Sunday, July 20, 2008

A second pair of socks

Pattern: Four-Stitch Basic Ribbed Socks (there's not really a pattern for it - I just continued the 2X2 rib (manly) that all patterns in this book begin with)
Source: Charlene Schurch, Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Louet Gems Merino Wool, Fine/Sport Weight, about 1 1/2 skeins at 225 yds a skein
Color: Indigo
Needles: size 2 (2.75 mm) KnitPicks 40" circular with nickel-plated tips
Gauge: 6 st and 8 rows to the inch in sock-speak; 24 st and 32 rows to 4" in regular knit-talk (I knit very loosely - another knitter might be able to get this gauge on a larger needle - the label suggests a 3-5 size needle to get 5-6 st/inch)
Method: Magic Loop (and highly recommended - why some sock knitters want to fiddle with four or five doublepoints is beyond my ability to think, but as much as getting gauge is individual, so is needle choice)

Notes: I'm starting to get a liking for knitting socks. Amazing. They are easy to carry around, I can work on them in public (say, in an anatomy class that lasts 3 1/2 hours and doesn't require me to take many notes), I like the way that they offer a different kind of puzzle to the mind every few inches, and I'm beginning to develop a tiny bit of history, which will help me in the future if I ever manage to knit a second pair out of the same yarn.

I'm now in the experimental phase with a new yarn: Saki by Prism. Very good in the color department: the colorway is called Mink, and it's blacks and browns. Not sure whether I'll end up with stripes or just spots of color that flow into the next, but the shades are so dark that one could easily assume that the whole sock is one (manly) color. The yarn feels harsh as you work it, but softens and blooms nicely after a gentle machine washing and air drying.

The gauge is under scrutiny. I started the cuff last night with 56 stitches, worked about 1/2 inch while watching The Wire, and then discovered that it was too small. Today, I bound off what I'd completed and threw it in the machine to finish and then recount. My guess is that I'm getting 8 st to the inch and will need to cast on 64 stitches to get that 8" cuff circumference. Then I'll need to find a pattern (manly) in Schurch to accommodate 64 stitches.

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