Friday, May 12, 2006

Sock Strategy

I stopped knitting on the first sock yesterday once I had a credible cuff, and cast on for sock #2. This way, I am not committing myself to a matching super-long cuff on sock #2. These socks are definitely looser than the first pair, and while I really preferred the fabric created using size 1s, there was just no time to add another repeat -- upsizing the needle was the quickiest and simplest strategy. As you can see, I am knitting sock #3 directly from too small sock #1, instead of frogging.

Hopefully, after giving the socks to the Best Mom in the World, we'll be able to discuss fit issues, and use these socks as our prototype pair. Does she prefer snug socks? Thick? Thin? Flat or Textured? These are things I just don't know about my mom. I mean, how many people know their mom's personal sock preferences?

Eyeknit asked me about Schurch's system of gauge-to-stitches calculations...I tried to really puzzle this over this time, especially because Mom's foot circumference (8 1/4") was between sizes. I decided I'd rather have negative ease, so I cast on for a sock for an 8" foot circ. This produced the too-tight sock. Obviously, this pattern really pulls in. Let's look at variations in gauge:

US1 stockinette -- 9spi
US1 yarnover cable pattern -- closer to 15 spi
US2 stockinette -- 7 1/2 spi
US2 yarnover cable -- 12 spi

I generally do not do gauge swatches for socks, since I consider the sock one big swatch, and because I think the stretchy nature of socks, and most textured patterns make it hard to get a precise gauge in advance.

So my thought is this: I think getting an accurate gauge in a plain stockinette sock is possible, but in textures and ribs, you have to experiment and fudge a bit. Schurch's book is a good jumping-off point, and after a few more socks, I should have a better idea of when to upsize/downsize patterns from this book. This is my second pair of socks from this book: Sasquatch Socks for Mr. S are a little big, these were a little small for the intended wearer, now I think they may be a little big.

Granted, this strategy suits my trial-and-error, math-challeneged style better than more precise, mathematical knitters. What do y'all think?

Did I mention that we will see Mom on Sunday MORNING?? Thanks for all the cheers and vibes.


Dorothy said...

Very clever frogging/knitting method. The socks are looking good. Your mother will love them.

Ann said...

I also love the frogging/knitting method. I will be doing it soon with my sock ... when I pick it up again ... poor neglected sock (it is so jealous hearing about all the monogamous attention your lucky socks are getting ...).

May the force be with you! Knit Liz Knit!

Anonymous said...

While I am the math-loving type of knitter, I let the socks tell me who they are supposed to belong to. So, if they do become a size different than the one originally intended I just find a new foot to give them that fits. Then I make another pair more suited to the original recipient. I have a general idea of how many stitches to cast on for most foot-sizes with particular yarns in plain does get a little iffy when doing new pattern stitches. My best advice is don't stress over it too much...these are socks! What's cooler than knitting socks?

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