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Old 11-06-2006, 06:40 PM   #1
cando
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Questions on socks and lace weight yarn
Hi,

I'm a beginner knitter with a couple of FOs and just starting to branch out from flat knitting.

My sister wants me to knit her a scarf+hat set and she chose Shadow, a lace weight merino. I'm willing to try out a lace scarf pattern I found, but am having trouble finding a pattern for the hat using such fine yarn. Should I just double strand and use any pattern calling for sport weight? Will it even be durable to knit a hat in lace weight?

My other question is related to another winter project I have in mind - socks. I plan to use Kuigo and make anklets. When I bought this yarn at the LYS, the lady there offered to wind it for me. I was short on time then so I said I would return. Now I'm wondering - is winding into a central pull ball necessary or can I still use the hank the way it is?
And she also suggested I use a sock yarn made of nylon to reinforce the heel part. How do I use this? Just work the heel with 1 strand of the kuigo and 1 strand of the nylon?

One more generic question - do I need to make guage swatches for hats and socks? Won't I need to buy more yarn for that or risk running out?

Thanks much for your patience with what may seem obvious questions!
~Cando
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
psammeadred
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Welcome to the forum, Cando!

For the hat, if you find a pattern you like that will get the right gauge with doubled Shadow, go for it! If not, you can improvise a hat pattern by measuring your gauge with the yarn. For example, let's say you have a hat pattern written for worsted, which starts with k2p2 rib. Make a swatch of k2p2 with the Shadow and some appropriate needles. Then measure how many stitches you'll need to have the same width as the worsted hat. Cast on that many stitches, and you're good to go.

For the hank vs. ball, ABSOLUTELY wind it into a ball, unless you're really into driving yourself nuts. Trust me. The moment you start pulling from a hank, it turns into The Thing from 20,000 Fathoms. Get a center-pull ball if you can. There are tutorials online - I'm pretty sure Amy has a video about it. (Bless you, Amy!)

For the gauge swatch, I would go ahead and do them, then unravel them and reuse the yarn!
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:06 PM   #3
brendajos
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oh oh oh oh oh but PLEASE make sure you wrap that hank around SOMETHING before trying to wind it. if you don't you might as well have tried to knit from it because you will end up with a knot that is the same size anyway.

a chair back is good....i have heard some people dropping it on to a lamp shade but that is probably depending on your hank and the shade. best bet, without a swift like they would have used in the store, is a pair of hands from a patient adult or child who still requires you to pay the bills for their existence!

oh and there are some yarns that i don't wind center pull because they don't work that well for it....it is usually when i am winding two hanks together. and when i first started knitting i NEVER wound into a centerpull and i survived it quite nicely...lol

okay this is my third edit....by that i mean that i wound it into a regular ball...just not center pull....

umm....i am going away now...lol
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:45 PM   #4
Calamintha
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Personally, I would ask my sister to choose a different yarn. Doubling Shadow will give you fingering weight not sport weight. You could still use it if you want but you will have to swatch and calculate your gauge. I ordered some Shadow and was disappointed that it did not seem like merino to me. Too rough. In the future if you want to try a really good lace weight yarn, try Zephyr. It's 50% merino/50% silk:

http://www.halcyonyarns.com/Yarn_pages/yarn027.html

It also comes in a DK weight.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:00 PM   #5
knitqueen
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Making a hat out of a lace weight yarn will take a long time and be a tedious project. A lacy scarf with a laceweight yarn somehow is different to me. Could you make at least the hat out of a different, yet coordinating, yarn??
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:24 PM   #6
cando
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Thanks a bunch for the replies, I found them very helpful!

About the hat, I'm thinking if I could make it with one strand of the lace weight and one strand of a coordinating sport weight? The color she chose from Shadow is Sunset and she really likes it, so I wanted to try and keep the hat similar in color.

After reading all of your responses, I'm definitely winding the Koigu hanks. No reason I should add to the craziness of trying to work with size 1.5 needles!

But I was still wondering about that carry-along nylon thread in socks.. do you use them all the time?

Thanks again.

Edited to ask another question -
I notice that there are some numbers in the description of lace yarn. For example, Shadow says lace weight (2/16). I saw elsewhere (2/5) on some other yarn. What does this mean? Thx!
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Old 11-07-2006, 11:22 PM   #7
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A lady at my LYS said that if a sock yarn already has nylon in it, there is no need to use the reinforcing thread. If it doesn't have nylon, it's a good idea to use it.

I don't know about your other question regarding lace weight and numbers, though.
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