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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Listen to this post as an mp3 file (for posts after 3/6/06)

So, the plan was to secretly knit a pair of socks for Sister#1 for her birthday (which is at the end of July). I recently knit a pair of socks for Niece#1 which fit Sister#1 perfectly. I had another ball of that same yarn (Trekking XXL) and I took detailed notes about what I did to make those socks, so I figured this would be easy peasy -- I could use the same pattern and quickly whip out another pair. [Queue the music of impending doom.]

So that's what I did. I used the same type of yarn (just blue instead of purple), the same needles, the same number of stitches, the same number of rows, the same everything. [OK, I did a different thing at the cuff, but that's not significant.]

And here's what happened:

Craptastic socks that won't even fit over a ten-year old's heel.

Say it with me, "AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!" Somehow I managed to knit the whole damn sock without noticing that it was extremely narrow. I was just knitting merrily away, so happy in my thoughts of how wonderful it was to be able to knit a sock without having to try the damn thing on all the time to check the fit. Sigh. Granted, most of the foot of this sock was knit in the dark in the car, in the movie theater, or while trying to catch up on some blog reading, but still. I really should have noticed. [Shoulda, woulda, coulda...]

I checked my gauge and it's 1/2 stitch (on the 2.5mm ndls) to 3/4 stitch (on the 2.0mm ndls) tighter on these blue Trekking socks than on the purple Trekking socks. According to my calculations, that should give a difference in circumference of about a half inch. Hmmm, that doesn't sound like a big enough difference to explain the amazing narrowness of these socks. Maybe I knit the foot on those purple socks with more stitches than I wrote down -- possible, but unlikely. Next time I see Niece#1 I'll have to examine those purple socks -- I'm really mystified.

At first I thought it might be that this color of yarn is thinner. But I just did a wraps-per-inch comparison and that does not appear to be it. I guess it's just me. I must have been 0.75 spi less stressed a month ago. Hmmm. Maybe that could be a new way to measure my stress level -- by knitting a gauge swatch with this sock yarn on US 0's. Kind of like a mood ring for knitters.

Persnickety's Handy Gauge Swatch Mood Indicator:
  • 8-9 spi = super mellow (aka, too many cocktails),
  • 9-9.5 spi = calm, relaxed (a rarely experienced state of mind),
  • 9.5-10 spi = slightly on edge (my normal mood),
  • 10-10.5 spi = overscheduled and stressed out,
  • 10.5-11 spi = watch out, she's gonna blow!

In happier news, we had a birthday party for Daughters #1 & #2 today. This was their "friend" birthday party, not to be confused with their "relative" birthday party, or even the celebration that happened on the actual day of their birthday. [It's been a week-long celebration basically.]

Anyway, Daughter#2 helped me make this Piggy Cake for the event (they have a thing for pigs lately). Not the best workmanship, but kind of cute.

Piggy Cake