Monday, October 17, 2005

Knitting with the In-Laws

Well, I did knit while visiting with the in-laws. No adverse reactions! But I had to start something new, because I wanted to be working on something totally mindless. My Socktober project was at a heel-turning point, and I'm about to start the second sleeve on J's Weasley. Not really suitable for paying attention to your mother-in-law. So this is what I did... What is it? That's for me to know and you to find out! Snarky, aren't I? :)

Anyway, in Socktober news, I am working on a pair for S and I am turning the heel on the first sock. I just can't decide what to do for the leg part. (Toe up, it's the way to go.) I'm using Sockotta on size 2 needles, and my gauge is turning out to be 8 sts per inch. The ball said 7 sts per inch on size 2s and I planned the number of sts for the foot accordingly. You'd think it would be way too small, but I keep trying it on his little foot and it's working so far. But I may need to increase for the leg. A simple 2x2 rib would probably make the most sense, but gee, that's boring. I'm also considering a variation on the Retro Rib, like Carolyn's socks. I'm afraid the cables might make the sock top too inelastic, though. This blog should be called The Indecisive Knitter.

This brings me to another question for all you Socktoberists about gauge for socks. A flat swatch will necessarily be different than knitting in the round. And it seems to me that a useful swatch, from which you could get a good indication of your gauge, would be about the size of a ... sock. So, how do you swatch for a sock? Do you make a flat swatch and just fudge a little? Do you just make an educated guess and dive in, then frogging if necessary? Make a mini-version of your sock? Inquiring minds want to know.

15 Comments:

Blogger Mintyfresh said...

I'm not a socktoberfest person, but I read somewhere--maybe Grumperina?--that the easiest way to simulate your knitting in the round gauge (where you knit all the rows) is to just let the yarn hang at the end of a row and carry it back to the beginning of the row. (Work on dpns.) Am I making any sense?

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Jeanie said...

Wow, you swatch for socks? I rarely swatch for anything (let alone socks) since almost every single time I do, I'm right on the label gauge. I've never swatched for socks -- I may be sorry one day. I guess I figure that most socks stretch a little, so that if the gauge is off slightly it wouldn't really matter all that much. But, I suppose that if I was going to swatch, I'd either do it in the round or the way Mintyfresh suggested.

So, I'm curious as to what your new project is -- I love the colors you're using!

11:38 AM  
Blogger pleutim said...

If it's a sock yarn that I haven't used before (or in awhile) I swatch and I do it in the round (or flat carry the yarn across the back so that I'm always doing a knit row). I generally just know that with double-knitting weight I get X gauge and with sock weight I get Y gauge... And that works out well for me because I detest swatching, especially for something like socks.

3:10 PM  
Blogger cmeknit said...

yes, like mintyfresh says, i have read about and knit a swatch on double pointed needles...like knitting an icord, but just let the yarn hang loosly, slide your knitting to right end and keep knitting...no purling. I also keep a book and write down gauges I get on whatever needles. That way I have record of gauges with certain yarn and needle sizes.

4:13 PM  
Blogger candsmom said...

My dirty little secret: I don't swatch for socks. Which may account for my sometimes less-than-stellar results. :-P The one time I gauge swatched, I did it flat and fudged it. I'm so glad you asked this question- the I-cord-esque swatch sounds like a great compromise between not doing it at all and knitting a full sock sized swatch. Glad to hear you got some knitting done over the weekend, in-laws and all! ;-)

5:54 PM  
Blogger quantumtea said...

Every fingering weight swatch I've done, I come out at 9 st per inch, so I'm going with that as a standard. It's worked well so far. I swatched for Hubby's socks because the yarn looked thicker, went with the gauge I'd measured, and the darned things were too loose, so I had to rip back and install ribbing to take in the slack. Swatching is a random experience!

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Erica said...

I've never knit socks -- booties, but no socks -- but considering my recent issues with gauge, I am taking everything here as gospel truth.

10:57 PM  
Blogger jillz said...

I always swatch in the round for my socks, preferably with the needles that I'm going to use for the sock itself. I cast on about 20 or 30 stitches and knit for about 2 inches before casting off. I use a percentage based sock pattern as my basic pattern so it's crucial that I know what my gauge is. I'm one of those weird people who like to knit swatches!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Amy Boogie said...

Swatch?
What's that?
I consider the beginning of a sock my swatch, if it looks good then I continue. If not, I rip and try again.

7:26 AM  
Blogger Catherine Kerth said...

i do a little swatch... i use the magic loop method for all of my socks so it it easy just to make a mini swatch....my gauge is usually off anyway!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

I don't swatch. I used to for lots of things during my pre-sock days. I've learned that for me to get gauge on anything, I have to usually use a smaller needle than the pattern calls for. I just dive right in to socks and if it looks like it will fit I keep going. If not, I'll tear it and redo it.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

I never swatch anything, especially not socks. Like some of the other ladies, I see how the sock looks in the beginning, and if I need to I rip it out, and try again.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous christine said...

I like to live on the edge; I don't swatch socks. If after the cuff, they look like they are wrong, I just frog. It's like I've got a lot of time on my hands or something. Yeah, right.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I always swatch. I cast on 30 - 40 stitches on DPN's and work for about an inch, take the "tube" off the needles and measure my gauge. Saves wear and tear after the socks is already in progress.

This really isn't an option for me cause I live in Florida and have little need for a "draft doggie" but I read somewhere that this knitter casts on 40 or so stitches - enough to make a decent sized tube and she knits and inch or two to check gauge. She changes needles as necessary to get the gauge she needs BUT when shes finished, she leaves the stitches "live" by placing them on some waste yarn or stitch holders. Everytime she wants to swatch for a new sock she pick up the last swatch, puts the stitches back on some needles and proceeds with her new swatch, continuing from the old. Once she has a tube long enough for the width of a door she binds off, closes up each end after stuffing the tube with rags/scraps/old torn pantyhose, ect. Voila! A sock swatch draft doggie! Painless swatching with a colorful draft doggie at the end (and something that may be real necessary this winter with oil prices as they are!!)

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You haven't mentioned anything about knitting socks for your poor, hardworking husband, who has cold feet, whose birthday is in Socktober ...

-- Anonymous, Esq.

2:10 PM  

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