My “slip back and forth” method to avoid ladders when using “magic loop”

I am sure someone must have thought of this before, anyhow here is a way I’ve “discovered” to make sure there is no laddering when knitting small circumferences in the round with magic loop.

I was travelling with a single longish cable and two interchangeable tips, thinking I’d be working two sleeves flat at the same time. Problem is, the pattern called for knitting in the round. The Chiaogoo Red Lace cable I had with me is pretty stiff. The yarn I was using is woolen spun, and prone to breaking if pulling too much. The result of these two things together was quite a bit of laddering at the “join” of the two half of my sleeve.

I solved it as I describe below.

The starting point is with about half of the stitches on each “side” of the magic loop. The right needle tip is free, half of the stitches are sitting on the left needle tip, the other half are sitting on the cable.

  1. Work all the stitches on the left needle – now you have half the stitches on the right needle tip, half on the cable, and the left needle tip is free.
  2. insert the tip of the left needle into the three stitches on the right needle closest to the tip (Figure 1)
Figure 1 – the left needle (free) picks the three stitches on the right needle closest to that tip
  1. transfer said three stitches from the right to the left needle – note that the two stitches closest to the tip of the left needle are nice and tight (Figure 2).
Figure 2: transfer the last three stitches you worked onto the right needle
  1. transfer the free stitches from the cable to the left needle, and pull the right needle free, so that you can use it to work the stitches on the left needle.
  2. Since you have already worked the first three stitches on the left needle, slip them onto the right needle (Figure 3)
Figure 3: transfer back the three worked stitches onto the left needle
  1. continue working as normal (Figure 4)
Figure 4: ready to work the first stitch following the three slipped stitches

True, this method slows down a bit, but the laddering disappears, as you can see below: the needle tip points to the first row where I have adopted this method – below there is a ladder, above the fabric is even. I think this is worth it, don’t you agree?

Figure 5: I am pulling the fabric a bit to exaggerate the laddering, but it is clearly there – no laddering in the top part!

No big deal with this specific yarn, Rowan Valley Tweed in colourway 103 Raydale as it blooms a lot and will take care of it, but even so, I’d rather start from a fabric which looks as good as possible!

%d bloggers like this: