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beadsnyarn
Chatty Knitter

USA
180 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  12:26:25 AM  Show Profile Send beadsnyarn a Private Message
Hello! I haven't posted in awhile because I've been busy KNITTING my life away! I've finished some great projects though (pictures will come after Christmas), but I'm having a little trouble with these darn socks for my husband. I've knitted socks before, but only singles that didn't turn out quite right (didn't check gauge, didn't do kitchener right...). Anyway, I decided to try again since my hubby wouldn't wear a hat or scarf and I didn't have time to do a sweater. I finished the first sock tonight and it looks just okay. You can really see the looseness from where the yarn is strained between the needles. No matter how hard I tug at the first few stitches on each needle, it's still loose. It's created what look like holes, but are really just big stitches. I've read about doing slip stitches at the beginning of rows, but I'm afraid that would mess up my pattern. It's a slip stitch pattern that creates vertical lines and horizontal ribbing. (It's from the book shaped like a sock.) Also, you can really see the looseness on the bottom of the foot. Everything else is fine except the leg could be longer, but it's too late to fix that!

Any tips for me before I start the second sock? I'd really like these to be socks he could wear for more than just "around the house" socks.

Beverly

P.S. I'm using Knitpicks Essential yarn, so they're washable. Do you think washing will help even out the stitches?

JudyM
Chatty Knitter

USA
270 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  07:49:20 AM  Show Profile Send JudyM a Private Message
Two ideas here, Beverly: first, when working on double-pointed needles, it's a common problem to have "ladders" form at the needle intersections. You can avoid this by re-adjusting your stitches every few rounds. Slipping one or two stitches from the end of one needle to the beginning of the next (or vice versa) should eliminate the long row of loose stitches.

Second, what size needles are you using? Lucy Neatby says we should use the smallest needle size we can stand, and I believe she's right. With standard sock-weight yarn, I now use US size 1, and I have a friend who's switched to US size 0 and gets wonderful results. In many cases this means adjusting the pattern by adding extra stitches, but this isn't too hard after you've done a few. Using smaller needles equals more stitches - either more work or more fun! - but you get a sock that is thicker, warmer, and longer lasting.

>> It's a slip stitch pattern that creates vertical lines and horizontal ribbing. >> (It's from the book shaped like a sock.)

Is this Knit Socks, by Betsy Lee McCarthy? Which pattern are you making? If it's the Classy Slip-Up, that's the one I'm working on right now, and it's turning out very well, with Mega Boots Stretch. Don't let yourself get discouraged!

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Suzann
Seriously Hooked

USA
869 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  08:00:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Suzann's Homepage Send Suzann a Private Message
I agree, probably a smaller needle would help. When you start knitting on the next needle, knit the first stitch as normal. Don't tug at it. As you knit the second stitch, tighten up. If you tug at the first stitch, it loosens up again as you knit the second one. Do all your tightening on the second stitch. Hold the needles close to each other as you do the first two stitches. This advice from the wonderful Fran. It works no matter what kind of needles you use, dpns, 2 cables, magic loop. Tighten the second stitch. Hold the needles close to each other.
And if you are using dpns, follow Judy's advice about shifting the stitches around.

After I make the inital join, I shift the join around to the middle of a needle. So it doesn't have the strain of the new join and the end of the row on it.
Good luck, and happy knitting

Suzann

Making cables is like making love. There is a lot of foreplay before you get to the deed
http://lostpurl.blogspot.com/

http://www15.brinkster.com/lyricalarmy/lace/lace.htm
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AusTexSusan
Chatty Knitter

USA
345 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  09:43:23 AM  Show Profile Send AusTexSusan a Private Message
I also agree with the sage advice offered by Suzann and Judy (and Fran).

And yes, some of the stitches will even up after washing. Don't put them in the dryer, and don't tug at them when wet -- just gently flatten.

Also, I always use five needles -- four to hold the stitches, and one to work the stitches. With four needles, instead of three, the angles are narrower, and less chance to have ladders. I also use short needles (5-inch), but that's personal preference.

And, yes, don't get discouraged.

Susan
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beadsnyarn
Chatty Knitter

USA
180 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  10:05:52 AM  Show Profile Send beadsnyarn a Private Message
Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies! (I love this forum)

Yes, Judy....I'm doing the Classy Slip-up. I think it is a very nice pattern. It says for either man or woman, but after doing it in a solid navy yarn, it seems so manly...not too "patterned", but interesting.

I'm using size 2 needles since that's what's called for. My other sock projects have been duds, so I'd be nervous to do adjusting. Maybe after I get these under my belt, I might try it. I have some Sockotta yarn just waiting to be made into a nice pair of socks!

I also only used 4 dpns even though the pattern called for 5. I just adjusted how many were on each needle. I didn't have 5 size 2's when I started but I do now, so I'll follow Susan's advice!

I'll try shifting the stitches too. Seems like a great idea and also Suzanne...I'll give tugging at the second stitch a try. I really like making socks, but just needed some tips on making them "handmade" and not homemade, if you know what I mean.

I really appreciate the help!

Have a great Christmas.
Beverly
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knits_for_preemies
Permanent Resident

USA
1957 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  11:44:44 AM  Show Profile  Visit knits_for_preemies's Homepage Send knits_for_preemies a Private Message
Read this thread by SpinaYarn concerning ladders. It is great. It is also what I do, and as SpinaYarn did, I discovered it by accident.
http://knittersreview.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=47414

Mainly I keep the current needle that I am knitting stitches from on top of the others. I also tug on the first two stitches of that needle. I NEVER have ladders! ! ! Really easy.

That way I never have to bother with shifting stitches around, which I think would be hard when you are trying to do a pattern stitch of some sort or when you are in the gussett part of the sock.

Check out SpinaYarn's idea--it's a really cute writing as well.

Barbara
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beadsnyarn
Chatty Knitter

USA
180 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2005 :  10:32:37 PM  Show Profile Send beadsnyarn a Private Message
I tried the trick of moving stitches around and it has worked wonders! No ladders at all. At the end of every needle, I work two stitches off the next needle. I know someone said they only do it every few rounds, but I wanted to be sure it'd work. I put a stitch marker at the beginning of the round, so I knew when to change the pattern stitches and when I get to the gusset, I'll put stitch markers at the end of each set of needle stitches. That way I'll know when to decrease. I feel so much better about knitting socks! But ugh...who stole the hours from this evening? I swear it was only 6:00 a few minutes ago! I don't have near enough finished tonight. I guess that means a serious knitting marathon tomorrow! (plus, I have until about 2:00 on Christmas day if I get desperate).

Thanks again!
Beverly
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