My Photo

Become a Fan

« Pagewood Farms Reviews | Main | Knitting and Fringe »

September 10, 2008



I find it's best to do the first stitch at regular tension and then tighten up the SECOND stitch of each needle. I hope this helps! Don't give up hope!! I use both circulars and double points and love them equally.

Marion Wilhelm

I knit on one circular using the magic loop technique but try changing the spots where you switch from one needle to the other. I change around every few rows and then the "gaps" work themselves closed.
Good luck.


I agree with the first comment - tightening second stitch works like a charm. Don't be afraid to make it really tight. Knit the rest of the sock as usual. Tension evens out and the ladders disappear. I use the magic loop primarily.

Amanda Cathleen

personally, I can tell you that I dislike knitting socks on circulars. Wither it be with 2 circs or magic loopin it with 1. When it comes time to turn the heel the way the needles need to be held to knit just kills my hands. Sometimes though, I will use magic loop to knit sleeves for sweaters, but I still love my dpns.


I tried using 2 circulars but couldn't keep up with the dangling ends. I've been using the magic loop method for some time now without any quality problems. It might be something to try if you continue to struggle with the 2 circulars.


I've had the same experience recently. I even tried tightening that second stitch. It helped a smidge, but not enough for my liking. I'm back to dpns. It really came down to the mindset of "if it isn't broken, why fix it?" I love my dpns!


I have had the same problem with knitting socks on 2 circs even tho I never have with DPN's. I find that using one very long circ instead works well. You have to make that first stitch much tighter than you think necessary & tighten the 2nd one up too. I just find that easier to do on one circ or on DPNs than on 2 circs for some reason.


Magic Loop all the way! No ladders.


I am just the opposite - only get ladders on dp's. While I've never had that problem with Magic Loop nor 2 circulars, maybe the following will help you. From Antje Gillingham's book "Knitting Circles Around Socks": "pull the end of the (back) needle to the right so the stitches are sitting on the cable rather than the needle. Make sure you squeeze the tip of the (front) needle and the cable of the (back) needle tight together; this will prevent a gap from forming." Her photo shows it perfectly. Basically hold the back cable in your hand along with the front needle for the 1st stitch or 2. Hope this helps!

Kathryn Sigman

I have never used dpn's! I use two circulars or magic loop and to tighten up my stitches I slip one stitch from the right needle onto the left one, then I lift the stitch under that one from the left needle over the first stitch and onto the right needle. I never have ladders.


As someone else suggested, you could try moving the stitches around so a different stitch is the "first" stitch after the changeover each time.

Or, if it's just ladders because of purls (I notice that problem when knitting socks, even on dpns) at the start of the "new needle", move the stitches so there's a knit at the start.

Personally? I prefer dpns so that's what I use. I've even used them on patterns written for 2 circulars. I understand wanting to have different techniques to use but I also know I like to use what works well for me.


I have had that exact problem with my DPNs (tightening makes the ladders worse) and--this is crazy--I found that when I DIDN'T pull them really tight, the tension smoothed out. I don't know why. It's like I was pulling too tight and making them all wonky. Anyway, it might be worth a shot, if you're devoted.

I started on DPNs, then went to 2 circs, then 1 circ, then recently back to DPNs because I like the circs, but I feel like DPNs are more fun, somehow. Anyway, good luck!

Sandra D

As you can see, different preferences and different solutions for different knitters. I agree with the "tighten the second loop" strategy, but that doesn't always work for everyone. Sometimes I find it's a function of the type of needle I'm using (metal vs. bamboo, for example).

When you switch from one needle to the next, are you making the new stitch with the previous one still on the needle portion or on the cable? If it's on the needle, try moving it to the cable before making your first stitch. However, this can tighten the previous stitch so much that it's difficult to move it past the join next time it comes around. I really dislike circulating the stitches around, especially if I'm working a pattern other than plain stockinette or ribbing, basically because it doesn't eliminate the loose stitch, just the ladder effect of them all stacking up, so they're less visible.

Finally, if you're happy on dpns, decide why you really need to use circulars. I prefer dpns for top down socks, and 2 circs for toe up and times when I'm doing lace or Fair Isle where needle changes disrupt the flow. But 2 circs aren't faster for me, or more comfortable, or necessarily better. Just different.


If you love dpns, use them! Feel no pressure to join the circ cult. Millions of socks have been happily knit with them. I notice the Yarn Harlot uses dpn's, as do most of the people in her photos. There are some gorgous dpn options to buy if you want variety, and you will never have a problem with the cable join. I use circs myself because patterns neatly divide into front and back in my head and it is easier to "see" what I am doing, but I do wish I liked dpn because they seem more professional, somehow.


I'm a Looper- The first comment is the method suggested by Kat Bohrdi in her pathways book. Works for me.


I use DPNs and have no real need or desire to learn circs. I don't dislike circs and I'm sure they are great for the people that love them but I just dont feel the calling. AND don't feel I really need to even try. Before you think I am not adventurous type realize I am also the woman in our family that joined the Army at the age of 38 because it seemed like an adventure (age requirement waived for medical personel).
Knit with what you like. Knit with what you love. LOL Just knit!!

Liz in IN

I'm with the 'tighten the 2nd stitch' crowd, but it also helps just to pay a bit more attention to the first couple of stitches (more attn than with dpns).

One big reason I like 2 circs is, I can choose to knit the sole of the sock on a slightly smaller needle = a tighter, longer-wearing fabric. Can't do that (easily) with dpns.


Have you tried the new HiyaHiya 9" circulars? They are fantastic!! A tiny circular needle just for knitting socks! At first I thought there was no way you could knit with a needle so small, but these are amazing! They are perfect for knitting socks - no mor DPN's, struggling with magic loop or two circulars for me!

The comments to this entry are closed.