Monday, September 29, 2008

The Socks that Ate My Needles

Zig Zag Socks
Pattern: Zig Zag Socks form Vogue Knitting The Ultimate Sock Book
Yarn: Socks that Rock mediumweight in Mesa

Yes, it's true. These socks ate my needles. The sock pattern lists gauge at 7 stitches to the inch. I know that I get that gauge with Socks That Rock medium weight and size 2 (2.75 mm) needles. However, the cast on for these socks is 64 stitches. Normally, I would cast on 64 stitches for a yarn where I was getting 8 stitches to the inch. So, I started the socks using a size 1 1/2 (2.5 mm), but after a few rows, I knew the sock would be too big. I went down to size 1 (2.25 mm) and was happier with the result, but not for long.

I used my Knit Picks Harmony needles for these socks. If you have these needles, you know that DPNs come 6 to a set. Unfortunately, I broke one of them not long after I got them (I sat on it while it was on the couch). About half way down the first leg of these socks, I broke a needle while doing a K2TOG. Since I'd previously broken a needle, I didnt have any extras. (I prefer to do my socks using 5 DPNs.) So, the socks were put on hold, while I waited for another set to arrive from Knit Picks. (Yes, I could have used another size 1. I have other brands (Clover, Crystal Palace, etc.) but I was concerned that there might be some sizing differences that would affect the fabric.)

After the new set from Knit Picks arrived, I was able to continue on. I finished the first sock without incident. The second sock was going smoothly until I was about 6 or 7 rows from the end of the gusset decreases. And then guess what happened! Yep, I broke another needle. And of course, I was at Knit Night when it happened and didn't have any spare needles with me, but at least that was only a temporary set back.

What did I learn from this experience? No more using size 1 needles with medium weight yarn. I knew going in, it was going to be difficult to use such tiny needles with yarn that thick, but I had my heart set on using this pattern with this colorway. Next time, I'll either use a different yarn or use a different pattern.