Sunday, March 26, 2006

Knitting Again

i've grabbed my needles and am back in the woolen saddle again (sorry for the corny metaphor). i guess that complaining about not having time to knit actually did help get me motivated.

several months ago while i was finishing up my sweater i decided that my next project would be a pair of socks. my first pair of socks came out well but were knit with wool that was a bit itchy.

i found a nice pattern in "Knit Socks!" by Betsy Lee McCarthy.
Best Foot Forward from Knit Socks!

the pattern called for 9 stitches to the inch. that meant that i had to find thin yarn and small diameter needles. i found really nice gray merino yarn by Gems Pear, appropriately named "pewter", while i was at Yarn! in Alameda getting help on my orange sweater. it's fingering weight which means i'm knitting with practically string-thin yarn. i knit my gauge swatch on size 1.5 needles. now for those of you who aren't knitters imagine knitting with needles that look like the think skewers that you use for shish kebobs.

the gauge came out a little off. if i were to follow the pattern exactly i would need to actually use a smaller needle. you may be wondering what size is smaller than #1.5? i would have thought #1. but it turns out that the american needle measurements are not exactly precise at the small range. this was a lesson i learned the hard way. i went to article pract sans my #1.5 needles thinking that i would just pick up a set of #1s. the only short double point needles that the shop had were marked in millimeters. we double checked the metric measurements on a set of longer #1s and the metric sizes matched.

i think you know where i'm going with this story, right?

the needles i had at home were the exact same metric size, 2.5 mm. so back to article pract i went.

it was not an entirely wasted trip though. i had a few tasks to complete in going to the shop the first time around:
  1. show off my finished sweater
  2. buy the smaller double point needles
  3. exchange some unused yarn for store credit or new supplies

before i left the house on first trip i dug up my receipts and separated the ones i needed from the ones that could be tossed in the garbage.

if you're a knitter you know that you can't walk into a yarn store without checking out the wears. i've already admitted that i'm a monogamous knitter but there is no harm in thinking ahead to the next project (at least that's what we knitting obsessed tell ourselves). so while i was perusing the worsted-weight yarn bins i found orange and red skeins that would be perfect for the sweater i want toknit trixie's.

here's a picture of the sweater from "Stitch 'n Bitch Nation".
Casey's Coat from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation

i was so excited. i felt like i struck oil. so up to the counter i went to purchase the goods, took out my unused yarn and receipts, and guess what? yup, you're correct again. i grabbed the wrong receipts from the dining room table.

thus the reason for the 2nd trip to the store with my revised list.
  1. Show off my finished sweater
  2. Buy the smaller double point needles [CORRECTION: Buy #0 double point needles]*
  3. Exchange unused yarn for store credit or new supplies [CLARIFICATION: new supplies = #0 needle and 4 skeins of red and orange brown sheep yarn]

**** fast forward a few weeks ****

i started the first sock using the #0 needles for the cuff and the #1.5 needles for the leg. the main reason was because i have the skinniest ankles known to man and wanted to be sure that the socks don't fall down. plus i just couldn't imagine that i would be able to fit my foot through the sock if i continued knitting the sock using the #0 needles. i think my decision was good based on what i've completed so far.

Best Foot Forward from Knit Socks!

they're knitting up quicker than i thought. but they will probably take a while to complete since i'm still spending a lot of hours at work.

* can you believe that there are #0 size needles? if you're interested the metric size is 2.0 mm.


Blogger Tallguy said...

You know, 2.5 mm isn't really that small; they are my standard size for most of my knitting. I have done socks on 2.0 and I do have some 1.5mm but I don't care to work with them that often - they are sharp!!

Once you've worked with this for awhile, picking up some big needles, like a 4 or 5mm will feel so huge! And forget about 10 mm!! Those are like broomsticks!

They are looking good so far.. keep it up!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous JamieKate said...

I just found your blog and had to say "hi". I moved to North Dakota from Oakland 4 years ago and am feeling a trifle homesick. I enjoyed the photos of Oakland and Guerneville. My grandma has a cabin in Guerneville and I spent lots of time there as a kid. I'm knitting cable socks too (I think yours are cable, arent they?) for my husband's birthday (it was March 8 - not even one sock done yet) now I'm trying for father's day. They certainly take longer than plain socks. The baby sweater you knit is absolutely beautiful! Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed your blog! Jamie

9:29 PM  
Blogger Janis said...

They look GREAT!

9:51 AM  
Blogger knitcrazed said...

yeah, the larger needles do feel like broomsticks after knitting with the smaller ones.

thanks all for your kind compliments on the sock(s).

jamie, i'm sorry you miss oakland. stick to the socks. you'll be so happy when they are done and your husband will be so proud when he puts them on. i guess you can call the stitch i'm doing a cable but it's not done in the traditional way. you actually K2tog leaving both sts on left needle, K again into front of first st on left needle and slip both sts off needle on to your right needle.

stop by and leave comments whenever you all like; i love getting them.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I agree with tallguy. 2.0 mm isn't really small in the grand scheme of things. I generally make socks on 2.75 mm to 1.5 needles.

12:02 PM  

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