Friday, January 30, 2009

A story about gauge...

Most knitters know about gauge. It's that evil monster that has something to do with numbers and makes your projects not come out the right size!

In all seriousness, I don't mind a little math and I've been lucky so far to not have encountered a gauge-related knitting disaster. And, really, I still haven't. But in the last couple days I had a very interesting and visually apparent issue with gauge... so I've decided to share it. Because I'm all for admitting my mistakes obsessive tendencies.

A couple days ago I posted the progress of my Space Dust Diamondy "twin socks" with MJ and it looked something like this:


MJ's sock, on the other hand, looks like this:

MJ's Space Dust Diamondy Socks
Originally uploaded by nerdcoop

I liked her socks better. I admit that I have issues with pooling - it's not that I mind pooling necessarily, I just want it to pool a certain way. I realize this is crazy. In fact, even after knitting four lace repeats on two socks, I still liked her socks better. The problem was as follows:

The pattern calls for a size 2.5mm needle and 8 stitches / inch gauge. I wrote the pattern and that is what I did the first time, but with a slightly thinner yarn. I checked with MJ, her gauge was exactly 8 stitches / inch. I checked my gauge again, and it was off by less than 1/4 stitch per inch. The socks would have fit just fine, but I didn't like the way the colors were coming out. I debated ripping them out and starting over with a true size 1 (2.25mm) needle, but I wasn't sure it would make that much of a difference.

We debated. We looked on Ravelry and saw that - as one expects with a hand-dyed yarn - there were finished projects with more yellow than our skeins had. In fact, our skeins weren't bought at the same time, so who knows if they're even in the same "lot" so to speak... Maybe they would never look the same!

I decided I was going to rip the socks, since I knew I would never be happy otherwise. I did, and I started over using the smaller needles. The ribbing is the same, I didn't rip it out - we've already discussed how much I love knitting that ribbing...


Uh... wow! Even I didn't expect it would make that much of a difference - I mean really, it's a .25mm difference in needle size, less than 1/4 stich per inch difference in gauge... Wow.

In other fibery news...


Yep, it's a loom. No, I didn't buy it, I'm borrowing it from Stephania. And I didn't warp it either, it came that way. I'm excited to figure out a bit about the loom - I figured I'd use the exisiting warp for a bit of a practice to figure out how to get it working and then warp it. So... anyone have any suggestions about places online for info for a very beginner weaver? Is there a knitty of weaving?

P.S. Today I registered for Blue Moon's Sock Camp. I can't wait. :D

Listening to: Lightning Crashes ~ Live, Pale September ~ Fiona Apple



Anonymous cathy said...

Usually I think you're too much a perfectionist, but the socks look a hundred times better since you re-knit them. :)

And I'm jealous of your loom. Even if it is borrowed.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

Am I missing something? I see the diff b/w your first socks and MJ but I dont see the diff b/w your first and second socks. they look like they are pooling the same to me....

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm kinda the same way about pooling...I don't really care if it pools, but I want it to be consistent throughout the whole sock. This is hard, because I like the heel flap better than the short row heel. Sometimes I'll get a random pooling right there, then it'll even up again. I plan on trying an afterthought heel next time I get some yarn like that. :)
Socks look great!

9:06 PM  

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Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs