Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sweet Chilli Socks

Have started knitting Jules' socks, doing top down.

This is going to be more complicated than I thought.

Measured both of his feet individually, you never know there may be differences, and there were but nothing major. And when I say measured his feet this is what I mean:

Serious measuring. Take note of that red circle, I'll come back to it.

Got out my Sweet Chilli Needlefood (4 ply merino/nylon blend) and carefully swatched in the round. Have heard round the traps that this made a difference to tension, so I bit the bullet and did it. I even used the new 2.5 mm Knit Picks/Pro circular needle I got in a pack with my most recent Jitterbug purchase (scroll down to bottom, Sweet dreams). Have used circs before just not this brand, the thought of using them for socks....well not my most anticipated event, I am a dpn girl for circular knitting.....until now.

Measured circumference at base of calf as instructed, did the calculations, removed the excess stitches (negative ease) cast on 68 (ah huh for a man!). Did the band at the top (2x2 rib), got approval of band length, started working on the leg. Noticed that the fabric was way loooser than the band. Put it on helpful leg sitting beside me, hmm bit loose, will have to do some decreases. Worked some decreases into the back of the sock, tried it on again for size. This time helpful leg removed own sock before trying, noticed something interesting and also horrifying. Ankle very skinny. How skinny you ask? Well skinny enough that it had me reaching for the measuring tape. Measured the offending ankle and gasped in shock. Now go back to my picture at the top. There's a circle around the top of the diagram foot with matching measurement (F= a normal 29cm, I only say normal because it's what mine measures and my husband has always been known for his chicken legs so I didn't expect miracles).

Now this is where it gets interesting. Anyone ever measured around their ankle and compared it to their lower end of calf measurement? Well I hadn't but just now did and got 22cm, which gives me a decent difference and certainly explains why the first pair of socks I knit for myself fall down around the ankles. At 7cm change over about 14cm height, that's something I'm going to have to remember for my next pair of socks.

That red circle up there? It's red for a reason. Jules' ankle measured a measley 20cm. Ah huh. A 9cm circumference difference, for a point of reference, I cast on 68 stitches, 9cm is about 28 sts (cue gasps of horror). My first thought was "crap", followed closely by a bit of a giggle about his girly ankles, then "Oh my lord, I'm going to be decreasing all the way down to his ankle or they'll never stay up" followed closely by "but if I decrease all the way down, he'll never get the poor sock over his heel".

So here I solicit advice from the myriad sock knitters who cruise by this here blog.
What is a girl to do???

1/start again with less stitches so there is less decreasing.
2/find a heel method that has good stretch for going over the heel
3/decrease like the blazes and then increase as I do the heel (would this even work?)
4/swear and give up. (Not really an option)
Any other options??

Oh and I already know that the long skinny feet were going to have to be decreased for anyway (23-25cm compared with the 29 for the leg), so this just means I won't have to increase/decrease as much. Looking on the bright side here!

Oh and the toes, don't get me started on the toes...."normal" people need to allow about 3cm for the decreases for the toe. I'm going to have to go back and look at his feet again because the measurement from his toe cleavage to the end of his toes is 5cm. I'm starting to wonder if there's a gorilla in my midst.

While typing all of this it has occurred to me to let you know that despite all these considerations, I am sitting here with a smile on my face and anticipating the conquering of the socks!

I may just go and cast something else on though that doesn't require much thought, at least until some advice turns up because if the advice is frog and start again which I am more than happy to do if it means a great sock is the result, then there's no point in knitting any more on them.

Oh and just to give a tease, here they are so the colour!

Awaiting your advice,


Rose Red said...

The colour is great!

Suggest doing a ribbed sock (or half ribbed, eg on the back of the leg) so you don't have to worry about decreases, as the ribbing naturally pulls in (or out, as necessary!).

And I must be abnormal, because I always do 5cm toes. For all socks I knit, whether they are for me or not!

Kate said...

I'm with RoseRed! the so-not-happening-while-more-fun-stuff-is-around socks for my hubby have ribbing all down the sides from cuff to heel, and gradually adding more and more ribbing from halfway down until the ankle is encircled by ribbing altogether. Sound strange? I'll put a pic on the Rav project page.

Lynne S of Oz said...

Gosh I am in agreement with Rose Red and Kate. Ribbing is your friend in this situation. I've done similar to Kate in the past for DH's socks and have also put in little cables for interest's sake.
Are you my twin or something? I just measured my lower calf (at "sock height") and my ankle, 29 and 22cm. But my foot is a chunky 24cm around!
Good luck on the shop! Even Etsy is hard for me to keep updated.