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Old 02-13-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
Sharly
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Socks: Yarn, Guage, Needle Question -
First time posting

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? I really want to try socks!
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:44 PM   #2
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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

Hope this helps!

Susan
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #3
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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!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:42 PM   #5
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THIS 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!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:57 PM   #6
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HamaLee:

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!!
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:59 PM   #7
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Cristy:

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!!
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Old 02-17-2007, 09:55 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:41 AM   #9
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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!

Sharly
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Old 02-20-2007, 08:13 PM   #10
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Sharly, I suspect you'll become addicted to socks, like a lot of us have. Warm feet are SOO nice!
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