Thursday, February 7, 2013

Circus socks: adventures in (not) knitting gauge

You may recall that I have acquired from Twisted Fiber Art some rather fetching black and white and grey yarn, with a view to a pair of handknit socks (because apparently I don't have enough of those yet.)

Well, I've been knitting with it. And it's amazing.

Not just the non-colours, though I'm pretty smitten with those.  It's the yarn, Playful, which I've knit with tons and tons of times and always enjoyed... at a much looser gauge, to make much floppier fabric.  This time I'm knitting socks, at a tight gauge, and the fabric is stupendous.

There's just the one catch.

(isn't there always?)

Playful is a sport weight.  I knit fingering weight socks on 2.25mm needles, and DK weight socks on 2.5mm needles, at 64 and 56 stitches respectively.  Where should sport weight yarn go?

This is how far along I got with the 2.25mm test before it occurred to me to measure the width I was getting.  That's entirely due to how nice the knitting is with this yarn, of course, and not at all to do with my being too lazy or overly optimistic to check earlier, ahem.

At that gauge, I was getting a sock a little more than an inch wider than I usually knit, which seems excessive, especially since I would like these socks to fit inside shoes and not just between sheets for a snug night's sleep.

Frog central.

And again with the overconfidence: all they way to the heel flap on 2.5mm needles before I measured and found I was getting not quite an inch less than I usually knit.


but also: bearable, because wool stretches.  That photograph makes the sock look a bit hourglassy, doesn't it - like my tension changed when I got past the initial white stripe?  I'm pretty sure that's an optical illusion.  Hoping so, anyway.

The plan is for these socks to travel to Italy with me, as the colours are a little less unsubtle than my bright stripey Vespers (some of which are also going to Italy.)  Also they will look matchy with the otherwise entirely 'black with a possible splash of white' microwardrobe I am setting up to pack.  There's just this one thing...

(like I said, always.)

The circus in The Night Circus - for which this yarn was designed - is all black and white, and the fans of the circus identify themselves to each other by wearing black and white with something red to set it all off.  Guess what colour raincoat I bought to take along with me?

I was so not intending to go out looking like a giant walking Night Circus monsterfan. 

(but on the upside: this raspberry shade looks so fabulous with so many Vesper stripies!)

In other news, I've been casting on a few new excitements.  I'll tell you about them probably next week though, because I've also been hatching a cool Valentine's idea I thought some of you might like as much as I do and would need time to prep for.  Watch for it tomorrow!  and in the meantime - have a great day.

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