Friday, January 16, 2009

Fitting Against the Odds

I'm usually very good about making and following gauge swatches. It lessens the chance of future wailing and gnashing of teeth. For socks though, I never bother. My norm is to start toe-up and keep increasing until the toe is "wide enough" to fit my foot. Of course most of the time I am knitting a basic, generic sock where the final number of stitches on the needle is not important.

Then in waltzes a sock pattern that specifies a set number of stitches you must work with (at least the first time through until you can make an educated guess about where you can and can't make adjustments). Did I swatch? No. I picked up my favourite sock knitting circular needles, and cast on for my standard toe, did the usual increases and stopped when I had the right number for the pattern. It worked!


Luck was with me and the sock fits perfectly, despite the fact that when measuring gauge after the fact, I found out I'm working a little tighter than the pattern suggests. I had to fudge a bit with the length to account for the tighter gauge and my foot being a little longer than the stated size 7-8. I added one more repeat of the little cable dealie running down the foot, but I kind of like the look of it better that way anyway.

9 comments:

Dorothy said...

I keep looking at Firestarter and thinking I really do need to buckle down and do it - it's so lovely. Maybe after the pair of Plain Janes I've got started. Yours are lovely, but then all of your projects are!

Sharon in Surrey said...

Hey - I like that pattern!!!! And they look terrific!

Lynn said...

Oh, that's a gorgeous sock!

Marlene said...

Thanks Dorothy, Sharon, and Lynn. It really is a lovely pattern once you get around the confusing way the designer manipulates the stitches so that the side cables can be worked. I think there may be more of these in my future.

Ruinwen said...

Yeah a happy gauge story! That is such a lovely sock! :)

Nunt said...

I have to tell you about my experiences with the yarn: I made Bayerische socks from Sisu and it doesn't seem to be the best yarn for intricate cables. It got fuzzy when I soaked them after finishing and continues to have a little halo effect still, even though I have worn them alot.

Of course this might be issue with the color/ yarn lot, but I think the twist (or the lack of it) is to blame. If you really want to flaunt cable designs, I'd recommend knitting from more tightly twisted yarns :)

Marlene said...

You know Nunt, I had noticed that as well. I soaked the socks to block them and they have a bit of a soft halo. Not too noticeable right now, but maybe a problem later on?

I have a pair of Fair Isle socks I made a few years ago from Sisu and they developed a bit of felting on the inside where the foot rubs. It actually makes them more comfortable though...kind of like commercial "cushion foot" socks.

Nunt said...

I pondered on the fact that Sisu would be perfect for plain or fair isle socks because of the halo. I think between our experiences this hypothesis can be accepted as true :D

Good to know that it wasn't just the yarn I bought, but more of a general feat.

Nicole said...

Beautiful sock!