Saturday, February 20, 2010

Swatching and Theoretical Planning

I wanted to make Jaywalkers a while back (before I was confident in altering a pattern and trying things on my own) and had the perfect yarn that I got in a swap. I cast on, not once, but twice and unsuccessfully started the sock. It was too big - I didn't even get to the heel flap, it was readily evident that this was not going to work.

While stash diving recently I found that yarn. I used my ball winder and split the 100g skein into two with the intent of tackling this pattern once more. I wanted two balls so that I could complete the socks at the same time - on different needles, but working on each sock individually, so that they are completed at the same time. I pulled out the pattern, saw that it called for 76 stitches on size 1 needles ... well this is probably why my previous attempts were unsuccessful. I have found that a 64 stitch sock at 9 sts per inch fits me well and a 60 stitch sock at 8 stitches per inch fits me well and a 50 stitch sock at 7 stitches per inch fits me well. So let's do some math.

Swatch using Judy's Magic Cast on and tips from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

My ankle is about 7.5" circumference and my foot is 7.75" circumference. The previous socks I mentioned before come out to 7.1" - ah ha this is the size to shoot for! Jaywalker pattern calls for 7.75 sts per inch in stockinette and 9.5 sts per inch in pattern stitch. Well I get 8 stitches per inch on size 2 needles, so if I use the recommended size one, my gauge will be way off and not to mention I did twice before and the sock was too big. I am leery of just going up a needle size with 76 stitches. So I figured if my stockinette gauge was 8 sts (and I actually swatched), my gauge in pattern will probably be about 9.5 to 10. At this gauge my sock would be 8" - too big. I can cut out a pattern repeat, which I found someone did successfully on Ravelry and use 68 stitches. At 68 stitches the stockinette portion on the foot would be 3.75" and the pattern portion should be 3.5 and my final sock will come out at 7.25 - voila! Now to see if my theoretical approach works out in real life! Stay tuned.

I am still working on my list and I am trying not to start any new projects, but I have decided that I always need a pair of socks on the needles. My purple ones are almost complete so I will cast on Jaywalkers next.

I am at the toe decreases for the stocking. Its going much better on two needles than trying to stretch the stitches around the one 16" circular. I don't think I have DPNs in Size 4 so I am going to use the two needles to finish off the decreases. Once the toe is done then there are three connected i-cords for the top.

Derek's scarf is coming along nicely. I am really enjoying the pattern and the color changes. Its about 1/3 done.

This is my January blanket square ... yes I know its Feb 20th now! This is going to be a house and tree with blue background for the sky. Its coming out nicely, but I don't think I'll do any more intarsia squares for this one.

I am halfway done the first sleeve on my cabled hoodie. Hope to finish that one up this weekend and start the second one. Am still hopeful that this will turn out OK even though my gauge is off. I will definately swatch for sweaters in the future!

1 comment:

Anita said...

Those socks you have there are amazing! I haven't gotten up the nerve to do color work yet. :)

Whew, sometimes knitting makes my head hurt, all that math! LOL