Latching Up Stitches

This is the first of a series of short “How-To” lessons I plan to post here on the blog. While the information is old hat to a lot of you, there are so many new knitters out there (working on used machines all by themselves) that I figured I would start with some basics and then get progressively more involved and creative as time rolls on.

I think the important thing for new knitters to know about handling the latch tool is that slower, smoother motions ultimately end up being a lot faster than having to re-do the same thing over and over. Speed comes with experience so don’t rush it!

When I latch up a stitch, I concentrate on making sure that the old stitch slides smoothly over the latch to open it before I catch the next ladder bar in the open hook. Then just pull back enough for the old stitch to close the latch and slide over it. The fabric itself should hardly move – let the tool do the work.

When reforming stitches from the purl side, I always insert my tool into the bottom stitch in the column then release the stitch from its needle and let the stitch drop back to the tool. Dropping first means you would have to poke around to insert the tool through the stitch and sometimes that isn’t as easy as it looks. Doing it first is much safer and a whole lot easier.

I really love the way a tuck stitch looks along side cables and in addition to looking a bit more open than a reformed knit stitch (purl on the other side), tuck has the added advantage of returning a little width to the fabric. Lots of cables can cause a fabric to become narrower so using a tuck at each side of a cable actually returns that width to the fabric. With very large sizes, it could mean the difference between having enough needles – or not – to knit your garment!

Author: Susan Guagliumi

I’m a machine knitter, author, gardener and pretty good cook. I live in Connecticut with my husband, Arthur.

10 thoughts on “Latching Up Stitches”

  1. Hello,
    Will you post more about working with tuck stitches and cables? Currently, I’m planning a baby blanket and hope to combine these techniques. Would you tuck the MB and put the cables on the
    ribber? Love to know more…

    1. If it is just a simple all-over tuck you could do it on the ribber – if it is a patterned tuck you need to do it on therein bed where you have punch card or electronic selection. If it is an all-over pattern that can be tucked on either bed, choose the bed where you are the most comfortable crossing the cables. I do plan to do some posts on double bed cables , but there are a whole lot of other topics I have lined up and ready to go first. bear with me!Make sure you subscribe to the blog so that you get an email notice whenever there is a new posting!

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