My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Is It? Yes!

It’s Friday! Woo-hoo!


Question du Jour

A new blog reader (Hi Dennis!) asks:

“How do I keep the “line” that forms between my dpn’s when knitting in the round on dpns ?”

Okay . . . um . . . don’t hate me, but . . . um . . . I never get a line that forms between dpns.

But I do know what you mean — that line of loose stitches that makes it obvious that you were knitting on dpns, right?

I can tell you this — I do consciously tighten up on the first stitch on each dpn when knitting socks. I’ve also heard that using 5 instead of 4 dpns helps alleviate the problem — I always use 5 dpns.

Any of you guys have any other ideas?


Finished the first sleeve:


And I’ve started the second sleeve. I haflheartedly attempted to phootgraph the start of the second sleeve, but kept getting blurry shots, so gave up. Hint: it looks like the first sleeve.

After I finished the first sleeve and cut open the second armhole steek, I did try it on — just to see how it’ll fit. Looks good! Sleeves aren’t too long and on me and it’s a nice tunic length. Too bad I won’t be wearing it for real until next winter. But weather permitting, I’ll be puttin’ on the Hank for a photo shoot upon completion.


  1. It’s easy to avoit that “ladder”…You just have to knit a few of the stitches of the new needle to the old needle….
    For example, you have 64 stitches, 16 per needle. You knit 17 stitches putting them all in the same needle (the first one of the second needle will then go on the first needle). Then you take your spare needle, and knit 16 stictches (or 17 if you like) and so on. That way, you never change needles in the same place, and you don’t have a loose joint on top of another, forming that sort of ladder…

  2. Easy ladder solution : wash knitting ,whilst damp yank it about vertically and horizontally. Don’t be afraid to be vigorous !Then pat & block to shape.As EZ said ”Time is a great evener”.

  3. Another easy solution (easiest for me):

    When you’ve knitted the stitches off one needle (and I also use 5 dpns), take the new empty needle, place it above the just-worked needle, and form a tent with the empty needle and the about-to-be-worked needle with the just-worked needle pointing through the front. In other words, instead of starting to knit with your empty needle underneath the just-worked needle, start to knit with it above. I hope that makes’s so much easier to show than to explain. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Oh, and Wendy, that picture of Izzy is almost looks like her arm isn’t connected to her body the right way because her head is turned so far away from it..hehe. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe I just need more sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. My answer about avoiding ladders was getting a bit long, so I decided to post it on my weblog… I hope that is okay with you, Wendy!

    BTW, Hank looks great…wonderful colors…

  6. ******* Beautiful! ******* Have a wonderful weekend,Wendy! Lucky sends his love to Izzy!

  7. wendy, can i ask a question? if you have already answered it before, sorry! while stranding, do you carry the lighter color underneath, or on top?
    thanks! hope you have a great weekend, you sound less stressed than last week!

  8. Yikes!
    I didn’t know that Izzy was also a contortionist! I know cats can adopt funny positions, but that looks positively freaky–the ‘ol gal is still quite limber!!
    Question for next week–since you mentioned that you won’t get to wear Hank until the fall, do the projects you knit in the warmer months change as well? Me–with A/C, I’m cold all the time, so I usually don’t change (my UFOs span all seasons!!) Have a great weekend!

  9. i’ve always been told to make sure you pull the second stitch really tight on the next needle. i assume it’s because pulling tight on the first one won’t last if you’re too loose on the next or something? anyway, i usually knit about the first 2 or 3 really tight (like i stop between each stitch and make sure it’s very firm around the needle) and i haven’t had a laddering problem. in fact, i think i have more ladders w/ the two circs method than with double pointeds because it’s lot harder to get tight on two circs because you can’t really keep the needles perpendicular to each other as easily when you get to the joins

  10. I find the “knitting a few stitches onto the next needle” method works well for me. But every now and then one might choose to not do that (Lucy Neatby’s “Fiesta Feet” socks come to mind). In that case, I’ve found that wrapping the yarn around the needle in the “wrong” direction on the last 2 stitches of needle 1 and the first 2 stitches on needle 2 helps. If you generally wrap counter-clockwise, try wrapping the other way. Uses less yarn and seems to close up that ladder nicely.

    Wendy, since I found your blog a few weeks ago, it’s my morning must-read. P’raps you mentioned this earlier, but I’m curious. Are you a picker or a thrower?

    I’m about to knit a pair of socks using your generic pattern. (always on the lookout for the perfect toe-up pattern). Thanks for that!

