Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not the Same Socks

When I listed my works in progress yesterday you may have noted my blip about the socks. Plain ol' socks. And that I had a bit of a fit problem. Well, I had the opportunity to photograph the project this morning.

I envisioned a simple pair of socks because these are destined to be worn by a man with straightforward tastes. And the yarn was stripy, no need for any fiddle faddle here.

These are socks knit in Classic Elite Alpaca Sox. It's luscious yarn, made of 60% Merino / 20% Alpaca / 20% Nylon. The suggested gauge is 8 stitches per inch on Size 2 needles. I cast on 76 stitches and got exact gauge for the first sock.

But can you see the difference? The entire time I was knitting, the little voice in my head was saying "these are too big!!" But the fiendish knitting hands could not stop and at one point there was actually a mid-knit fitting. Seemed okay, but didn't at the same time. It definitely nagged at me the entire time I knit sock #1.

When I finished it boy, was it huge. We tried it and and well, while it did "fit", it was not "snug". It seemed like it would slide around. But they stayed up, they didn't sag. I went to bed that night with a nagging feeling. It wasn't perfect.

So back to Ravelry for a bit more research. I learned other knitters lamented not knitting this yarn at a tighter than called for gauge. They found that the yarn felted just through friction and wear. Hmmm.

It made me realize I could go down a needle size and not change anything else I'd have a snugger fitting sock -- one that might not felt as quickly.

You can really see the difference here, can't you? This exercise really taught me the needle/yarn/gauge lesson. Not that I didn't know it already, but it's nice when you have a tangible object for comparison.

The first sock is 8 stitches per inch. The second is about 9.5 to 10 stitches per inch. What a difference!
It fits much better, it will be more pleasing and hopefully there will be few excuses why they are not worn!

Here, I experimented. If I was going to have to reknit the first sock anyway, why not see what it looks like when I have a 2x2 rib vs a 1x1 rib?!

I haven't decided completely, but I might actually prefer the look of the 2x2 cuff. What do you guys think? Which do you prefer?

Now that I've documented this effort, I will rrrrrrip out sock #1 for a redo.

What was supposed to be a simple, fast project has just become a much longer one. I wanted to move on but instead face another week of subway sock knitting. Oh well, there are worse things...


Eliza said...

I like the 2x2 rib! And aren't those lessons great? I love it when things just click in my head. :)

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

This doesn't help at all but I actually like both types of ribbing:)

And I agree that socks should be snug, so you made the right call to go down a needle size. Love the color btw!

knithound brooklyn said...

Well thanks, ladies! The color is great, it's "manly". I have another skein of this stuff, in a more colorful version and plan to make a Hers version to the His. How corny, right?