Tutorial: Ladderback Jacquard knitting in the round – your stretchy Fair Isle friend

Tutorial: Ladderback Jacquard knitting in the round – your stretchy Fair Isle friend

While testing for my new pattern Kiwi as! Summer Socks (coming soon!) I was looking for a better way to do Fair Isle in the round when you have to carry the contrasting yarn around a larger area without knitting it. I came across the Ladderback Jacquard method, which is so brilliantly easy that it is just perfect for me.

I was always intimidated by colourwork. Whenever I tried to knit it in the round it was just not very stretchy and the stitches were too stretched out or kept showing on the right side when I put the socks on.

The Ladderback Jaquard remedies that.

This web is super stretchy and also (for me at least) fun to knit. And what is best: It is completely invisible from the outside!

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard seen from the inside of the socks

And here is how I knit the Ladderback Jacquard

  1. Knit to the place where you would like to insert a ladder stitch.

I like to knit a ladder stitch ever four stitches, this keeps the web in the back nice and stretchy.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

2. Place both strands of yarn in the front

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

3. Lift the stitch UNDER the next stitch onto the left needle as if I would do a right leaning increase.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

4. Purl the lifted stitch with the contrasting yarn KEEPING THE MAIN COLOUR STRAND IN THE FRONT.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

5. Bring both strands to the back again. See how the main colour strand lies in front of the contrasting colour? You won’t see it from the front.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

6. Knit the next stitch in the main colour.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

7. Repeat steps 1-6 until you have all the ladder stitches you need.

Now all your ladder stitches are safely and invisible anchored in your knit fabric.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

Once you are done with your colourwork section and no longer need the ladder stitches you can anchor the the stitches invisibly to your fabric by simply knitting it together with the next stitch using the main colour.

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard

Isn’t this beautifully simple?

You will not see the contrasting colour popping through like it sometimes does when you just twist the yarns around each other.

From the back it looks like this:

Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard anchored to the fabric
Ladderback Jacquard
Ladderback Jacquard anchored to the fabric

And from the right side all you see is this: This is the unblocked Kiwi As! Summer Socks sock with the slim Fair Isle part visible and the ladderback on the inside. Can you see it? The little dents in the knitting where the anchors sit vanish when you block the sock.

Kiwi As! Summer Sock by Mumpitz Design

I can’t be happier with the result, which makes even me fear Fair Isle a lot less than before. 😛 I hope this helps you to get more confident knitting Fair Isle!

Have you tried it yet? Let me know what you think and how you do it!

Happy knitting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.