03 November, 2006

Socks, Needle Size, The Universe, and Everything

This morning I used my trusty new (replacement) Susan Bates Knit-Check gauge checker to check the needles I've been using for socks. The trusty blue needles are not size 1. Nope, they're size 0. Who knew? And here I thought they were size 2 at first. Goes to show you that an old cigar box (however kitschy and kicky it may be) is not the most organized place to keep DPNs. Heh. Maybe I'll start keeping the gauge checker in there too.

What this means is - to knit any tighter in lightweight socks, I'll have to move into 1.5 mm or 1 mm needles. What are those called in US sizes? 00? Or maybe I need to knit some socks in thicker wool. I have a rawther loose stitch gauge and my Vanilla Blue socks (56 stitches around on these size 0 needles) are already seeming floppy on my nonskinny ankles, after only a month of occasional wear. Those were knit in a DK weight machine-washable wool blend (Sirdar something). However, I had been gentle washing and then air-drying.

Today's experiment was to machine wash and dry them like normal clothing and see if they spring back a bit. The result was equivocal. They shrank in length a teeny bit, but sprang back almost perfectly to original width/circumference. Sooooo, I will knit the next pair 4 stitches narrower but 10 rows longer in the toe. I've got a lot of that wool and I love the way it feels on my feet. Sadly, I think the Vanilla Blue socks go to my mom's sock drawer now, however. She has shorter but still wide feet!

Boring stuff, I know, but with the Sock-A-Month KAL, I think about socks a bit :) There are a few more patterned socks out there that I'd like to tackle in plain colors. I love the look of the Diamante Socks in the fall '06 Knitty, and they are also an interesting challenge because they are knit from the toes up. But the pattern is 72 stitches around, and I would have to downsize that too. I might even have to .... swatch!! Aiyeeeee. The author did post a 60-stitch version on her blog, and I have got it somewhere on my computer now.

ANYway. This weekend there'll probably be SOME Snowdrop Shawl knitting time. DH and I are heading away for a couple of nights, all of 5 miles away into town. We'll be staying here, within easy reach of my mom if she needs help with the kiddly beans:

Lots of downtime with my darling. It's a Good Thing. Thank you very much, Mother Dear!!!


Lynn said...

OMG size 0s?!!? I'm a tight knitter and I'm happy with my size 2s! I cant imagine what my gauge would be on 0s!!
And like I said before, have fun!!

Liz said...

I'm not sure what those needles would be in U.S. sizes, but you might be better off just buying them in metric. Hope you can find some!