Wherein a sewist pitches a fit about socks

So I’ve been sewing most of my life and am pretty comfortable with making clothes that fit me. Reading Fit for Real People back in 2007 was a game changer for me in that regards, but I digress. I know that I am a 10 in sewing pattern land . . . with lots of room added to the waist *ahem* Knitting, however, is a new hobby of mine dating back to only 2010, and I’ve only been serious about it for the last year or so.

In August, I attempted my first pair of socks in some Cascade 220 Superwash that I bought in a color that I later regretted and they turned out, eh. They’re in my drawer and wearable, but I never wear them. They’re too big. Fine, that’s what happens with a worsted weight yarn and size 6 dpns. Fast forward to October- I have some lovely Cascade Heritage Handpaints that I had set aside for trying out socks with real sock yarn. The nice salesperson at my local yarn shop (LYS) directed me to Ann Budd’s Getting Started Making Socks and I sat down at home and diligently swatched the 8 Stitches Per Inch sock. I got gauge on size 2 double pointed needles, so that’s what I made sock number one with. My foot is on the small side (measured at Nordstrom post child #2 as a size 6, but everything in my closet is a 6.5, close enough) and so I picked the small adult size pattern to follow. I even wrapped the measuring tape around my foot. 8 inch circumference, check.

The pattern directs one to knit 7.5 inches before the toe decreases, which I did for both socks. Once the pair was completed, I tried them on and was underwhelmed. They were a bit saggy around the ankles and they seemed a bit loose in the foot circumference. Luckily for me, they fit my husband, so he is the proud wearer of my first “real” socks.

That makes my project sound not too great, but I was pleased to finally figure out the awesomeness of magic loop and they knit up pretty fast; and clearly, I just needed a tighter knit fabric, so down in needle size I went. I cast on my second pair of socks (did I mention I really choose to ignore the existence of those worsted weight ones?) with Heritage Silk on a size 1 circular back in October and then promptly abandoned the project. I’m easily distracted by shiny things and the Wispy cardigan was VERY shiny. January here was ridiculously cold, and I decided that I did, in fact, want a pair of hand-knit socks of my very own; so I finished sock one and put it on. Heh. It fits nicely through the ankle, the right amount of negative ease around my foot, and WTF happened to that toe?

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Readers, I knit a sock that is 9 7/8 inches long. My foot is a scant 9 inches long. How I had failed to notice that my toe decreases take 2 inches from when they start and that starting them on the far side of 7.5 inches (due to my cable pattern) was a bad, bad idea, eludes me. Even better, going through several references, authors kept directing me to start decreasing 1.25 or 1.5 inches short of the end of my foot. What idiot wants excess sock beyond the end of their toes?

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Needless to say, I now have an entire toe to rip back and am fighting a case of second sockitis with its mate. Apparently knitting patterns are just as trustworthy as sewing patterns straight from the envelope, which is to say, not at all. That doesn’t mean I can’t get a good result from the pattern, but just as with its sewing counterpart, I need to make changes so my end result fits me and not the fit model. So obvious, but I still had to learn it the hard way with my newer hobby.


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