Ambition and uglification

Almost a year ago now, I inflicted myself on Secret Pal 8 (or was it 7?). I never heard from my downstream partner whether she even received the stuff I sent or if she liked it, but my upstream was a darling! I got lovely lovely things from her, which I still take out to pet and inhale, and finally decided to do something with (I have a UFO with some of the yarn she sent, but more of that some other time). This was some 50% silk, 50% wool yarn she hand-dyed just for me.
Close-up
Yarn by woollywormhead.co.uk

It occurred to me that this yarn might be nice for socks. So I wound it up and set off. I cast on 68 stitches (!!!, who, me swatch?) and found it was too big, so I frogged, and cast on 56 and went up to this:
Woollywormhead's sock

The striping was fascinating, but the fit was unfortunately off, yet again. It was too big even for the husband. I was using dpns in size 3 mm because I have 4 of them and the only smaller size set I have (which seems pretty small) has only 3 needles. Waah! So, could I possibly knit socks on just 3 dpns? I do not have any implements smaller than this, unless you count crochet hooks, tapestry/sewing needles and safety pins. It appears I have the following options: (click to read the whole sorry tale)


1. Give up on ever knitting socks

2. Knit monsters made of regular (read worsted weight acrylic) yarn and my 3 mm dpns

3. Try to remember what made me think I even need socks for the climate I live in

* On a tangential note, I am thinking more frequently nowadays of how weird it is that I knit/crochet. I don’t use dishcloths/sweaters/baby blankets/socks/scarves/hats and also will never have the patience to knit (or crochet) a lace shawl/sock/fitted sweater/cardigan/table topper. I hate changing bags/purses in case I leave out anything and don’t think it is sensible to get three of everything – you know, pens, notepads, Identity cards, wallets, money – just so I can accessorise with my handknit/crocheted bags. (In other words, I am plain lazy. But shh! We shan’t tell anyone, ok? Nobody even suspects…)

4. Turn my face to the wall and think of England (I have a dream of visiting one day…)

5. Knit socks on 3 dpns

6. Crochet socks? *shudder* Just thinking of all those scs in endless succession turns me pale (or it would if it could). Also I think variegated/ombre yarns have a place, and that place in most emphatically not in crocheted garments, at least nothing higher than an sc pattern. Unless it is a small baby who is powerless to protest. That is not of course, to say that I haven’t done my bit for Pattern Obfuscators International™ by crocheting intricate patterns in multi-hued yarn (or thread), so what can you do to me, ha? I do think if you have to do an infinite stretch of plain stitching (stockinette or sc) then variegated yarn adds interest, but it very definitely looks odd to me in any kind of pattern. Unless the shading is very subtle.

Does anyone else’s addiction to a totally unsuitable hobby depress them like mine does me? (I’m not saying that any form of knitting/crochet would be unsuitable, just that the things I do with it are eminently so. Adaptable/creative/imaginative I’m not.)

Thinking of the stash of yarn and patterns I have depresses me. Which gives me an idea. I might start putting up pictures of what I have and call for opinions on their use (I have a depressing suspicion a lot of it might start with ‘s’ and end in ‘f’). Sniff. (No, think of a different 5-letter word starting with ‘s’ and ending in ‘f’ which indicates a long and narrow object to be worn around the neck or head.)

Some readers might remember I started a sock (in the other direction, toe-up) a few months ago with Patons Kroy. Sadly I was being ambitious again and it was too big. It is still unfrogged, but buried deep in a box somewhere, from where it emerges unexpectedly when I am looking for something else altogether. I didn’t then realise (or accept, more likely) that trying to knit sock yarn with chopsticks 3 mm dpns can only lead to sorrow (not Ganguly). teeheeheeheee.

I have vague notions of going out to search for smaller dpns/circulars, but I have a sinking feeling it is a vain quest.

Goodness, I do have verbal diarrhoea today! I might even be back with more er, outpourings. Toodles.

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5 thoughts on “Ambition and uglification

  1. What is the size difference between your 3mm dpns and the size that you only have 3 dpns? The reason I ask is because if they are only one size away you could use 1 dpn of the larger size and then 3 dpn’s of the smaller size. I have read somewhere that this will work fine. You could always experiment.

    Also, you could cast on 8 stitches less, like 48 and see if you get a normal sized sock. If you could measure the gauge that you are getting on 3mm needles, I can help you with the number of stitches to cast on.

  2. They could be house socks (like slippers).

    I continually make items I won’t use-I generally give them as gifts or make something for Elena. It allows me to keep my hobby, but still, I know where you are coming from.

  3. My Regia sock book suggests that 30 sts and 42 rows should give a 10x10cm swatch with 2 to 3mm needles, so it really may make sense to see what gauge you’re getting with your wool, especially if you’re not 100% sure that it’s “sock wool.”

    Other than that, if you mail me and let me know the length of your foot, I’d be glad to let you know Regia’s suggested number of stitches to cast on and other data.

    Don’t give up quite yet! 3mms are a great size for knitting socks, they work up relatively quickly, and once you’ve got your first pair finished, I bet you’ll be addicted.

  4. What is the gauge? I’d say 3 mm is a little too large a needle size for socks, but then I’m a loose knitter and always use size 0, 2 mm. You want it to be fairly tight fabric and snug, because otherwise the individual purl bumps irritate your soles. If it’s 8 spi, for a woman’s foot I use 60 or 64 stitches depending on the pattern. But don’t worry about the trials, with socks, the beginnings of the sock themselves count as the swatches.. lovely yarn, btw.

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