I was all set to start on my first set of Nancy’s socks, “Stockings with Clocks,” when I arrived at work yesterday. I’d read enough of the pattern to know that the pattern was written for a man, but going down a needle size would make it fit a woman, so okay, that means 0’s. That was the beginning and end of my pre-swatch reading.
I cast on 40 stitches and knit in the round for a bit. For most people, your gauge will be different flat than knitting in the round. This is because most people’s purl and knit stitches are not exactly the same tension, so when you’re just knitting (stockinette in the round), the stitches will be a little different (usually tighter) than knitting and purling together (stockinette flat). So I’m circling along on my 0’s until I’m far enough to measure.
10 st./inch is about what I was getting.
I look at the pattern.
The pattern calls for 7.5 st./inch.
Well, that’s the gauge for the men’s pattern, right? So mine should be tighter… but not that much tighter. At that gauge, if I made no other changes to the pattern, I’d be accidentally knitting another pair of socks for my 9-year-old sister.
So what the heck?
Turns out it helps if you read the whole pattern.
Nancy knit these socks on sport weight yarn. I think I saw that, read it, and it did not fit into my universe to knit sport weight yarn on 1’s (let alone 0’s) so it went through one ear and out the other (or in one eyeball?). I mean, who wants to knit sport weight on 1’s? I value my joints! I guess if Nancy did it, there must be a good reason (you would probably never wear through that fabric). But thankfully, I have the excuse of already having bought fingering weight yarn. So I’m going to use that.
This turned out to be all good news for me. I got to go up a needle size, and it turns out my Addi Turbo US1 32″ circulars (which area really US1.5; Skacel is weird sometimes) are perfect for the job. So I get to do magic loop, which I wanted to do anyway; I didn’t have to buy new needles, which is good because I have no money for them; and I don’t have to knit socks on 0’s, which I will probably have to do someday, but I will gladly put it off.
I had more good luck yesterday – my sister graduated from high school. I promise I went to her graduation for her, and not for the excellent knitting time, but the pictures I took to prove it don’t exist thanks to the big flashing words “NO CARD” that I didn’t see until the ceremony was practically over. You’ll just have to take my word for it that she was beautiful and it was a good time.
What you don’t have to take my word for is that I got a good 3 1/2 inches done on my first Clocking.
(Clocking is much easier to write than “Stockings with Clocks.”) Clocks (in relation to socks) are an actual thing; I’ll tell you more about them when I get to the point in the stocking that you an actually see them. These are also a fortuitous choice because I have… how shall I say it? Good reason to hope time starts passing a little faster than it has recently. I hope the Clockings will do the trick.