Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sock size theory - testing

Valantines day, and little red heart lollies served with breakfast, yesterday was our 19th Wedding anniversary ( I swear I must have been a child bride - it can not have been that long - I am not that old) so that had priority in this house. Good bubbly and a really nice meal.

I finished Poppy's toe up gusset heel socks, based on the Widdershins pattern (see earlier blogs). My children are well used to me asking for them to pose in knitted items by now. And Poppy is at that age when she hams it up for the camera. Very different to my near adult students who avoid the lens side of a camera at all costs.
Mini widdershins sock details - to fit a 4 and a half year old girl, with a little ease in the length. By age five these should be perfect, but are wearable now.
I am posting brief instructions here as i have searched in the past for sock instructions for children, and not found much.
2.5 mm dpns, set of 5 Brittany Birch 5", 1 ball of Cedifra fashion trend sportive 70% wool, 23% polymid, 7% Polyester. 50 g ball divided into 2 equal parts yeilds 2 socks/one pair. it has a ball band tension of 28 stitches and 38 rows over 10 cm, so any simillar specd yarn should work.
Cast on 16 for toe - figure eight cast on, increase for 4 rows, one stitch in from begining of : needle 1, end needle 2, begining needle 3, end needle 4, then increase every 2nd row until 48 stitches(K=48).
Work straight until 2.5 inches less than foot length, in this case 4 3/8th inchs. Increase for gusset, start of 3rd and end of 4th needle, every 2nd row 10 times. A 40% increase of K
shape heel round,
knit to start of needle 4, k6 m1 k1 wrap and turn,
purl to start needle 3, p6 m1 p1 wrap and turn,
knit to start needle 4, k4 m1 k1 wrap and turn
continue until you have decreased to purl 2 m1 p1 wrap and turn.
knit one round, pick up and knit wraps as they are reached. If any one knows how to knit a wrap created on a purl row and make it look good - please let me know.
Heel flap, worked over central 24 stitches, or 50% of K. in the toe up gusset sock the heel flap is worked as the gusset stitches are consumed.
Knit to 12 stitches before end of 3rd needle, s1 k1 till first 11 stitches on to 4th needle, then ssk, turn.
purl to first 11 stitches on 3rd needle, p2tog, turn.
repeat until all gusset stitches used up and back to 48 stitches in total.
knit one row then rib k2p2 for length of leg. I just knit until the yarn had about 1 metre to go. I didn't try and match the colour waves, and Poppy has complained they don't match, but with only 1 50 gram ball to use, there was a frugalness.

Fish n = 50, the last 7 fish are stacked and ready to block. I now know that fish are 3" long when knit in sock yarn on 2.25mm dpns, and that I really should trial stitching a few together. I am not sure if i will crochet - in which case i really should weave the ends in as i go. To weave in nose and tail ends of 200+ fish would be a very slow and unrewarding process. So I need to test a crochet vs sewn join, before I go to much further. Maybe I will sacrifice some of the early not perfect learning fish, slightly shorter where i must have missed a row or two out.

, some finished, some begun, more fish and a theory about how to size socks.

New socks started, for husband - Chris of 19 years, in Regia stripe, from my short lived stash. knits up well on 2mm dpns. Using steel pins this time as one of the Brittany has bent a little and I am still waiting for a reply/response re the 2.25 mm one which broke 2 weeks ago. They did warn site visitors that they were not email regulars, but 2 weeks!

Before I could start I used Wendy's (see sidebar) method to divide the 100g ball of yarn into 2 equal parts - that is I weighed it. I left her a comment and she emailed me back, so nice for her to take the time to do that as she gets such a volume of comments. My kitchen scales are old balance ones with metal weights, and will 'tip' if a 10c peice is added to one size. So i wound off enough so that the wound off ball and the original ball were evenly balanced and snipped it in half. I then used my very cool vintage ball winder to prepare two centre pull balls - making sure these were in the same direction (one had to be rewound). I felt like a very 50/60's housewife.

Which brings me to my sock fitting theory, Ever since my first sock, around 14 months ago, I have traced the persons foot to use in sizing. A record of foot length, as at times iI can measure and forget what the measurment is, within 3 minutes. I have used a variety of toes, and recommendations for calculating the number to cast on. I tried the ankle, the ball -10%, the ball -1", the ankle - 10%, and most fitted, one memorable pair most certainly did not (alas the last pair for Chris). I have ended up using Wendy's generic toe up sock instructions, where you cast on and knit, and increase and try on. Worst case senerio is that you frog half an evening's knitting if it is to big, if to small just knit some more increase rows. And usually I would spend an evening making a guage swatch, and blocking and measuring it in 3 places and calculating guage and the number of stitches needed for the planned sock. So the the knit and try method works well for me.

Ove the last 12 month I realised that when I put my part knit sock down on top of the tracing of the foot/sole the width matches - exactly just like in the image posted here. So the sock for Poppy and the in-progress one for Chris have been 'fitted/calculated' by increasing every 2nd row until the flattened sock is as wide as the ball of the sole outline drawn in my workbook. I am knitting this sock for Chris, and it fits and i know it is 58 stitches, but have no idea of the guage and it fits beautifully so far.
A few more socks using this sizing/ fitting method, especially for my growing children and I will feel confident to suggest it on knitters review and see what the response is. almost to simple for no one else to have noticed.

1 comment:

Prachi said...

this is an excellent toe up practice, I never thought of tracing the foot pattern and measuring it like that! Nifty.
Also, is that Trekking? I just frogged a sock that was in almost identical yarn.