  11. I’m on my second pair of socks now, and I went down a needle size. I’ve found that I had ladders on the first pair but not on the second. So it seems like smaller gauge is less likely to ladder than larger. I went from size 2 to size 1, and my gauge went from 7 or 7.5 sts per inch to a solid 8.

    Hank is wonderful – have a great weekend!

  12. Thank you all for those tips. I liked the “knitting a few stitches onto the next needle”. Sounds like a great idea. I have been tightening up the first stitch on new needle after I start the second stitch. I’m on my second pair of socks now too.

  13. Wow! That corrugated ribbing on the cuff of Hank is spectacular! What a great shot of the colors. Thanks!

  14. I do consciously tighten up the first couple of stitches on each row, and instead of ending up with ladders I always end up with lines where they’re too tight… hard to describe, and less visible than ladders, but still crummy. However, I shall try blocking the socks and will see if that helps.

  15. I second everyone who said to snug up the first few stitches of each needle tightly, *especially* the second stitch. For some reason, the second stitch really is the key. I just think once the first stitch is worked, you have a better anchor for tightening everything up on the second.

    I’ve wondered whether you tend to carry the light over the dark as well; I know it can make a real difference in the finished work, so do you think about that ahead of time?

  16. Jo from NYC says:

    Hi Wendy,
    hank is coming along swimmingly.I love watching your progress and admiring your FO’s-beautiful and inspring!I have a few questions for you,and for fair isle sweater knitters in general,1.)What do you do about the “dreaded jog”?I see how it wouldnt be a problem for a cardi,as all starts and begins w/the steek,but a jumper?I have a method I use,that works quite well(rats, should’ve sent it to your readers tips)but …..I’m wondering about it for a full size sweater.Didnt mean to write a tome here,but also,do you have a secret pile of UFO’s somewhere?Also,how big is your stash?And finally(for today anyway)Where do you put all your sweaters and such,after looking at your FO page I think your closets must be popping.Well,pardon,I’m an Aquarius and we’re are naturally curious people.

    have a great wknd,and pet Izzy for me.(I wont tell my Izzy)

  17. Regarding “ladders,” tightening that second stitch on the needle is the key. Also, if you’re doing ribbing, make sure you’re starting each needle with a knit–it seems to make the tightening process a bit easier for me.

  18. Izzy as Yoga Mistress? Sigh. I was that flexible once. Wendy, you’ve had a ton of good questions already this morning but I’m going to dump one more in the “Ask Mz. Wendy” pile: On the delicate subject of, er, errors. Since I’ve ever noticed any pattern errors in any of your stuff, what are you doing? A) My knitting is perfect, I don’t make mistakes; B) I rip back if I spot one so my knitting can be perfect; C) I make a judgment call about how noticeable it is and move on; D) Other?

    Lolly ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Woo Hoo… Do you think Izzy was a yogi in another life? I use Sam and Maggie as my daily guide in my yoga. I love how Hank is turning out!!! You are really tempting me to make a Starmore myself!!

    Give Izzy a little scratch under the chin for me and Sam and Maggie says “Meow Yeow” (TGIF)!

  20. I know there have been loads of replies about avoiding ladders now but I have a different strategy. I slip the last stitch from each needle on to the spare needle before starting the next one. It means your stitch markers gradually moves around the needles but it stopped my ladders.


  21. Hi Wendy, I’ve been following your progress (as usual, but I’m not a prolific commentator) and just have to add my kudos to your already very tall pile. Yours is the first Henry VIII I’ve seen using pure Jamieson Spindrift. Have you had any opportunities to compare it side-by-side with one built of the AS Campion? I’d be interested to hear what, if any, differences you note.

  22. I realize everyone has already given their feedback on the laddering problem, but I wanted to add mine.

    I tighten up on the second new stitch as well. When you do this, you are conciously pulling harder on the previous stitch as you make the new one. It doesn’t do much to the second stitch in terms of “tension” actually.

    Knitting the first stitch tighter doesn’t work as well because, as Andrea said, you don’t have much of an anchor.

  23. I have been using the “Magic Loop” for my last few pair of socks, and so far it’s hands down my favorite. No ladders! It seems to put much much less stress on the first and last stitches. I also knit almost exclusively on size 0 and 1 for sock weight yarn.

    Wendy, Henry is just da bomb! I can’t wait to see him all finished up!

    Happy Easter!

  24. Hi Wendy,
    The colors in Henry are absolutely beautiful!!! You must have a good camera. Thanks for sharing your progress as the comments show, everyone appreciates you.