View Full Version : Socks: Yarn, Guage, Needle Question -

02-13-2007, 12:47 PM
First time posting :happydance:

I began to knit December 7th and taught myself from a book. So far I've completed several objects, scarves, hats and wash cloths. Technically, I feel somewhat confident - but when it comes to choosing yarn, I'm easily overwhelmed!

Now I've decided I want to make socks. I have a pattern which calls for Merino Wool and size 3 dpns. I purchased Paton's Classic Wool along with the needles suggested. However, when I knit my guage swatch, instead of getting 4 inches, it comes out closer to 6. Now I'm having second thoughts. I'm not sure the yarn is what I need. Is there a chance it is the wrong weight? I know I should decrease the needle size and try again, but with that difference, is one needle size decrease enough? Also, because this yarn isn't machine washable, should I put it aside for a felting project (I've been wanting to try, anyway) and start over with something different, and if so, what? Or, should I Cowgirl up and give the smaller needles a try? (And, forever handwash the socks...)

Any suggetsions? :shrug: I really want to try socks! :heart:

02-13-2007, 01:44 PM
I'm afraid you have the wrong yarn for your sock project.

Patons Classic Wool is meant to give you 5 stitches per inch on a size 7 needle. It is a worsted weight yarn.

You need a sock weight yarn or a pattern that uses worsted weight yarn on a larger needle (size 6 or 7)

Check out Silver's sock tutorial here for better advice than I could give you.

Silver's Sock Tutorial (http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Intro.htm)

Hope this helps!


02-13-2007, 02:24 PM
Susan, thanks for your response - you confirmed what I suspected - it just helps to hear it from someone else.

I usually buy my yarn from AC Moore, and it's very hard to find things in there - (I'm easily distracted by pretty things) - I'll have to look harder for a label that actually says "Sock Yarn" - or, go to my LYS (that I haven't been brave enough to go to, yet) and actually get some help :D

Thanks again!

02-13-2007, 02:28 PM
LionBrand has a self-striping sock yarn that my AC Moore and Michael's carries...I think it's called "Magic Stripes" or something. I've also knit up some lovely socks with LionBran Microspun. I've also knit socks in worsted weight yarn too....just on larger needles. I also have Sockotta sock yarn and some others that require smaller needles.

You can make almost anything work, especially with Silver's general tutorial. So you might want to give that a try in the meantime while you find a good yarn for the specifica pattern you had.

Have fun!

02-13-2007, 02:42 PM
THIS (http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html) chart is a great one to use to learn the yarn weight system. The whole website is wonderful but I find this chart especially helpful--when I first started knitting I printed a copy and put it in my knitting bag so I could refer to it. It'd be nice if every pattern and every yarn had a similar system--like if they'd all say "worsted" but they don't--some will say "worsted" while others will say 4 sts./in. I find that it's best if you learn how many stitches per inch is a worsted yarn, dk yarn, etc. etc. It makes you much more confident when buying yarn or figuring out what to buy when looking at a new pattern. Hope this helps too and good luck w/ your socks!

02-13-2007, 02:57 PM

Thanks so much for the specific information - I will check ACM for all of these - I think I have actually seen the Microspun there.

This is very helpful!!

02-13-2007, 02:59 PM

The chart is VERY helpful!! It was like a light bulb went off for me! I'm going to copy you and carry that in my bag for reference!

Thanks to everyone for being so helpful!!

02-17-2007, 09:55 PM
My favorite socks are ones I've done with worsted weight wool. It's worth handwashing because they are so VERY warm. I used 2 strands for the heels, and they are wearing very well.

02-20-2007, 09:41 AM
Hi Julie -

I am currently attempting to follow Silver's Sock Class with worsted weight that is machine washable - it's going fairly well...I'm not too far in, but I feel a little better about things at this point - still have that heel to conquer, but I'll get there!


02-20-2007, 08:13 PM
Sharly, I suspect you'll become addicted to socks, like a lot of us have. Warm feet are SOO nice!

02-20-2007, 08:54 PM
Great chart - thanks Cristy! Like Sharly I'm quite new to this and nervous about choosing yarn unless it's exactly what's recommended on the pattern, so it's great to have some guidelines. :happydance:


02-21-2007, 09:43 AM
Julie - I hope I do get addicted to making socks! I would eventually like to make some nice socks for hubby. He is so picky about his socks! This from a man who thinks tucking his shirt in constitutes getting "dressed up" :teehee:

I am very cold natured and will really enjoy hand knit socks. However, here in central Alabama, we don't have many months (or, weeks for that matter) of cold temperatures!

It's amazing to me that I haven't had a moment since I first cast on, that I don't have something in mind to make. I've tried to pick up crochet several times, and while I could do it, I would lose interest, and not be able to think of anything to make - with knitting, that has been no problem!! Adding socks to my repertoire won't hurt a bit!!

02-21-2007, 12:17 PM
Hi Julie -

I am currently attempting to follow Silver's Sock Class with worsted weight that is machine washable - it's going fairly well...I'm not too far in, but I feel a little better about things at this point - still have that heel to conquer, but I'll get there!


I think that turning the heel is the most fun part about knitting socks. It's MAGIC!!!!!

Keep us posted on how you're coming along!

02-21-2007, 04:00 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Nathalie! I'm probably still a long way from the heel, but I'll post something when I get it done!

War Eagle!!!


05-31-2007, 03:44 PM
Hi Guys!

Are you all still around? I didn't give up, and I finally finished my second sock last night. (Various things stood in the way!) You can see a picture of them on my blog in the post titled "Sock it to Me" (real original, I know, but hey, the thing is written by cats!)

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I'll be starting another pair of socks soon, and this time I'm going to try to use sock yarn!

Thanks again!:muah:
www.houseof9lives.wordpress.com (http://www.houseof9lives.wordpress.com)

05-31-2007, 04:25 PM
Congratulations on trying socks!! They really aren't hard, just a bit scary the first time. :lol: If you want to find a pattern to fit your worsted weight wool, look at Knitting Pattern Central under socks. Good luck!! I like socks in heavier weight for our Canadian winters. samm

06-01-2007, 11:52 AM
Thanks Samm!

I'll look into that!!

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