I will confess here and now that I did no knitting on the Alpine shawl last night. Events overtook me and I was busy doing this, that, and the other thing.
But I did finish my Poodle Skirt socks.
To recap, these are knitted from Scarlet Fleece sock yarn purchased from The Loopy Ewe, in the “poodle skirt” colorway. I knit the foot with size 0 needles and went up to a size 2 for the leg. The texture pattern is from the Blueberry Waffle sock pattern.
(By the way, The Loopy Ewe is currently out of stock on the Scarlet Fleece sock yarn, but according to Sheri’s blog, there’ll be more listed for sale soon!)
I also cast on for a new sock, this one in Zen String Serendipity sport weight yarn. Also purchased from The Loopy Ewe.
Ohmygosh I love this yarn! A very firm twist and very soft. The knitted fabric has a gorgeous sheen to it. It is very similar, I think, to the Socks The Rock medium weight yarn.
I’m making this sock in the “Ben” colorway — a lovely forest-y colorway.
Because it’s sportweight, I started out my toe with a size 2 needle and happily got a nice firm fabric. I started out with 56 stitches around — I do fingering weight socks with 64 stitches around. When I had about 3 inches done I popped it on my foot and found it to be just a bit too loose so I ripped it out and started again with 52 stitches. This time it seems perfect. Shows that I should have done a gauge swatch to begin with, huh?
Reader Michelle had a sock gauge question:
Sock Help! I’m coming to the source of my inspiration. Wendy, I have a question. I am a sock knitting addict. I enjoy knitting them IMMENSELY! I use a classic sock pattern and since my hooves are quite generous 9 1/2 I make mine with 64 stitches on size 2 needles. Although some sock yarns call for size 0 or 1 I haven’t attempted those sizes yet because I’m not sure on the # of stitches. How many do you increase to offset using a smaller needle?
It’s all a matter of gauge. Check the gauge on your 64-stitch around socks on size 2 needles. Say, for example, that you are getting 7 stitches to the inch. If you divide 64 by 7, you get an ootch over 9 inches — 9.14 inches, to be a bit more exact. Round that down to 9. Most fingering weight sock yarns on size 0 needles state a gauge of 8 stitches to the inch. You should do a small swatch to check your gauge to make sure (see my story of ripping out the toe, above). Say your gauge with fingering weight sock yarn and size 0 needles is indeed 8 stitches per inch. Multiply 9 by 8, and you get 72 stitches. There’s your number of stitches for your fingering weight socks.
You can always figure out how many stitches you need for socks by measuring around the ball of your foot. Mine is about 8.5 inches, so I base my socks on an 8-inch circumference, because you want your socks to have a bit of negative ease. So I always start my fingering weight socks based on 64 stitches. If I had bothered to check the gauge of the Zen String Serendipity yarn before I started I would have found I was getting 6.5 stitches to the inch and would have known to cast on 52 stitches.
If you have fat ankles, you can increase a few stitches after you turn the heel. Conversely, if you have thin ankles you can go down a couple or few stitches. You can increase for shapely calves. Et cetera.
And if you are doing your socks top-down, you just reverse the whole thing.
“I’m practicing my interpretive dance.”