04 February 2017

Finished Object and Sock Math (Weird Math warning)

It happened! Yes, it finally happened! I've a finished object! Based on the law of averages, something had to give eventually LOL And I'm so glad that it did.  This was an exceptionally easy and well written pattern that included both chart and written directions.  You'd think that with as long as I've been knitting that I would be a chart goddess, but no - for the most part, I follow written directions.

The #ValanarCowlKAL on ravelry hosted and written by Elena Nodel was a great deal of fun and a lot easier to knit that you would think.  The pattern was very intuitive and a pretty quick knit.  All said it probably was 5 days of knitting to get this done.  I was hit by some sort of critter that left me feeling decidedly not in knitting mode, so it languished for about a week.

This was knit on US7 (4.0mm) with Lion Brand Heartland in Great Smokey Mountain colourway.  The yarn is 100% acrylic and I only used one skein for this project.  I picked this yarn for ease of care as this is going to my step dad and I didn't want him to fret on wash and care of it - I want him to wear and enjoy it.

While this was an easy knit, I want to do a super simple knit now, and I want to use some of my new Knitpicks yarn that I've never used before so I want them to fit right - I was thinking a vanilla type sock would be perfect - my concern is that I've not found MY sweet spot for needles and number of stitches for socks - I could continue to cast on willy nilly and hope I hit it with various patterns in different needle sizes, but that would drive me a wee more bastsh!t crazy - so I did some research,

On ravelry there is a Super Sock Calculator that tells you stitches to cast on, stitches for heel and this is a toe up, two at a time calculator.  Sounds super awesome - but still doesn't tell me what needle I should use .. **sigh**

So back to google I went and I found this site:  Sock Math and Sock Chart  And this one included a formula that makes sense!  I think I might have found the sock math holy grail!!!  Their formula states thus:

1. Measure around ball of your foot (at widest part near toes) with foot resting on it’s weight.
2. Multiply # of inches by the gauge. (gauge will need to be determined from measuring a swatch made with intended yarn and tools).
3. Subtract 10 % of this number for negative give for fitted socks.
4. The result is the number of stitches to cast on in stitch used in swatch.

So using US2 with Knitpicks Hawthorne Kettle Dyed fingering weight yarn  So let's do some math - no swatch has been done as of yet - but that doesn't take long at all to do up

Width of my foot - 10"- yes I've a wide foot
Foot width x Gauge from my swatch -  10x8 = 80 ... I've not done my gauge swatch yet, but I tend to knit to gauge and this is based on pattern gauge for the time being - just to play with the numbers
10% negative ease - 80x.9 = 72 stitches

I'm not to sure about that as I've used 72 stitches in one pattern and the socks are largish on me with a size US2 needle.  hmmm The super sock calculator says a total of 64 stitches, and there is yet another pattern for 56 stitches that follows to my gauge.

Here are the numbers that are used for the Super Sock Calculator off their website

Length of Foot - 9
Width of foot - 8 (non weight bearing)
gauge - 32 sts / 4"

My results are:
A:14
B:32
C:7.5 inches


Which translates into 14 stitch magic cast on (toe up version) increasing until 32 stitches on each needle (64 stitches) and I start my heel at 7.5 inches from toe - I've not had an issue really with length of sock - more like what needles and how many stitches.

I think I'll do a quick swatch and see what I get - I bet if I change the foot width from weight bearing to non weight bearing, the results would be more acceptable.  I just can't agree with 72 stitches for me.  I'd almost rather have a sock a smidge to snug on my foot than swimming like my Midnight oil socks do - well they don't swim exactly, but I would like them to be much smaller.  I"m thinking that the Super Sock Calculator will be my best bet - 64 is following the Enya sock pattern and while that is on smaller needles, it fits me way better than my Midnight oil Socks.  My Sunset Scale socks were a 64 stitch sock and that is acceptable.  Having a super wide foot is a real trial LOL

I did a quick remeasure of my foot and with just my weight 'resting' it measured 8.5"
Width of my foot - 8.5"
Foot width x Gauge from my swatch -  8.5x8 = 68
10% negative ease - 68x.9 = 61.2 rounded to 61stitches

That makes more sense than previous numbers - seems like a really snug fit, but I can adjust the ease numbers or not use them at all

All this for a vanilla easy peasy knit LOL  Good lord, I could complicate a wet paper bag somedays LOL   Once I find my sweet spot for needles, I plan to return the skein I didn't use for the Valanar Cowl and exchange it for whatever size in 40' circs.  Maybe US2 as I seem to use them most.  My circs are all older with much stiffer and unforgiving stiff inflexible cables so magic loop has never been my method of choice.  I think I'll use my Patons Kroy FX yarn instead for the vanilla test knit.  I can grab that at Michaels anytime I want / need it.

That being said, I'm still working on my cowl for myself.  I picked the Spiral Cowl by Betty Narducci, and for this one I am follow a chart - not much choice on this one as there is no written directions.  I chose the Red Heart Unforgettable in the Echo Colour and black as my contrasting yarn.  Not much has been done and I hope to get back to this soon so I can wear it before spring LOL