Saturday, May 31, 2014

Socks, big and small

Like Elizabeth D. I am psyched for knitting a bunch of baby socks during the sunny month of June. It is going to be fun seeing how many pair I can get out of a skein of regular fingering-weight or dk-weight wool. Last night I cast on for a pair with some leftover Opal sock yarn I had on hand.

When knitting baby socks especially, I have learned the hard way that a flexible top edge is essential. Remember, baby ankles and calves are proportionately chubbier in relation to their feet than on older children, and no baby will be happy with ribbing that hugs the leg too tightly, no matter how perfectly proportioned the sock may look. After my first failure, I researched the topic thoroughly, and I found out that the best way to ensure a stretchy top row is to cast on slowly and carefully. I use the regular long-tail cast-on but I pause and stretch my stitches slightly on the right-hand needle every 3 to 4 stitches. The difference is significant.

For this sock, I cast on 36 stitches on a size 1 circular (I like to knit socks Magic-Loop style). The 1/1 ribbing took about 6 rounds before I switched to stockinette. I should have a couple more done by the end of the weekend. Another pair that went fast was this one, intended for a teenager, knitted in KnitPicks Swish DK. I cast on 40 sts on a size 3 circular. I used leftovers from 2 different skeins but I think one whole skein would work for a pair of approximately the same size.

1 comment:

holly said...

I've read that you can cast on using needles one size larger to ensure a stretchy edge. Has anyone tried that?

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