I’ve been a very busy knitter since I’ve gotten home from France. While I love sharing all of my travel photos, it felt like time to take an intermission.
You may have heard me mention on the blog, but I’m going to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival this year, for the first time. So incredibly stoked I can’t wait!!! Anyways – what this means is that I have a new vigor for knitting from my stash before I go and add to it in October.
Having bought three different yarns while I was in Paris at Lil’Weasel, I’m on a mission to use them up as fast as I can so they don’t get added into my stash. First up is the yarn on the far right, Riverside Studios fingering weight yarn in Fiesta.
Since I only bought one skein I was determined on using it to make a pair of socks for myself.
And make socks I did!
My first sock is on the far right – in which I accidentally knit the leg with 1″ extra width. I’ve been reading up on article after article on how socks are supposed to fit & how to knit them to fit.
Everywhere I read said to make the leg & foot 10% smaller than your measurements – a 10% negative ease. I measured my leg & ankle and reduced it by 10%, then cast on and started knitting. Well, I wrote my 10% negative ease measurement incorrectly and it ended up way too big, so much so that it was sagging down on my ankle. I basically knit this sock with 0% ease. Zero ease may be fine for a sweater – not so much for a fitted sock.
Sock #2 is in the middle in the photo below:
I knit sock number 2, casting on with the “correct” 10% negative ease using my calf measurement. From there I reduced the stitches down the leg towards the ankle in order to keep the entire leg at 10% negative ease. What this meant was that I reduced stitches from like 68 sts to 54 stitches – from calf to ankle.
You can see that the leg starts out a bit wider then gets narrower, in addition it is also narrower in comparison to sock #1 on the right.
I worked the same heel flap and foot part as sock #1, since I felt that fit.
I was decently pleased with sock #2, but it still seemed to want to fall down to my ankle. You can see it in the above photo where little folds are already forming at my back ankle area. From everywhere I read, a 10% negative ease should be fine… but it just wasn’t for me.
After I finished socks #1 and #2, I happened to have a knit night with Meg & Michelle. Michelle has knit up at least 30 socks so luckily for me, she was there to assist me with fitting the sock and schooled me on how it should fit like where the heel flap needs to fall on my foot, etc.
The first thing she said was – if the sock is falling down, you need more ribbing to help the sock stay up. I increased my ribbing to a full 3″. In row counts, I went from 20 rows of ribbing (from the pattern) to 32 rows or ribbing.
The downside here for me is that since my legs and feet are so short/small, increased ribbing length means decreased pattern length on the leg. The fun patterns that happen on socks are reduced since my ribbing eats up a full inch. This is valuable retail space on my extra short leg and even smaller feet, a woman’s size 4. And I’m going to have to keep this in mind when I come across those fun cabled patterns… that I’ll have to make sure I have enough length on my leg for them to actually work.
Then we reduced the number of my cast on stitches from 68 to 64. While that doesn’t seem like much, it really does make a difference. I continued to do decreases down the leg to my foot and I went from 64 stitches on the ribbing, to 60 stitches (-4 stitches) on the first round after the ribbing. Then I worked in 5 sets of decreases to get to 50 stitches at the ankle. This 50 stitches for me is a 20% negative ease.
Michelle also said I needed to start my heel flap sooner (make the leg even shorter) & make the heel flap longer, to accommodate my high arches.
I worked the foot in the same manner as before and the toe area was finished with a kitchener stitch to seam it all up, seamlessly.
While I don’t have a photo of Sock #3 on my foot – let’s just say it stays up where it should on my first fitting :D The extra ribbing really did help as did the reduced stitch count. But… the extra length on my heel flap, I found, wasn’t quite necessary, as it feels just like Sock #2 in that area regardless.
So… I now have 3 socks and no pairs to any of them. I think this is where SSS or Second Sock Syndrome sets in. lol
SSS via SockKnitters‘s definition states: “This is an affliction that prevents the victim from knitting the second sock of a pair.”
Now that I’ve knit up three socks, I’m aching to move on to using my second skein of yarn from Lil’Weasel and make some other socks. I’ve finally figured out the stitch count/gauge that my socks need to be in order to fit decently and I’m ready to tackle a new sock pattern challenge.
Being the dutiful knitter – I’m pressing on with sock #4. Not wanting to fall victim to SSS, it’s hard guys… it’s really hard. SSS is a real affliction. lolz
I totally see now why there’s so many tutorials for knitting socks and mittens two at a time.
Wish me luck on the second sock & happy knitting! :D