounds like you should just knit normally. Also, washing or blocking afterwards will even out the stitches quite a lot. They don’t have to look perfect before that.

OK- I will try the moving-the-stitches-around-the-needle thing tonight and see what happens.
Sigh. Oh, if only there was not a catch to this quickie method. Of course, I couyld always go back to using dpns, because I had not laddering at all when I used those, but I don’t wanna.
Hmmm. I’ll have to check it again on my next project. I am using a woolless sock yarn this time around, and it’s not a blend that contains elastic, so that could also be contributing to the problem. Maybe I just haven’t found the magic tension level for ML either, yet.
I’ll be really interested to see the degree to which blocking helps.