15 November, 2008

sock swatches

Lately it seems my "standard" cast on number will often resort in a sock too small to get over my heel, which means that sock pair goes to my mom or I frog it. With all the different sock yarns I have been purchasing, I have noted that my cast on number has had to change at times as well.

So, I pulled out half a dozen different sock yarns off my shelf and started making little swatches out of them last night. I am casting on 40 sts with a size US 1 (2.5mm) additurbo circular knitting an inch or so, picking up the US 0 (2mm) purl a round then knit an inch or so and then one more time with the US 00 (1.75mm). Need to pick up some tags at Office depot or some such place so that I can mark the swatches with yarn type and the needles I used and the gauge I obtained. Won't do any good to make the swatch and then not be able to tell what the yarn is in a year or two. WPI (wraps per inch) might be a good idea to record as well. hmmm...

By doing all this I am hoping to cut down on the amount of time frogging. I know that if I can feel the difference in thickness between the yarn types by running the yarn through my fingers that there is going to be a definite difference in the circumference of the knitted item. I would rather spend the realatively small amount of time kniting the swatches than ripping 5 inches or more of cuff because it won't go over my ankle. (bad words, bad words, bad words). This makes more sense to me now that I plan to start doing both socks at one time. It is painful enough to send one cuff off to the frog pond and I know it is going to be more than double that with two. I don't suffer to badly from SSS (second sock syndrome) but it does indeed take longer for the second sock to be completed, that is one reason for starting to do the socks in this manner.

Also started a new project(s) yesterday evening. My DIL has the little one's room done up with a monkey theme. And... I have a sock monkey pattern/kit from Blue Moon that I purchased down at the Black Sheep Fiber Festival earlier this year. Also ordered two more skeins of Heavy weight STR this morning hoping that they will arrive before I leave so that I can wind them and take them with me. Just Right Red (red obviously) and Sunstone (orangy yellows). EldestK likes red, SecondK likes orange, and LittleK is going to get one of my favorites, Pond Scum, since he isn't born quite yet and can't vocalize his opinion on the matter.

Happy Knitting!


luneray said...

I don't know why I didn't think of this when you were talking about it at Knit Night (I was probably lost in my misery of endless 2x2 ribbing) but the issue may not be your gauge but that your cast on row is too tight. You can cast on with much bigger needles (I usually use a 5mm, just to be on the safe side) or follow the Twisted Sisters suggestion: cast on 2x as many stitches as you need and then decrease half in pattern during the first row. This gives you a very stretchy (and frilly) edge. If you can get the sock on your foot and it feels all right, then it's probably not a gauge issue.

L J said...

Could be... and will definately try that out. (::::gasp:::) the thought of casting on 144 stitches for a 72 stitch sock. :::eek::: but I can usually get about half of the cuff up and over my ankle area the it stalls out. In reality it has only been the last handfull of socks that I have knit and or frogged...that I have had real problems with. But I have also been wanting to try out some of the patterns in the Eclectic Sole (Rivendell) as well as some from Cat Bhordi's books (umm... all of them)and for that I will need to know what my gauge is in what ever yarn I use for those patterns.