Ever since I started knitting socks, there was one area that I always had trouble with and it wasn’t an area that everyone had difficulties with either. It was the toe decreases. They were really easy to do, but for some reason my toes always laddered no matter how tight I had pulled the previous stitches or how loose I left them.
I kept on doing the same thing sock after sock. They would look good when I knit them, but when I wore them the yarn relaxed and a ladder appeared. It was really frustrating. Eventually, it got so bad that I would put off doing toes for a while because I didn’t like how they looked. I always thought they made me look like a sloppy knitter even after I spent all that time trying to figure out how to make my knitting look completely seamless and professional. It is just what I like to do with my knitting.
Then a small miracle happened. For some reason, when I was working on my second afterthought heel (which is basically a toe), I changed my paired decreases from a k2tog/ssk to a k2tog/s1k1psso. For those not fluent in knit-speak, instead of doing the standard slip-slip-knit left leaning decrease, I changed it to a slip one-knit one-pass slipped-stitch-over left leaning decrease.
There are no ghost ladders at all!
I do have a theory about this. I might have been over tightening the ssk so much that when I did my k2tog there wasn’t enough slack to make the paired decreases stay smooth. Which caused a ladder to appear when I wore the socks. Because I am doing nothing but slipping one stitch over an already knitted stitch, I am not over tightening anything and the k2tog has enough give to work up and be snug.
Since I am not 100% sure that I have solved my toe problem (even though it looks like it), I am going to do my fiance’s second sock decreases using the k2tog/s1k1psso paired decreases and see if it wears any differently than the first sock. Then I will solve once and for all the mystery of the ladders on my sock toes.